Monday, April 02, 2012

Hidden Marsh, Acadia

Hidden Marsh, Acadia, 18x24, acrylic on linen panel, Jan Blencowe, copyright 2012

After weeks of work, this is finally complete! On last summer's trip to Acadia National Park in Maine I was looking for new subject matter, crashing surf, cliffs, islands, fishing villages etc. but I was also on the look out for more familiar subjects like marshes, knowing that marshes in Maine would be different from marshes in Connecticut.

I like marshes and painting marshes because they bring water into the midst of the land. Along the coast you have a very sharp meeting of the elements land and water. The land abruptly ends and the water crashes into it. There's a very definite and exciting collision and a definite delineation of land and water. But in the marsh there is more of an intermingling, a saturation and seeping of the cyclical tides. 

The marsh habitat is very complex and is filled with a web of relationships between grasses, scrubby shrubs, trees, and aquatic plants, all of which I find fascinating.

This was such a lovely little place to paint and I have a small plein air study of it along with quite a few good photos. This piece captures the place and the day I painted it on location. I remember it was very hot that day and this was our second painting of the morning and so by the time we were done it was getting close to noon and the sun was overhead. We sat on the edge of the road at the top of a culvert that allowed the water to run under the road and flow into the rest of the marsh behind us on the other side of the road. I remember how cool and lush the green of the marsh seemed compared to how hot it was. Every once in a while there was a breeze that stirred everything in the marsh and reinforced in my mind the aliveness of the place.

This lovely little marsh seems like a bit of paradise to me.

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