Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Charleston SC Trip

On Monday Feb 20, 2012 I packed up and headed for Charleston, SC for a multi-painting trip.

Monday was a blustery chilly day.  First stop was Shem Creek to paint some shrimp boats

As you can see by this photo, even if the boats don't move they will still rise and fall with the tide. There is quite a change in just 3 hours.  So the moral of the story is don't correct your boat drawing once you have started, just as you normally wouldn't chase the light.

His and Hers, the name of this boat.  12 x 16 oil on gesso masonite panel, I titled it "His and Hers Vacation" since it is the off season and would think she is enjoying herself! 

"Last Light on Shem Creek" 8 x 10 oil on linen wood panel.  20 minute of working time on this one and finished in the studio. Enjoyed a beautiful sunset but was too tired to paint it since I had gotten up a 3am and was starved!

Day 2
I made a trip to Folly Beach to paint a sunrise but slept to late and by the time I got there the light was all washed out and everything looked so brown.  My wife always complains when I bring home "brown" paintings.  I tell her I painted what I saw!  O well I have stacks of them at home.  They don't sell to well.

So I kept driving and driving and ended up Sullivan's Island and Ft. Moutrie.

 "Path to Beach" 12 x 16 oil on gesso panel, Sullivan's Island 2pm.  Met a nice couple next door and their friend from Cape Cod  who was an art teacher.  He told me of a wonderful old fish house on the water near 18 1/2 station st.

By the time I got over there to set up and paint the light was waning and It was a bit dreary though for about 20 minutes there appeared this very subtle moody light right before sunset.  This was a quickie about 45 min max and then finished in the studio.  I added some foreground weeds and rocks though it is really about the beautiful reflections in the water and the fleeting evening light.  12 x 16 oil on gesso panel titled "The Ole Fish House"

Day 3

Each Day was warmer and more pleasant, around 70 this day.  On the porch of the ship wreck restrurant and painted with a local painter from Mt. Pleasant.  Her name was Elizabeth.  This is a 12 x 16 oil, again at high tide the fall of the boat was dramatic.  These boats were almost sitting in the mud when it bottomed out.  The ship is the Megan Elaine from the back side. 

After lunch and driving around a while I ended up back at the shrimp dock on Shem creek about 2:30pm.  This is Capt. Tang which has very pale blue trim, not the color I would have picked but had it had an interesting look in back light.  This was my favorite painting of the trip as I was able to overcome many challenges  keeping all the shadows light and keeping the sky and background darker.  I felt I was able to capture the dramatic light with a fairly narrow value scheme.  The whole thing was kind of a seat of the pants-er-alla prima.  It was done on a 14 x 12 gesso panel.

If you were working only from a photo.... this is what you get!

I stayed at the James Island County Park across the river from Charleston.  I had it pretty good as a tent camper with electricity and water at the site, not to mention hot showers at the bath house.  I had lightning fast wifi for the ipad, a lamp, and electric coffee grinder for my home roast!  And No Rain or mosquitoes! 

Day 4 

"67 Meeting Street" 14 x 12 oil, or I think that was the address of this place.  Charleston is so beautiful and historic.  I talked to the owner for a while.  She said it was built in 1740 something and had 4 floors until a canon ball demolished the 4th level during the civil war.  I stopped here because the way the morning light was illuminating the flowers and plants.  It was quite enjoyable to paint this scene and talk with many people on the street.

36 Meeting St, is the white house with the flag.  I painted here during the afternoon after visiting with Dee Beard Dean at her beautiful new Gallery at 29 Broad St.  I also had a wonderful discussion with a couple who was staying at the 36 Meeting St. house which is now a bed and breakfast.  The lady told me she rented an apartment there 50 years ago.  I asked her how things were different back then.  She said it was nice then too though there are not as many cockroaches today!

I had planned to spend another night and paint Friday but was a bit homesick for the family so I headed back on Thursday night.

June 1, 2012 opens an exhibit of the Plein Air Painters of the Southeast which will exhibit 50 some works at 4 galleries in Charleston.  I will be included in this group show.  Many of us from the group will be painting in the Charleston area the week of Memorial day prior to the opening.