Congaree Waterfront

"Congaree Waterfront", oil, 9 x 12", © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Congaree Waterfront”, oil, 9 x 12″, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Congaree Waterfront”, oil, 9 x 12″, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

$900 + $20 shipping and handling

The view of the Congaree River from the edge of Riverfront Park in Columbia is spectacular. The river stretches wide below the footpath dotted with overlooks with benches and shade.

The folks taking my plein air workshop this weekend joined me in parking our equipment in one spot for the whole weekend and really going deep in observing the surrounding natural world. The weather cooperated in full, warm sunshine and cool breezes giving a variety of light and shadows that we could chase with our brushes and palette knives.

This was the first of the demo paintings that I did over the weekend, broken into two takes by the swift movement of the light. There is something magical about painting beside moving water. The air is charged, filled with the energy of the moving river, a constant rippling backdrop to the day.

I hope you’re out enjoying the return of spring or planning on doing that soon! Remember that you don’t have to be a trained artist to enjoy the pleasure of observing the natural world and recording it in your memory. Grab a notebook, a sketchbook or camera and head outdoors to record some observations and memories.

Let me know what you find in the comments below!

Congaree Riverfront in Progress

"Congaree Riverfront", in progress, oil, 9 x 12", © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Congaree Riverfront”, in progress, oil, 9 x 12″, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

I’m teaching a plein air workshop this weekend on the banks of the Congaree River in near perfect weather! Lots of sunshine, plenty of shade to paint in and cool breezes to hold down heat.

This is my demo in progress, waiting for the morning light tomorrow to finish it off.

Hope you are all having a beautiful weekend as well!!

Minervaville, Full Green

"Minervaville, Full Green", oil, 4 x 6", © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Minervaville, Full Green”, oil, 4 x 6″, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

$235 + $10 shipping and handling

Winter grains, I’m not sure whether it’s wheat or rye, creates a mass of almost obscene green in the fields along Minervaville. It’s a riotous green that’s much darker and more intense than the light yellow green of the new spring foliage in the woods.

The changes, both subtle and large, in the color and light are one of the things that I find most fascinating about painting the same landscape regularly. That’s what conveys “place” to me, not so much the geographic elements as the patterns of color and form.

Here are the same fields in late winter:

"First Green", oil, 6 x 8", © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“First Green”, oil, 6 x 8″, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

"Early Spring Glow", oil, 5 x 7", © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Early Spring Glow”, oil, 5 x 7″, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

 

Fan Cloud

"Fan Cloud", oil, 5 x 7", © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Fan Cloud”, oil, 5 x 7″, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

$325 + $10 shipping and handling

The other day as I was heading back into town from “Time with The Horse” this pattern of clouds presented itself on Minervaville Road. I don’t know enough about meteorology to know what type of cloud formation it actually is, but to me it was a fan cloud, and echoed the plowed rows in the fields with rows in the sky.

Does anyone know the actual name of this type of cloud??

Incoming Spring Storm

"Incoming Spring Storm", oil, 4 x 6", © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Incoming Spring Storm”, oil, 4 x 6″, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

$235 + $10 shipping and handling

An incoming storm casts interesting shadows across a fallow field waiting for spring planting. The empty field is such a great carrier of shadows and lights from both clouds and sun.

Spring Green Haze

"Spring Green Haze", oil, 4 x 6", © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Spring Green Haze”, oil, 4 x 6″, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

$235 + $10 shipping and handling

A soft haze of pale green is spreading across the fields as we finally have the sustained warmer weather that says, “Spring!” The system of color in the landscape is changing rapidly with dozens of different greens, roses and gold.