… I remember someone saying that to me when I first tried to leave the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I had just finished college and wanted to move to a big city, and I did. Even though I was gone, I always found myself planning another road-trip home to see my parents: making sure that I brought my camera and had a plan to get lost.
I moved to Baltimore, Pensacola, Virginia Beach. Now I’m back. There is something very special about this place. It seems that no one but the locals realized it. It used to be common place to see bumper stickers touting: “There’s NO life west of the Chesapeake Bay.”
When I was younger I wanted concerts, museums and crowds. Now I want country drives, kayaking and bike rides (usually with my headphones or stereo blaring). So, here I am again. And I’m going to enjoy this slow life as long as I can.
Here are 3 paintings inspired by life on the Eastern Shore.
When I first moved to Baltimore I really loved the hustle and bustle that you can experience in a city. After a year, however, the novelties of traffic-jams and constant sound got to me and I was missing the serenity of nature. Thankfully, some friends of mine told me about a good hiking spot. Over the next 2 years I ended up exploring this new place in and out. I remember hiking so much that the soles of my boots literally fell off and I had to tie them on with shoelaces to get back.
There were moments, during those times, that the reward for the hike was SO worth the work it took to get there. This was one of those days.
Today I finished layer 2.
Last night it dropped down to 53 degrees. While I don’t like winter all that much, I do like hot chocolate, slippers and hoodies. Saturday I started working on a new painting. Sunday I took the day off and had some tea. Today I worked on the same piece for about an hour and a half.
Winter in Assateague
Christian is still sleeping, but I am taking a break because my studio is losing its natural light. boo. Over the last two days I was able to put the 1st layer down of two new 6×6 paintings. Both are inspired by Elliot Island, MD.
Yesterday I started the waterways image and today the country road. I am learning to be more bold in my paint thickness. This will help my efficiency in this series, I think. I can still remember my painting teacher telling me that I should lay it on. I guess back then I was more cautious about mistakes. I am really trying my best to get the values correct from the beginning- this allows me the confidence to paint thicker strokes.
Here is what I did yesterday and today:
NapTime Series, 1.5 hrs each
Today I spent a little over 2 hours painting. That is about the norm for the last 2 weeks or so. It’s been so nice to get the brushes wet, turn on my Fleet Foxes Pandora station and disappear into the studio for a little bit. It’s amazing what a couple hours of focused art can do for a person.
For me, since I paint landscapes primarily, it is an opportunity to focus on the beauty that is around me. Sometimes days, weeks and years seem to fly by. With painting, however, it is available to capture a single moment in time- and hold it there. It’s kind of like getting the opportunity to breathe in that fresh air again.
In the last 2 weeks I have started 7 new paintings and completed 3. It’s been a great challenge to stay motivated, focused and energetic. Here is what I have so far:
This week I have already completed another 6×6 small work that isn’t pictured here. It will be fun to see what I can finish in the limited NapTime that I have.