People

Showers on Great Salt Bay

TIMEAugust 26, 2011

I just painted through sunny, cloudy, and rainy weather all in one four day stretch. I didn’t care. I stayed close to Great Salt Bay in Damariscotta, Maine, loving every minute.

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
One day I painted a row of large pine trees …
Great Salt Bay Pines, 8×16 oil on canvas

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
The next evening I painted a pond and meadows as the sun set behind the distant ridge. Sunset Study, 8×16 oil on canvas

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
Another evening a huge bank of clouds moved in and the pond had such gorgeous colors… Evening Study, 9×12 oil on panel

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
I love August ! There is a deep summer atmosphere going on. Even on a misty showery day it is very subdued.

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
I stayed near my car in case the clouds decided to drop a lot of rain.

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
It was bright, and the air was thick with moisture

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
The clouds moved steadily overhead. It sprinkled for a few minutes.

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
I kept painting, laying in the muted soft colors I saw in the meadows, trees and distant ridge.

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
Every now and then the sun poked through so I kept my hat on to prevent a sun burn.

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
By mid-morning I finished a painting of the hilly meadow with the trees.

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
Great Salt Bay Farm has a mile of waterfront. Walking trails cross all over the property. I planned to walk down to the shore to paint, but it started to rain.

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
I always carry my binoculars with me….so out they came. They are so handy in a situation like this.

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
I could paint my chosen subject and stay right next to my car !

 (Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
I worked on the composition by painting in all the masses of trees, bushes and grass and leaving my lightest water and distant shapes unpainted.

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
I love painting this way because this is how I actually perceive everything…

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
as interesting arrangements of shapes, lines and masses of different colors.

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
A visitor ! My best friend Libby arrived bringing a basket of blueberries hoping I would pause and have lunch with her. It’s not raining, therefore a perfect time to sit and munch.

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
Then it’s back to the binoculars and paint brushes.

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
I look through the binoculars and stare intently at the trees. I memorize what I see. I put the binoculars away and paint. Gustav Klimt did this for some of the landscapes he painted. That’s where I got the idea.

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
It’s still threatening to rain, but I know I have go paint at Oyster Creek before I pack up the brushes for the day.

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
I park near the bridge looking up the creek at a farm on the distant bank.

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
It is getting late now and I know I have to move fast on this one. I sketch in the shapes on a 16×20 panel.

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
The tide has turned, it is just starting to go out.
 

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
I mix a batch of colors. I place the color notes and values, picking and choosing as I go, painting with a large brush so I can get this scene down fast!

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
This creek is way up at the top of the Great Salt Bay. It’s tidal but the land around it looks more like inland Maine.

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
It’s almost evening but I still have enough light from the high overcast sky.

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
I like the feeling of this open expanse of water. I wish I was painting this view on a bigger panel so I could put in more details.

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
The breeze started to pick up and create patterns on the surface of the water. Is this a sign of rain coming?

(Mary Byrom)
(Mary Byrom)
I put in a few more colors, packed my car and hit the road. I have enough blocked in to finish all these paintings in the studio. And I’m coming back here to paint in October… guaranteed!

 

 

Mary Byrom is a painter from North Berwick, Maine, USA. This column is a diary of her plein air adventures. She shares the places, people and stories she hears when she is out and about in the great outdoors, looking for subject matter to paint.

To see more of her works, visit: marybyrom.blogspot.com

 

 

Mary Byrom