The squirrels are busy this morning.  Running and jumping through the tree limbs beside the porch as if auditioning for the circus.  Tybee, my dog, and I are wondering what they know that we do not.  She is as upset by their activity, as she is intrigued.  The crashing sound is amazingly loud for critters so small.

Other than that, the morning is quiet.  No birds … maybe because the squirrels are so crazy.  And only the distant chirp of a cricket.  The wind has picked up, breathing new life into the morning, bringing in the tide.

As I stand beside the marsh painting, the breeze threatens to blow over my easel. It carries with it a cool dampness, full of the promise of rain. As if it is sent straight from the clouds that are sweeping in from the west. The tide is up, not quite a flood tide, but close. The water ripples with the wind, small waves with tiny whitecaps chase each other through the quickly disappearing marsh grass.

Between the glare of the sun to the east and the darkness of the clouds to the west, there is plenty of drama in front of me. The marsh turns a bright gold and the water a dark gray. Or maybe a blue-green? Or is it a gray-green? The color defies any attempts that I make to define it. Changing constantly.

Trying to put down what I see, is a challenge. It is at once exhilarating and frustrating. My hair whips around my face, defying any attempts to be contained and it is a very real reminder of how hard it is to convert constant movement in the landscape into a still painting.

I think of paintings sometimes as a snapshot of a moment. But really, a painting is composed of thousands of snapshots combined in a semi chaotic way somewhere in my mind, to create a memory of the moments that I remember. Sometimes I can catch more of the moments and create a painting that comes really close to what I remember, but more often than not, I catch just enough of it to try and jog my memory. And I am usually o.k. with that. Because what I see and what I feel about the landscape in front of me is always going to be impossible to fully capture in a painting. It is always going to be just elusive enough to keep me trying to get it. Trying to paint it better. Trying to put down how it “feels”.

It will always be the chase, not the catch.

Gouache sketch. October 26, 9a.m.

Posted by

I am a landscape painter living and painting on the Georgia coast. Painting and writing is a way to reach out and share my observations, my experiences and my inspirations with you. It is how I tell my story and the story of the wild, beautiful landscape where I live.

3 thoughts on “Changes

  1. Beautiful inspirational thoughts Dottie! I’ve never been to your area of Georgia…but know it’s beautiful from your paintings! Thank you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s