Wednesday, January 29, 2020

January 28, 2020 - A New Year, Two Views

All images are photographed late in the evening for posting the same night we paint them.  We strive to reproduce the color of the paintings here as close to our originals as we can, but some variation is probable.  The paintings are labeled with our initials preceding the date label and title.  The date label is Month/Day/Order Painted. 

All of these paintings can be purchased on our website.  This link will take you to the page where they're posted... Salt Marsh Studios.

Marc's Day

3,2,1...The count down we have left in front of us in days to go!  It's funny that all month long, and until just the last few days, nothing except where and what we will paint the next day has kept me up at night.  Now that we're winding this down in a very serious way, ALL of the things that have been set aside, besides this project, are showing up in the wee hours of the morning to agitate my thoughts and disturb sleep time.  But, there are still 3 days in which we've given ourselves the permission and gift to keep the gate closed on anything other than achieving our month long goal.  We're so close it hurts.  Hurts because I'm going to miss it.  Yesterday's paintings were a struggle for me to get off of the easel.  I'm not sure why, but I didn't feel that my head was in it, likely due to the 'other' things on the other side of the gate.  Today, as we grab our painting gear and prepare for another day of painting in the field, I plan to completely wash off what's to come and get back to being fully engaged in the task at hand.  It's just too precious of an opportunity to allow anything else to interfere with.  Can't wait to get out there this morning!

MH - 1/28/1 - Hot Dunes
Back to the beach this morning, or back to what little bit of the South End that we were able to access due to some serious beach enrichment work going on, as seen in the recent pics of the south beach area on Tybee.  I have been a naturalist my entire life, so painting things that live around me, with specific characteristics that make them what they are, right, had always been my goal as an artist in my earlier art life.  It was especially important as a bird painter/illustrator to be very specific when creating works of creatures and their environment.  These Sea Oats are gorgeous plants.  They make you want to crawl into the middle of them (bad move folks, it's illegal to do that, stay out of the Sea Oats!) to see what they're all about.  What's my point?  I'm trying to learn how to paint these things from a painter's perspective, not a botanists'.  And it's a tough thing to do when you have a botanists' mindset to deal with.  They have a fineness and grace, a delicacy to them that defies a 'big brush' approach, that is if it's the delicate nature of their spikes and leaves that you're interested in showing.  My dilemma is that I am a painter, looking for the "bigger picture", yet I'm fascinated by the fragility of this plants' nature.  I haven't figured out how to solve this yet... I'll keep trying. 

 Tybee Beach Enrichment
Tybee Beach Enrichment

MH - 1/28/2 - Pools
Sounds like this is my day for describing my frustrations... I am loving painting with the acrylics, most of the time.  As contradictory to the idea of acrylic paint as this may sound, I am wishing these things would set up faster!  It's taking me longer to paint using them because I'm having to delay my progress while waiting for them to set up, some, so I can overlay new paint.  That's a way that I paint with oils and I'm trying to do that with the acrylics too.  I may need to learn/discover new ways to work "with them", instead of making them work with me.  In this painting I painted a thin base layer of color into the water in the pools, thinking it would set up so that I could lay other darker value color of the sand that is exposed, over it.  Never happened.  I took it off of the easel to paint my third one of the day, and it was never dry enough to really paint on those passages in the way I wanted to.  Something to be learned about this medium... which is why this art life is never boring, and the learning never ending.

MH - 1/28/3 - Evening Stroll
I really enjoy painting on the beach, even though they look so different now than they did a month ago, due to the 1.000.000 plus cubic yards of sand that is being spread around the beaches.  And I like using the little figures of the ever present 'beach go'ers' that are always there as unaware models.  I only had about 30 minutes to paint this one, so it's not painted with much more than one layer of paint, very directly painted.  Thanks for looking in.

Dottie's Day

It was a very relaxed day of painting yesterday.  I'm finding as this last week progresses, I am really just enjoying the process of painting and cherishing the opportunity to be outside.  The pressure to paint a "painting" has completely disappeared.  It feels really good and occurs to me that this feeling is what it's all about.... what it is supposed to feel like all the time. 
As an artist, I always paint for myself.  If I don't feel anything about what I am painting, I can't create a good painting or usually, even finish it.  And I can't expect anyone else to feel a connection to it either.  It is a strange dichotomy, to create something that is so intimately connected with your mind, heart and soul and then hope that someone else feels a similar connection to it and wants it for their own.  And sometimes, it's hard to keep that "sales" part out of the back of your mind when you create a painting, especially when that is how you make your living.  I don't want to go outside and set up my easel or inside my studio for that matter, to create a painting that is formulaic or salable. I don't ever want that to be my intention.  That being said, it is a question I ask myself sometimes, "is what I am painting only interesting to me", "will anyone understand what I see in this", and the worst one "am I wasting time painting one painting that I should be spending painting another type of painting".  There are some subject matters that are harder to sell than others.  Being a little bit on the contrary side, those are usually the subjects I want to paint the most.  :). It is always hard to strike a balance as an artist between the soul side and the business side, I think.  And I am definitely not wealthy by any means, so maybe I am not striking a balance at all. lol! But there is also a deeper part that I think matters most.  
I think if this were an easy and profitable thing to do, everyone would be an artist.  To get to do what you love the most, all the time ... what could be better?  I hear that sentiment all the time from people stopping to talk while I am painting. But it is not easy.  It takes every ounce of concentration and focus I have. For the most part, there are a lot of other jobs that make way more money.  And that don't keep you up at night wondering if you will ever sell a painting again.  The deeper part, and the reason that I keep trying, is that painting or creating... is where my heart and soul and mind find peace.  It is the way I make sense of my world.  In some way, I have been striving to do this all of my life.  I couldn't stop, even if I wanted to.  It is a compulsion, an obsession and who I am.  There will always be something to worry about... money, family, etc.  I can't change that part.  But I can set out each and every day to do the absolute best work that I have the capacity to do, put all of my heart and soul into it and then put it out there and hope someone else feels the connection. 

DTL - 1/28/1&2 - Dune Party
I set up my paintbox in the lifeguard stand to get a better view of the dunes.  Short people have to compensate sometimes!  I loved all of the patterns of the dune grass and the way all of the dunes were individual but flowed into each other in such a way it looked like they were having a conversation ... or a party :)
I used the longer diptych format for this one because I wanted the space to put as much of what I saw down as I could.  I was really wishing for a 24" x 48" canvas instead of 9"x24" but that's for another day.

DTL - 1/28/3 - Ebb Tide
As Marc mentioned, our beach is being renourished.  The tides haven't had time to level out the sand so at low tide, you can really see the division of old and new sand. I liked the pattern of the water left on the beach at ebb tide and the erosion of sand at it its edge. The light was so warm and yellow yesterday that the sand on the flats was almost orange, especially up against the blue/green water.  I felt like more of a geologist than a painter trying to get all the sand color and formations down :)

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