Gray morning along the Micomico River, MarylandIn early September I spent several days along the banks of the Micomico River in Maryland.  I began painting as the sun rose.  As the sun set I indulged in a glass of wine followed by delicious food and delightful conversation with two long-time friends.

My first experience painting Anita’s meadow garden resulted in a 2′ x 4′ oil painting garnished with dozens of gnats.  It currently hangs in the bedroom, no worse for the extra texture.  I was tougher back then.  Gnats are one thing, mosquitoes are quite a different story.  The screened porch allowed me to focus on painting rather than swatting.

The sun trying to break through the gray day along the Micomico River

It is a challenge to break old habits.  My focus was on capturing the time of day and the weather conditions, spending no more than an hour or so on each painting.  The sunrise light changed so rapidly that I could spend no more than fifteen minutes on a painting.  Limiting my palette and keeping my brushes and my palette meticulously clean helped to maintain better control of my colors and values.  I am not used to wiping my palette off so often and I find it a habit that is well worth reinforcing.

Chris Carter oil landscape Maryland 2009 01

The path through Anita's garden of grasses

painting on the porch to avoid mosquitoes