“Steamboat Landing, Dawn”, oil, 5 x 7″, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson
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Edisto Island’s Steamboat Landing is a very quiet place at dawn. Even the water in the river is still without a breeze moving across its surface.
I taught a plein air workshop down on the island this past week and had a wonderful time with some lovely people chasing the light across the island’s marshes and creeks. We headed out yesterday morning before dawn so we could be all set up to go as the light came up.
The site was, as its name implies, an old steamboat landing, the primary connector to the mainland and Charleston as recently as my grandmother’s childhood. With the “new” bridges the landing became obsolete and was taken over by the state natural resources department for use as a public boat landing. A pier for fishing juts out into Steamboat Creek making the perfect place to set up shop to catch the sunrise.
Looking northeast along the creek’s bend meant the sky was aglow while the trees and marsh were still in deep shadow, a stark silhouette against all of that light.
It’s so worth it to get up early and watch the sunrise, whether you’re a painter or not. There’s something so moving about the return of the light every day.