Salt Marshes

Salt Marsh 5.5″ x 8″ – oil on canvas, mounted on hardboard

Oh my, it’s 11:30 pm and although I’ve spent part of today finishing up homework for my watercolor class, I didn’t get a complete painting finished yet, so I went to Wet and selected one of the images presented for the weekend all-media event. In this case, a photo of a salt marsh in New Brunswick. This was painted very quickly, which is probably good practice for being decisive about color, value and shape and not to tarry too much, nor fiddle around with a lot of small marks. Do you feel that way about art? Or about something else you enjoy practicing?

I’ve been talking with different people about the daily painting practice and whether or not it’s a burden, an obligation that is kept whether or not we want to. For me, it’s been a joyful experience. I can imagine that it’s the way long-time dedicated runners feel about their sport – you feel incomplete if you DON’T paint.


  1. Cin
    January 27, 2007

    working fast seemms to suit you well, this is a such a beautiful little study, the golds of the marsh grasses just glow!

  2. TeriC
    January 27, 2007

    I really like this. So quiet and reflection and so salt marshy.

  3. wagonized
    January 27, 2007

    There is a sense of being complete when one draws or paints every day — i certainly feel that way as well. It is like reaffirming our identity on a daily basis. How therapeutic.
    I love these tones. What baffles me is that you manage to find the right ones even when you work fast.

  4. Jo Castillo
    January 27, 2007

    I am not one of the daily painting artists. But I certainly feel that the more you paint the better you get, and painting from life is the best practice of all. It certainly does suit you, this is a very nice marsh. I enjoy seeing your blog every day.

  5. Wendy
    January 27, 2007

    Love the colours.
    I haven’t made a commitment to draw/paint daily as part of a walking exercise but lately both Peceli and I have been going out for at least an hour each day (the weather this week has been perfect – about 24 c) to look at something in the Geelong environment. It has been a pleasure. Making pictures makes the day complete. Or playing music. Or writing a story. But sometimes it isn’t easy – words don’t come, lines look crude, music comes out banal.

  6. Amy B
    January 27, 2007

    I love your art work ,you have a gift and working fast seems to suit you .Spontaneity works for me some of the time. What a wonderful world.

  7. Karen
    January 27, 2007

    Thanks everyone! France, I think sometime it’s easier to find the right color when you don’t overthink it. The more I think and fiddle the worse it goes, somehow. Jo … I quite agree, I love to paint out in nature, too, and do it as often as I can manage. I also find that studio practice, especially for speed, is helping me to paint faster on location. It’s sort of a rehearsal and the additional practice makes me feel less tense when the light is fleeting.

    Wendy, yes I know what you mean, those moments are such a treat. It’s the doing that’s most important, regardless of the outcome – which is easier said than done because a badly turned out painting can really cramp my mood. I find that the best antidote to that is – paint another one. It may be like getting right back on the horse when one has been thrown off, you know?

  8. Karen
    January 27, 2007

    Amy, thank you. In the watercolor class I had today the teacher was VERY encouraging of spontaneity and being very expressionistic with the paint. I think I have generalized that to oils as well .

  9. Linda
    January 28, 2007

    Karen — This is a great peice. I love how loose and light it is — really wonderful!

  10. Lindsay
    January 29, 2007

    Karen! I chose the same image! I’d like to do it agian and try some fog this time!
    Great job on the colors and the forms. Lovely painting.

  11. margaret hunt
    February 2, 2007

    Arent the marshes amazing…and the seasonal color changes?! And I for one am getting lost in the daily drawing and making of art…lost in a good way…time just evaporates and I am in the groove…great feeling…

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