Memorial Day Break

Artists are no doubt inspired by nature and when I'm out of ideas, getting outside is the best way to find my creativity again.

Over the weekend, I took two of our four (plus one German Shorthaired Pointer) to my folk's cottage situated on an inlet of the Chesapeake that used to be two rows of fisherman's shacks.  It's not so low brow anymore since being discovered by D.C. dwellers in recent years.  There are only a handful of the original 1940's cottages left, ours being one of them.

After hurricane season each year, repairs are made, and the little cottage that could is again residable. Not to say that it isn't quirky...having a big ole' hot water heater next to the throne in the one bathroom does not make for peaceful deposits, and it's hotter than hell in that little place once June gets started.  But, native Marylanders are used to humidity.  I'm just a little sensitive to the heat since experiencing Minnesota and Michigan summers, sunny, 80-degree days with no stickiness, no baked car interiors, and no need for cold mid-day showers from constant overheating.

Memorial Day weekend was near perfect this year at the cottage.  The threat of rain kept many away, so the roads were near empty for bikes.  The glut of holiday weekend fishermen/women/children were nearly non-existent.  And Point Lookout State Park, only a bike ride away, is always on the itinerary for an early morning bout of exercise on wheels with my dad.

That morning, the location of what was arguably the most cruel of all civil war prison camps, Point Lookout, offered quiet, calm waters, and a coolish breeze to enjoy the natural beach and native birds crafting nests of weathered driftwood twigs the hue of common button mushrooms.  You can see Point Lookout from our cottage deck and Civil War reenactments are a local staple, celebrating our country's young struggles and those who died while bringing together those who deeply disagreed on the issue of state sovereignty and the equality of "all men" as penned in the Declaration of Independence.  Both sides honor their dead on towering monuments only an acre apart.  The union memorial consists of two obelisks.  The single confederate monument was privately funded years later.   Both are covered with names of the men who died and what state they were originally from.

Below is a photo of the beach that the cottage sits on.  My parents got engaged on that very beach where I learned to swim years later.  It's where our dog spied a sea turtle leaving eggs in a burrowed dune concealed by a large log and some robust grasses.  We also saw the remains of an egret...a mound of marbled feathers, that must have been injured, then done-in by some hungry nearby blue crabs.

 Near the turtle egg laying spot

Near the turtle egg laying spot


Low Tide in the evening....the best time to wade...(above)


And in the studio today...I worked on my Hurricane Utah painting all morning today and am really excited about where it is going.  As soon as I let go of my hyper-controlled lines/strokes, I started to feel like the color and composition was very representative my work.  Below is where I started today, and then where I stopped.  My canvas is absolutely soaked! So, I have to wait until tomorrow to add more paint.  It's starting to bubble up and I don't want to lose the underpainting...

 This is where I started this morning...

This is where I started this morning...



Thank you for stopping by...I expect to have "Hurricane, Utah" wrapped up by the end of the day tomorrow.  Super pleased with today's progress!