on the easel

The Marsh before the Greening; oil on linen; 8" x 13"

It's called Deer Island by the locals (the land mass in the far left of the painting and in the upper left of the aerial view in this link) because it's surrounded by wetland.  There's a way to get out there by foot although it's recommended to do so with plenty of daylight ahead of you.  Apparently, it's very easy to get disoriented out there and lose your way. 

I painted with my pants tucked into my socks to deter the ticks that come out about this time.  I'm happy to report no ticks, so maybe that helped.  It was also a day to paint near my car as a potentially heavy storm was on the horizon.  As it turned out, it missed us.  But I still felt the urge to paint quickly and avoid bad weather.

The marsh took on the most wonderful orange-tinged hue under the overcast sky.  The vast surface area of the fallen reeds reflected almost as much light as the sky.  It was really amazing to see so much of one color.  I've been to the Netherlands at tulip time and the fields of color there are indeed spectacular.  This marsh, although much more subdued, reminded me of those monochrome-seemingly-endless masses of color. 

It seems I've set myself up now for painting The Marsh after the Greening.  That will have to come later next month.  Today I'm off to the zoo to draw monkeys!

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