Sometimes when you make a painting, there’s something left unsaid, some part of the mystery of earth, water and sky that still needs to find expression.
That’s what I found happening with the painting of Wise Lake from Saturday. Even though I said I was done with the Congaree for a while, I really wasn’t. It was nagging at me.
And what was nagging was that I wanted to capture in one painting that feeling of the ephemeral nature of the swamp, that it’s both earth, water and sky all at the same time. And night is when that is the most obvious.
So I had to go back to the Congaree today and try to create the feeling of the swamp at night – the eerie reflections, the shifting lights, the fractured moonlight and the thickness of the air and water.
The tall loblolly pines in the picnic area at Congaree National Park cast long patterns of shadows across a deep carpet of pine needles. I painted this same spot back in January when the only things in the forest with leaves were the pines and hollies. It’s as if someone dropped a curtain on the distant trees.
The ridge above the Congaree floodplain was ablaze with light and shadow with the distant lower trees catching the light as well. The tall young pines shade an open floor covered in pinestraw and hickory leaves, perfect for reflecting the warm light.
$235 (unframed) + $10 shipping and handling in the Continental US
Winter in the swamp is one of my favorite times of year, and it really doesn’t have that much to do with the lack of mosquitoes, although that’s a definite plus.
With the leaves off of most of the trees, the entire color system changes from the Oz-like green of midsummer to gentler one of tans, greys, purples and blues interspersed with shots of warm color.
For the next several months I’m serving as the artist-in-residence at the Congaree National Park. Follow along as I explore the park in more detail, paint plein air as often as I can, and work on developing a new mural for the Visitors Center.
Happy New Year! And thank you so much for being part of my artistic journey!!