Summer Greens

Summer Greens

“Summer Greens”, oil, 6 x 6”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Summer Greens”, oil, 6 x 6”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

We’re deep in the midst of summer greens here in the Lowcountry!

I haven’t been able to paint outside for a month, the longest I’ve gone without it for ages.

But I headed out to paint this week with friends.

It was a gorgeous morning after almost a week of constant rain! (Note: the heavens opened up again almost as soon as I got into the car to leave.)

I definitely felt more myself being back outside working! I’m fascinated by all the scientific data out showing the impact being outside has on our health. Great article here from the Business Insider, of all places. I was really struck by this sentence: “Among office workers, even a view of nature out a window is associated with lower stress and higher job satisfaction.”

“Summer Greens” on the easel

“Summer Greens” on the easel

Certainly all of the greens in the park we were in gave us a chance to forest bathe. Have I convinced you to spend some time outside?

“Summer Greens” is part of the GREENS COLLECTION that will be released July 10th.

Tybee Afternoon Light

Tybee Afternoon Light

| TYBEE AFTERNOON LIGHT |
Oil on panel
5 x 7”

$325.00 (unframed) + $10.00 shipping

The south end of Tybee Island gives wide open views of the ocean in one direction, and a row of barrier islands in the other. I painted here on a beautiful warm spring afternoon, perfect painting weather.

 

The Scent of the Lowcountry

The Scent of the Lowcountry

The Scent of the Lowcountry

6 x 6″

Oil on panel 

I’ve always relaxed and let me breath out a notch when I get back to the Lowcountry and can smell that rich earthy aroma of the mud.

Everybody in my very large and extended family on the island said “puff mud” when I was growing up.

I didn’t hear “pluff” mud, the actual name, until I lived in Charleston in the 70s.

An “L” isn’t the only thing my family has dropped!

So puff mud, really pluff mud, is a very fine grained sediment that’s completely saturated with water.

It’s the mud along the edges of the creeks and rivers here. You can sink up to your hips in it if you don’t know where to step and it smells wonderful (or horrible if you don’t like it), like the memory of everything that’s lived in the marsh.

But if you hold the Lowcountry in your heart, it’s the smell of coming home.

From the Lowcountry Blues Collection

Collection Release Date: April 30th (VIP Preview for My Email List on April 29th)

Marsh, Late Afternoon

Marsh, Late Afternoon

Marsh, Late Afternoon

8 x 10″

Oil on panel 

From The Lowcountry Collection by Mary Bentz Gilkerson, inspired by sights and scents of the South Carolina/Georgia Lowcountry, a magical rich area full of captivating odors – salty air, hot sun on warm cedars and pines, and the fecund rich tang of puff mud…

$750.00 (unframed) + $20.00 shipping

 

Marsh, Late Afternoon

The Lowcountry: Marsh, Late Afternoon

I got stopped dead in my tracks by a question not long ago.

“What’s the low country?”

For anyone raised below the Fall Line in South Carolina, the question is unimaginable.

The Lowcountry (one word, capitalized) is a magical rich area full of sights and scents that you can’t find anywhere else on earth.

The scent of the Lowcountry… A captivating odor of salty air, hot sun on warm cedars and pines, and the fecund rich tang of puff mud…

A land full of water, creeks and rivers that mark the time by the rise and fall of the tides.

Sea islands that march from Charleston to Savannah facing the winds of the Atlantic.

A land full of ghosts, a liminal place where the separation between the worlds gets thin at times.

Pat Conroy captured it perfectly in The Prince of Tides, “To describe our growing up in the low country of South Carolina, I would have to take you to the marsh on a spring day, flush the great blue heron from its silent occupation, scatter marsh hens as we sink to our knees in mud, open you an oyster with a pocketknife and feed it to you from the shell and say, ‘There. That taste. That’s the taste of my childhood.’ ”

That taste of the Lowcountry has been in my mouth and in my studio since January.

There’s no where better to catch the Lowcountry flavor than Edisto Island and Savannah, and I’ve been painting up a storm in both places.

Stay tuned this coming month to watch all the goodness unfold as the paintings start peeking out of the studio!

Winter Sunset, Minervaville // SOLD

Winter Sunset, Minervaville // SOLD

“Winter Sunset, Minervaville”, oil, 5 x 7”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Winter Sunset, Minervaville”, oil, 5 x 7”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

$325 (unframed) + $15 shipping

Today is the shortest day of the year, and the longest night.

Winter Solstice.

I love the winter light, but not the cold, so I’m celebrating the return of the light.

And lots more beautiful winter light before the return of spring.