Evening Light, Edisto

Evening Light, Edisto

“Evening Light, Edisto”, oil, 12 x 16”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Evening Light, Edisto”, oil, 12 x 16”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

The SC Sea Islands are magical!

Just imagine broad wide open marshes flickering with reflected light from a myriad of tiny creeks running through them. Skies so wide open you can watch storms roll in from miles away.

And then there are the hundreds of live oak and moss covered back roads looping around those marshes, opening out to fields full of rich produce.

I’m heading out next week to paint plein air on one of the most beautiful of the Sea Islands, Edisto, just south of Charleston. This paradise has changed very little over the last 50 years, escaping much of the over-development of other coastal areas.

I grew up spending my summers on “The Island” and really look forward to sharing one of my favorite places on earth with other painters.

I’m looking forward to sharing some of next week’s paintings with y’all too!

You can find more paintings of Edisto Island here.

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

Distant Rain

Distant Rain

“Distant Rain”, oil, 5 x 5″, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Distant Rain”, oil, 5 x 5″, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

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

“The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy…” ~ John Muir

Summer storm clouds have a tendency to be dramatic with lots of upsweeping drama and downsweeping rain. As much as I love to watch summer storms, they can be intense and frightening as they release the energy built up from our heat.

The still point here was the slight hint of the house behind the tall grass. I was drawn to t’s simple geometry as a foil to the roiling sky.

It’s not a rock, but it provides an anchor through it’s strict geometry juxtaposed against the movement of the sky. Those anchor points are a good thing.

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!

 

Heathwood, Spring Morning

Heathwood, Spring Morning

“Heathwood, Spring Morning”, oil, 8 x 10”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Heathwood, Spring Morning”, oil, 8 x 10”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

Early morning spring light looking out over the fields surrounding Heathwood Hall.

Thoreau said, “One attraction in coming to the woods to live was that I should have leisure and opportunity to see the spring come in.”

One of the joys of painting outside from observation is seeing the seasons change, and in this case, seeing it explode before our eyes as the week went on.

Soft greens in the trees show the new leaf buds getting ready to pop. There was a slight haze as the sun was still pretty low on the horizon and we were facing almost east. It softened the distant woods but left the nearer grasses and fence line more vibrant and crisp.

 

 

$750 (unframed) + $20 shipping and handling

Heathwood Fields, Morning Haze

Heathwood Fields, Morning Haze

“Heathwood Fields, Morning Haze”, oil, 8 x 10”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Heathwood Fields, Morning Haze”, oil, 8 x 10”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

Morning haze blended with the smoke from a controlled burn to create perfect diffused light.

A cool but beautiful day to be painting outside with artist friends and a great group of high school students at Heathwood Hall.

The school sits on a large tract of land on the edge of downtown Columbia, just a few minutes from the center of the city, seems light years away in terms of how immediately rural the surroundings are.