I’ve spent the week painting with a group of Heathwood Hall high school students this week, pure pleasure!
We focused on painting the landscape outside with a painting in the morning, turn the easel at lunch, and a painting in the afternoon.
It was wonderful working with fellow artists Scotty Peek, Brian Rego, and Dylan Critchfield-Sales. But I loved seeing the students explore their campus in a new way.
Heathwood sits just outside the city in the midst of huge fields edge by pine woods running down to the Congaree River. So picturesque views abound, but we also painted the quirky corners of the campus.
When you paint the world around you, you get to know it in a new and intimate way.
Proust said, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
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.
A warm fall day means mist rising off the ground as soon as the sun goes down. Wisps and waves of mist float across open fields and pastures overtaking everything in its path. They seem to meander every which way.
When I was a child, those mists were scary things, the things of ghost stories like the Will O’ The Wisp. They can still raise the hair on the back of my neck. One of those liminal moments in nature.