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.
Where to begin.... I had a teaching session scheduled today from 12 - 4 pm and then had to take our old dog to the vet so I had to get all my paintings done before 11 am. So with that and much more swirling around my brain, we set the alarm for 5:45 and were set up and ready to paint at 6:45. Physically, I was set up and ready to paint. Mentally, not so much. To say I fought it today would be putting it mildly. Ever had one of those days that if something could go sideways it did? That was my day in a nutshell. I pushed through it all but it was an uphill battle all the way. There were a couple of times when I wanted to pick up my easel and painting and throw it in the marsh.
I thought about this morning the rest of the day and was telling my student about it this afternoon. We all have bad days, those days that just start out wrong and can't seem to get back on track. But usually I can paint anyway. Get out of my day to day stuff and into painting mode. Today I couldn't. But there are things that I did wrong. I made some bad painting composition decisions... and ignored that voice in my head that said don't do it. Several times I tried to force the painting and that never works and even though I KNOW that, I did it anyway. I let myself feel the pressure of being rushed and I was thinking too much about everything else I had to do today and not thinking enough about painting. I got frustrated and that made everything worse. Some things we don't have control over but there are a lot of things we do control. One of my kid's elementary school teachers always told the kids, it's not what happens, it's how you respond to it. I did not respond well today.
I'm glad today is over and done. Learned my lessons. And I am looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow to try again.
DTL 1/9/1 Morning Glory Gold
Painted just before the sunrise the marsh and sky were ablaze in shades of yellow and orange. We were low on panels this morning and only had white ones. I really wanted to be painting this on a toned surface. Trying to cover that much of a white panel so quickly in order to capture the color was hard. That was my first battle, the second would come when I dipped my brush into white by accident and painted a wide swath of color across the marsh. I scraped it but should have taken the Gamsol to it instead. That bad decision resulted in mushy opaque color and then I had to do more repair. Have you ever noticed how an accidental decision can lead to a bad decision in an effort to save time? And even when you know you shouldn't do something, you do it anyway? That was me today.
DTL - 1/9/2 - Quiet Pond
This was a beautiful little area beside me lit up by the rising sun. I loved the darkness of the marsh grass and old cedars that the sun hadn't touched yet, against the brighter grasses in back. The water in the pond was this milky shade of blue which was nice in contrast to all of the bold color everywhere else.
DTL - 1/9/3 - Simply Serene
This is the third painting on this panel. I had a painting of trees and marsh about three quarters of the way done and just hated it so I wiped it. Then I started another of the marsh and hated it too. So once again I scraped it off (by this time I had one of those toned boards I had been wanting all along) There were a few clouds making their way across the sky and I decided to try again and just try to keep it simple. Really, I am not sure my brain was working well enough at this point to do anything complicated. Tomorrow is another day!
If you just read Dottie's recap of this morning's early out, then I don't need to repeat too much about it. I will say that I am always surprised at how much I prefer to paint what is momentary, sunrises, storms, and other very brief weather events, than I like painting long, drawn out, less dramatic times and events. This morning was perfect in my mind.
MH - 1/9/1 - 7:00am East
The first light of the day at about 6:45 got my blood flowing and by 7:15am, I was almost done with this one, the first painting looking straight into the eastern sky. It's pretty simple as a painting, but it's an emotional reaction, mostly painted in the darkness of dawn before an actual sun moved far enough above the earth's surface for us to see. The immediacy of these kind of paintings feels vital, makes me feel like I am really saying something personal.
MH - 1/9/2 - 7:30am West
At this point of the morning, we were still standing in the shadow of pre-dawn, the morning sun just beginning to toss light onto the distant marsh, where it's rays didn't meet vertical resistance. What I LOVED about this view was the dark masses of the marsh grass, and middle distance tree and shrub line, against the lit distance. Rich color, dramatic lighting, textures that are complicated but also delicate, makes for very good painting. I need to pay more attention to straight horizon lines! Out here in the coastal region were marshes are all around us, horizon lines really matter, even if... in the painting they're not much more than a little color or value shift of a line. If you get too involved in other parts of the painting without thinking about them, you end up with a sloping horizon. Maybe a small T-square is needed?!
MH - 1/9/3 - 8:45am Pond
I stayed right where I was, looked a little to the left and found this composition. The tree is a little too centered, but I seem to be doing that in a lot of my studies lately. Something to pay more attention to. Taking on this project to paint a few paintings a day, every day for a month, was partly thought of to help get us back outside painting, rather than being inside painting in the studio all of the time. I'll tell you what though, painting outside is an activity that requires frequent practice. The differences between studio painting and painting from life really show up when you haven't been outside much recently. Since starting our month long painting venture, I'm finding that there are basic principles that are still being overwhelmed by being outside painting. More to work on, the never ending life of a painter!