Saturday, January 4, 2020

January 4, 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
Today's paintings start with the 4th painting from yesterday that didn't get photographed in time to post.  Today was a mixed bag.  It started out raining, but by the time we went out to paint, a little later because of the rain, it was a very comfortable, mostly dry, 65º, no wind but pretty foggy and atmospheric, just the way we like it.  That's where I painted the first one, Rip Rap Dune.  Well, that didn't last too long.  By the time we grabbed a bite to eat for lunch and headed up to the north end (my suggestion, to my regret), the skies had opened up to broken clouds and some blue peaking through.  And then... THE WIND...!  We were really blasted this afternoon, mid day, with what had to be at least 20-30 mph gusts.  Dottie was blown over, and so was my easel.  We survived, and the day ended as one spectacular Tybee Island evening, complete with azure horizons, purple clouds warmed by scarlet and sunshine on the beach.  We couldn't have asked for a better ending.

MH - 1/3/4 January Colors
This one is from last night.  We headed out to Spanish Hammock to paint 'one more' piece, making it a 4 painting day.  We took a break earlier in the day to photograph and edit the first three pieces of the day.  By the time we were done last night, neither one of us had the energy to do the same, and post, our two last paintings.  But, this is it.  It ended in such a spectacular fashion that all I could do to explain it would be to show you photos and explain that they don't really show the glory of it all.

MH 1/4/1 - Rip Rap Dune
First painting of the day this morning.  I think it's safe to say that both of us were looking forward to a full day that was like this morning.  Didn't happen, but I sure did enjoy it, the mood of the fog, the balmy temps, the beach and it's perpetual patterned sounds of waves crashing.  Each day here starts one way, ends in a very different way.  That's it's charm, always changing, like the tide, perfect for painters!

As a side note... I'm showing you a picture of my brush caddy.  You may notice that they're all short handeld brushes.  You noticed correctly.  They didn't come that way, they had the typical long handles on them.  But a few years ago, I found that I preferred to use short handled brushes when outside painting, so I saw the handles off.  In the studio I'm a typical 'long handled' brush painter.  Over the years my painting procedural style has changed, many times, but most recently, and I believe it's because of my use of pastels and how direct they feel up close in my finger tips, I have become a "scrubber".  Meaning that I choke up on my brushes vs holding them back at the handles' posterior tip, and I scrub on the paint!  I can get sensitive and delicate still, but mostly I attack the paint in that way, and I like having my hand right up close to the surface.  I'll stand back at arm's length to do that, but the control of having a brush with a short handle, the ferrule at my finger tips, is satisfying to me.  

MH 1/4/2 - Blown Down
I was having a great time painting this backlit subject matter, in an incredibly gusty wind, so different from the start of our day... until I was done and decided to take a video of the wind and the easel.  Right about the time I rotated towards the easel, the wind took it, including my hanging backpack counterweight, and very insensitively tossed it to the ground!  I use an OpenBoxM 10x12 panel holder/palette, thankfully, because it held its grip on the painting.  It still took quite a sandblasting from the beach.  I'll wait until the paint is dry and then see if I can remove enough of it for the painting to be shown.  Otherwise, it'll become a very gritty primed panel for another painting. Such is painting on location. 

MH 1/4/3 - Restoration
To end this, I'll just say that today's ending was as good an ending as one could ask for.  Simply beautiful, pleasant but not hot, and colorful skies everywhere we looked.  Thanks to the big dude or dudette for another stellar day of life! 

Dottie's Day

Such a beautiful day to paint today.  I feel like we are starting to get into a groove with this marathon  and that's nice.  We  have gotten good at making quick decisions on where to go paint and Marc's truck now has everything you could ever need ...a rolling studio.  There has been one problem that has been bugging me though.  I've been struggling a lot with my vision since we started this painting marathon.  I feel like the light and glare are really affecting my ability to see color accurately.  I make all of the adjustments that I can: a hat, turning my easel, painting facing away from the sun, etc., but I still feel like I am having to try really hard just to "see".  It almost feels like my eyes are letting in too much light, if that makes any sense.  I think I suffered some temporary eye damage earlier this year painting in the bright sunlight on white sand in FL.  I had a couple of weeks afterward when I couldn't stand bright light in the studio, at home or on my phone or computer,.  My eyes were so red (I looked like I had been drinking for days) and dry that I was using eye drops just to be able to paint in the studio.  My eyes eventually cleared up but since then I have noticed that I am much more sensitive to light.  It has really bothered me and is very frustrating. Especially since I can't even really put into words what the problem is, I just know something is off.  I made the decision this morning to just let it go as best as I can.  To deliberately try and just focus on what I can control, and that is what I am feeling about what I am seeing and do my best to just put that down.  Keeping my mind focused on that, I had a much better day.  Learning to let go of what I can't control is hard but it is so much easier than fighting it.

DTL - 1/3/4 - Descent
The last painting of day 3 had me running across the road to catch it.  I set up in one spot looking east over the marsh.  I wasn't really excited by what was in front of me but nothing else proved to be any more interesting.  I had just blocked in my painting when I looked across the road and saw a beautiful sunset in the making.  I quickly wiped off my entire painting, grabbed my easel and took off across the road.  As sunsets do, this time of year, the light and color changed quickly and I just did my best to keep up with it.  Sometimes, that's all you can do.

DTL - 1/4/1 - Gentle On My Mind
Once again the sky really put on a show today.  We waited for it to stop raining and then headed out.  From our house the sky looked flat and cloudy but I knew from past experience that it would be more interesting over water. And it sure was.  The gorgeous pale colors of the ocean and the sky made it a  moody but calm seascape. I'm always so torn when the sky is lovely and the waves are too... I have a hard time just focusing on one or the other.  What I really wanted to capture was the peacefulness. This area is home to a major sand bar and the entrance to a river so the waves are always plentiful and often at moving at cross purposes.  Even with the movement from the rolling waves and the shifting clouds, there was this soft, rhythmic quality to the scene. I used a horizon line that was close to the center to try and keep the calm feeling as well.

DTL - 1/4/2 - The West Wind
We headed to North Beach to paint after lunch.  The wind had picked up from the west and was blowing hard to push the rest of the clouds out to sea.  The clouds had a great linear pattern to them with strings of clouds stretching across the horizon.  The surf had a nice chop, which is very unusual for this beach.... it's usually as flat as a lake.  The energy of the scene was so dramatically opposite of the morning's painting and of the one that was to come after it.  

DTL - 1/4/3 - Solace
Once again, we changed beach locations to mid island so the wind would be blocked by the sand dunes and the island itself.  What an amazing change.  You would never guess that a half a mile away the wind was blowing 20mph and gusting way more than that.  It was calm and peaceful with the occasional slow moving wave.  Once again, my eye was on the sky above me.  The sun was just starting its decent and the colors to the east over the ocean were just beautiful... from soft pinks and purples to soft grays and bright blues.  What a beauty of a day.  Again. 

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