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.
Today we walked out to the Cockspur Lighthouse that is part of the Fort Pulaski National Monument. It was another gorgeous day with a light breeze and comfortable temps in the mid to high 50's. This is an amazingly historic area, the lighthouse being built between 1837 and 1839, first lit in 1848. It was never hit by the hundreds of cannon balls flying by and overhead as they were being fired at Fort Pulaski by Union troops during the War Between the States, even though the fort itself was pelted with them. It sits on mounded, ancient oyster beds that reflect a glaringly bright, light off white. Standing on them to paint is almost like standing on snow, it's so bright. Talking to Dottie at our lunch break, we were wondering how many early settlers, explorers, soldiers and others, had walked the path out to the lighthouse. Reading about it, the Spanish, then the French, followed by the English (until the Revolutionary war), all laid claim to this area in our early history. The area has been a passage way for trade, war and exploration for so long that I'm sure some of those long passed souls are watching us as we trod along and paint this place... it has that feel to it.
MH 1/8/1 - Savannah River Oysters
I stood with the lighthouse to my back, that's where Dottie was painting her gorgeous study of it first thing this morning, and painted looking back towards Ft. Pulaski. I liked how the oyster beds were like nearly white wedges, rising up out of the growth. The trail that is in the painting is the trail used to get from the fort to the lighthouse, as it begins to enter back into the forest of palms, pines and other shrubbery. This view is looking east towards Savannah, the river on the left hand side.
MH 1/8/2 - Ground Floor
For the second painting of our day, we walked back into the woods on the trail and each found something to paint after a short lunch snack. I am a woods-a-holic, I love painting the interior of the forest, any forest. No exception here. This photo isn't picking up the cooler hues in the shadows. The shadows were warmer than you would expect with the lit areas so warm, but they did still have a fair amount of a grayed blue/green tempered with a little violet in them. I managed to capture that, but it's just not showing here.
MH 1/8/3 - Gator Run
The last painting was started about an hour or so before the park gates closed, mostly because of a very kind and informative park ranger, who decided we should know all about the violent storm history of recent times. We listened and actually learned something... there are gators in the brackish fresh water swamp on the park grounds! Once his very detailed story was over, we had about an hour to paint. I decided to paint the exit point for a gator run (lower left), were they leave the pond to wander up and sit on the mowed grass, the grassy knoll we were standing on. No gators this time, they're probably hibernating in the muck this time of year. It was a lovely backlit scene, that we wished we'd had more time to work on, but had we had to finish up fast and skedaddle to make the gate. Will be going back for more.
Another sunny day but because of the lack of clouds, we decided that we needed something else to keep us entertained....like palms and marshes and lighthouses! :)
DTL - 1/8/1 - Cockspur Lighthouse
I've always loved this little lighthouse. Tybee has another lighthouse but this one is much older and sits alone in the water. It's not extremely tall and very weathered by the pounding of the weather and the waves. It was low tide this morning so the water was very shallow on the bank I was standing on and the little island that the lighthouse sits on was exposed. At high tide, the lighthouse is surrounded by water with hardly any rocks exposed and the waves pound the walls. A couple of cargo ships went by and one fishing boat but otherwise it was me, the lighthouse and the birds.
DTL - 1/8/2 - Interwoven
This clump of palms had me seeing spots before I was done! When I set up to paint, it was mostly dark with several palm fronds catching light and the marsh and sky visible between the leaves. I massed in the shape and the light had completely changed....5 minutes and a whole different painting was in front of me. I didn't have enough down to go with my original idea so I just decided to try and capture what was there. I eliminated a lot of the lights and tried to focus on just a few. As often happens when painting light over dark, some of my lights darkened by the time Marc photographed this evening. I will go back in and touch those up tomorrow because they really helped move your eye through the painting.
DTL - 1/8/3 - Old Soul
Oh my gosh.... this was a speed painting. It was a really interesting swampy area that needed about three times the amount of time we had to paint it. AND there was a definite height disadvantage. I needed to be about a foot taller. I was standing on my tiptoes painting the whole time to be able to see over the grass into the swamp. I'm sure I looked ridiculous to anyone passing by. But I loved this old tree backlit by the sun. It seemed so graceful, as if it were dancing in the wind. Can you tell yet that I give everything a personality, even inanimate objects? I've had that habit since I was a little girl. The way things look or are shaped gives me just this feeling of how they would be if they came to life. I think this tree would be this graceful, wise old woman, beautiful with white hair and sparkling eyes.... she would give you a warm oatmeal cookie and a glass of milk and sit with you on the porch swing and tell wonderful stories.