Monday, February 11, 2013

The Marshes of Glynn

I had a magical morning a year ago. I was with Captain Lawrence Piper, fishing guide, who took me out in the early morning in very foggy conditions. As the fog lifted in the morning, a thunderstorm was forming over the marsh off in the distance. As the thunder rolled, the birds were completely unaffected, silent in the landscape.

Morning Sunrise, Jekyll Island, GA

I attended my 45th high school reunion on Jekyll Island in the fall of 2012 and thankfully one of my classmates captured this inspiring scene one morning.

Old wind blown oak trees on Jekyll and on the coast of Georgia are always accompanied by other trees around them and lean in mass to the prevailing winds over time. This poor tree was stripped of its friends when the dunes were leveled for a run down motel now on the site. It has become a sad reminder of man's lack of appreciation for and knowledge of the ecosystems of the coastal region.

The Shrimp Dock

Growing up on the coast of Georgia offered many opportunities for poking around docks. At the time Brunswick, GA was considered the Shrimp Capital of the World and over 600 shrimp boats were docked there. I'd often be in someone's boat passing the shrimp docks and see a scene like this one, a lonely skiff, often made by renowned Brunswick boat builder Oscar Harris, resting waiting for the tide to come in.

I'd like to acknowledge one of my favorite painters, Susan Renee Lammers for the inspiration of her paintings.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Fernandina Beach

This is my first completed oil painting and heck, if nothing else, I was proud I finished it. It's of the beach house we stayed for a week with our friends Robin, Michael and their pooch Libby. The log cabin beach house was a substitute, l must admit a rather less grand one, for the Grange on Cumberland Island. I'd painted one earlier oil with my distinguished painter friend Jack Hannula (President, Arts Club of Washington, DC) and he'd explained to me that the brush is at one end and the paint goes on the brush. 'But Jack' I said, 'how do you clean the brush'? His patience along with my other painter friend Chris Sherry have helped to free me up and understand oils a little.

Bad Dog Dock

Cumberland Island has a magical hold on me. After many years of visiting Cumberland Island at the Grange I've come to appreciate so much of the subtlety of the place. This painting of the Grange dock, lovingly referred to as the Bad Dog Dock, has been my place for reading, relaxation, and watching the weather, the fiddler crabs, the tide, alligators, beaching porpoises, seaplanes, nuclear submarines, mega yachts and horses grazing in the marsh. I've watched the marsh change colors over the seasons, and a horse die after becoming bogged in the marsh mud. I've seen raccoons, sharks, catfish, jellyfish, trout, stingrays, Pink Ibises, Great Blue Herons, Wood Storks, buzzards, white herons, green herons, possums, all with a cold beverage in my hand and friends gathered for the show. This painting is an ode to emptiness. The emptiness of the dock, never to see it's loving and many friends again.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Bridge in Deep Dene Park was completed recently as a donation to the OLPA (Olmsted Linear Park Alliance) auction to benefit the restoration and continued maintenance of one of the nations greatest treasures. The Linear Parks designed by the most famous landscape architect to have ever practiced Fredrick Law Olmsted is indeed a triumph of landscape design. Over two miles long and located in Historic Druid Hills in Atlanta it is one of only a few places Olmsted designed in the south including the Biltmore in Asheville, NC. Once neglected and actually slated for destruction by the Georgia Department of Transportation in the 1980's, the parks became a rallying cry for the neighborhood and some 15 years later they have been completely restored and provide the last complete linear park he designed still in existence. Many new amenities have been added over the years all included in the original design but never completed until now which provide bucolic spaces for the public to sit and relax or walk its entire length.

Deep Dene is the easternmost segment of the parks and the only completely natural space. Olmsted in his design wisdom realized that this area was a major drainage catchment and instead of paving around it let it remain natural to provide absorption for run-off. It to this day still functions as designed and has been updated to work even better.

This painting utilizing gauche and watercolor contains over 12 washes and I experimented with a new technique to create the woodland effect. A few more tries and I think it'll be a wonderful technique.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Seaside, FL

Here's a little painting I did a couple of years ago after a visit to Seaside in Florida. For those of you that have never visited Seaside it is the first really good example of New Urbanism planning in the United States and although it's meant to be a relaxing holiday beach retreat it has become a huge tourist attraction. Almost any day you'll find busloads of tourists milling around the place viewing the quite interesting architecture and enjoying the open space and beach.

This little house characterizes the 'beach' style of houses at Seaside. Although it seems strange to have a small tower on a house at the beach it harkens back to the day when sea captains built such a place on their homes so their wives could stand and view the harbour to welcome them back home after a long voyage. Only too often the sea captains would not return so these are sadly referred to as 'the widows peak' in coastal lore.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Stay tuned more paintings to come!

Friday, November 13, 2009

My latest creation. Yes, I know I haven't done a painting in a while but I ran out of subjects and decided that I needed to recharge my batteries before trying another one. When it ceases to be pleasurable stop and wait, it'll get fun again!

And this one was fun! Sequoia was the US Presidential yacht for many years and is well known as the boat on which FDR hosted Churchill. No longer owned by the US, it was sold by President Carter and has had a very interesting life. Restored in the last number of years it is now harbored in downtown Washington as a tourist attraction and rented for special occasions. Built by Trumpy Yachts in 1925, it is considered one of the finest of American yacht designs with its spirited bow and grand salon that hosted JFK's last birthday party.

This painting posed several design and painting challenges. First was getting the yacht in the correct position on the paper to allow for the wonderful sunset. With a burst of sun shining through the yacht seems to glisten in the sun while waiting to dock.

Also, I had a funny experience with the water, which if you've followed my blog you know it's been one of my painting challenges. But this time, I painted it, didn't like it, took a cloth and wiped it all off and voila' I loved the effect. So water, although you're not mastered yet, I'm still working on you.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Another of my European series Village Blau is set in France. You'll notice a primitive look to this. I'm trying as I go along to loosen up and not paint so tightly. This is an attempt to accomplish that. As a person trained in architecture it proves to be more of a task than I ever thought, too many years sitting in front of a computer doing CAD drawings mostly in straight precise lines. To simply do very imprecise drawings is almost anathema to me but I persist!