"Fall Rain Over Cotton Fields", oil, 4 x 6", © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Fall Rain Over Cotton Fields”, oil, 4 x 6″, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson


Paintings tell stories. Even when they’re not narratives.

I know that sounds odd coming from someone whose main subject is landscape, but here’s what I mean.

I’ve had a small stash of my daily paintings pulled out for the last month as I get my piece ready for Art Fields in April. I’m using the small paintings as studies for the different sections of the BIG painting (and it’s HUGE, but that’s for another day.)

All of these little jewels are from the fields around the Minervaville and Weston communities in Lower Richland, right outside of the city. They describe all kinds of weather at different times of day and seasons of the year.

And having them laid out in my studio made me realize that even though they’re landscapes, these little paintings tell a story. The story of the color created by the play of light across a landscape. The story changes as the light shifts.

And that’s what the BIG painting is all about.

I’ve gone back to the same fields over and over again, yet each one is different.

Because the painting is telling the story of color and light at a particular time on a particular day. My experience of the light and color.

And you want to know what the real magic is… the story continues and grows even after the painting goes to a new home.

Paintings don’t just tell the story of the artist.

They also tells the buyer’s story, the story of what that color and light means to them.

And that means that the story just keeps growing.

What story does the art in your home tell?

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