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Chasing Clouds

Chasing Clouds

“Chasing Clouds”, 5 x 7”, oil on archival panel © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Chasing Clouds”, 5 x 7”, oil on archival panel © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

Ever watched rain moving in chasing smaller clouds in front of it? Almost as if the clouds are chasing each other?

That’s what was happening late on the afternoon I painted this. I really had very little time to paint before the rain drops started falling.

But it was time enough.

Perched on the edge of the parking lot at the entrance to Ft. Pulaski, I put up my easel in the shelter of my car.

And painted quickly to capture those storm clouds.

The spectacular sky made up for having to move fast to outrun the incoming rain.

Do you have a favorite place to watch the storms roll in?

Do you have a favorite place to watch the storms roll in? I’d love to hear about yours in the comments!

“Chasing Clouds” is available and part of the Lowcountry Light Collection. Check out the rest of the whole collection.

Outgoing Storm Bands

Outgoing Storm Bands

“Outgoing Storm Bands”, 5 x 7”, oil on archival panel, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Outgoing Storm Bands”, 5 x 7”, oil on archival panel, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

Have you ever watched outgoing storm bands race across the sky after one passes through?

I spent time back in September, storm season here, at one of my favorite spots for catching the sky and marsh…

The huge stretch of marsh bounded by Ft. Pulaski, Bull River and Tybee Island.

The perfect place to watch the clouds run.

And run they did.

Those storm bands were all we got from Ida as she came past out to sea, but they made for quite a display, even a day later.

I remember my dad telling me as a child that it was nature’s way of making up for the storms…

Spectacular skies afterward.

And he was right.

“Outgoing Storm Bands” is available and part of the Lowcountry Light Collection. Check out the rest of the whole collection.

Golden Hour, Tybee

Golden Hour, Tybee

“Golden Hour, Tybee”, oil, 5 x 8”

“Golden Hour, Tybee”, oil, 5 x 8”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

The golden hour, painted at one of my happy places back at the end of summer…the huge expanse of marsh across from Ft. Pulaski.

The golden hour is that short period right before sunset when it looks like the whole world has been brushed with gold leaf.

A profoundly fleeting moment…

It was a bit cooler and drier because Hurricane Ida’s remnants had blasted through the afternoon. before.

But still lots of gorgeous cloud remnants bending over the marsh.

One of the reasons I love that spot is the view in all directions. By parking my car in the Ft. Pulaski lot, I can get a view of the huge expanse of marsh grass, small creeks, and sky just across the highway.

And the other direction? The South Channel of the Savannah River and the distant ocean.

And did I mention the scent of pluff mud??

“Golden Hour, Tybee” is available and part of the Lowcountry Light Collection. Check out the rest of the whole collection.

Spanish Hammock, Summer Storm

Spanish Hammock, Summer Storm

“Spanish Hammock, Summer Storm”, framed in a white floater, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

Inspired by a small plein air painting done on Tybee Island last year, “Spanish Hammock, Summer Storm” is a bit bigger studio painting, 18 x 24”.

“Spanish Hammock, Tybee”, oil, 4 x 6”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

I kept coming back to the memory of racing clouds casting huge moving patterns of light and shadows across both Spanish Hammock and the distant marsh on the back of Tybee Island.

“Spanish Hammock, Summer Storm”, oil, 18 x 24”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Spanish Hammock, Summer Storm”, oil, 18 x 24”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

But it was the clouds themselves I found most fascinating.

All that big movement that comes in the sky just before a storm blows in.

And the edge of the marsh is the perfect place to watch those forming weather patterns, with the wide open canvas of the marsh below to reflect back what’s happening above.

Spanish Hammock, Tybee Island

Spanish Hammock, Tybee Island

“Spanish Hammock, Tybee”, oil, 4 x 6”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Spanish Hammock, Tybee”, oil, 4 x 6”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

Racing clouds cast strong patterns of light and shadows across both Spanish Hammock and the distant marsh on Tybee Island. But it was the clouds themselves I found most fascinating that day.

All that big movement that comes in the sky just before a storm blows in.

The only thing more fascinating to watch than a storm brewing over the marsh is one over the ocean.

I painted this first in the summer of 2020, but there was something that kept bugging me.

“Spanish Hammock, Tybee”, oil, 4 x 6”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Spanish Hammock, Tybee”, oil, 4 x 6”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

Being back in that same spot this summer during a flood tide helped me “fix” it, to get the feeling of land caught between water and sky.

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