Below the Corn

Below the Corn

“Below the Corn”, oil, 4 x 6″, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Below the Corn”, oil, 4 x 6″, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

It’s an odd feeling to drive a narrow road between two cornfields with the sea of green stalks rising up over you. Almost overnight the corn in the fields is taller than the car, almost taller than me.

The line of trees in the distance rises up out of the corn, but looks like it’s lifting itself up to clear the stalks.

$235 (unframed) + $10 shipping and handling in the Continental US

Backroad in Sun and Shadow

Backroad in Sun and Shadow

"Backroad in Sun and Shadow", oil, 6 x 4", © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Backroad in Sun and Shadow”, oil, 6 x 4″, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

There’s something magical about summer, whether it’s the longer days, rich greens, trips to the beach, or the smell after a thunderstorm.

The lightning bugs have been plentiful this year, whizzing around the yard at dusk, dancing little lights.

One of my favorite detours this time of year is a narrow little country backroad in Lower Richland. Right now it’s  a deep green tunnel full of intervals of light and shadow.

And then, just before the bend in the road, at the section where trees have been cut over on the right, there’s a sudden flood of light across the road and a small vista opens up.

I hope you’re having plenty of time this summer to enjoy the lightning bugs, or fireflies as they’re called elsewhere!

 

Fall, Afternoon Light

Fall, Afternoon Light

"Fall, Afternoon Light", oil, 9 x 12", © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Fall, Afternoon Light”, oil, 9 x 12″, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

 

I painted this standing in the field back in November when the fall color on the leaves was at it’s peak.

It’s as if the natural world goes into color overdrive in preparation for the winter’s rest. It was a warm day with lots of changes in the cloud patterns and light.

A late afternoon shower blew in and brought the plein air part of the process to a quick close, so I had to finish up in the studio.

We’re in late winter (for South Carolina) now and there are starting to be subtle hints of spring. These transitional seasons appeal to me so much more than the more extreme – winter and summer.

Watching the patterns of light and color of a place as the seasons and weather change and shift is fascinates me. It’s like seeing a slow motion film or painting over time

I’m curious… is there a season or time of year that’s more beautiful to you, that seems to speak to your soul more? How would you describe that?

Early Fall Afternoon

Early Fall Afternoon

“Early Fall Afternoon”, oil, 6 x 8”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Early Fall Afternoon”, oil, 6 x 8”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

$475 (unframed) + $15 shipping and handling

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year to paint outside. The light is spectacular and the temperature has usually cooled down enough that the paint isn’t melting on the palette. Literally!

The day that I painted this one had almost every imaginable lighting condition over the course of just a couple of hours. With a fast moving front pushing in, the clouds raced across the sky.

Winter Mist Rising

Winter Mist Rising

“Winter Mist Rising", oil, 5 x 7", © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Winter Mist Rising”, oil, 5 x 7″, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

A mist rises over the hayfields in the cool of the evening after a warm afternoon. Here in the Deep South we can have a 30-40 degree difference between day and night even in winter.

As the cool air hits the warm earth, especially out in the open fields, mist rises and moves across the land like smoke, creating blue and lavender blurred lines.

$325 (unframed) + $10 shipping and handling

Minervaville Road, Fall Shadows

Minervaville Road, Fall Shadows

“Minervaville Road, Fall Shadows”, oil, 6 x 8″, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Minervaville Road, Fall Shadows”, oil, 6 x 8″, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

 
$475 (unframed) + $15 shipping and handling

The clear light of fall afternoons creates strong patterns of light and dark, sunlight and shadows.

This small stand of trees is the only one along this stretch of Minervaville Road. In spite of their small size they cast long low shadows across the road and over into the soy bean fields on the other side.

Just beyond, the huge expanse of fields is brilliantly lit, flooded with orange, gold autumn light.

The shadows below the trees are deep purple, casting patterns of violet and gold that say fall to me as much as the changing colors of the leaves.