We’re just back from a four-day, three-night excursion to the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia. For you long-time followers of my blog who remember the post titled Raindrops Kept Falling on My Head, you may recall due to some inclement weather while staying at Sunset Cottage, I went into a bit of an art funk missing the coast of Maine.
This time my wife Jen and I stayed at the Martini Cottage in Oxford. Our goal was to research some of the best galleries on the Eastern Shore and look for possible representation of my bird life paintings. The charming, historic town of Oxford provided a good home base. We wanted to check out what other artists are painting and what the top galleries are showing.
We traveled to the quaint, little town of St. Michaels then on up to the home of the annual Waterfowl Festival, Easton, MD, and over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to the capital city of Annapolis, MD. We stopped into numerous galleries, spoke with several owners and viewed a wide variety of art.
In-between, we took the time to do a little bird watching. As we walked up to the water’s edge at the Oxford Boatyard, Jen spotted a Great Blue Heron on a piling. At first I said, “I think it’s a fake. Look at the color of the neck.” Then Jen said, “I think it moved!” I took several pictures as we quietly approached the PLASTIC bird! ☺
We both laughed at how silly we must have looked, as we headed to the far side of the dock. Schooners Restaurant looked all closed down for the season as we walked out onto the pier. I had just thrown out the question, “Where are all of the birds” when at that very moment a Great Blue Heron right below us, flapped his expansive wings, rising up in front of our faces and flew over to the piling next to the plastic GBH!
Since it was his resting time, he allowed me to walk out onto a very narrow pier (I felt like I was on a balance beam) to within 10 feet or less and photograph him. I stood there watching and photographing him for 45 minutes! As I turned around to head home, I knew I had to take a moment to gain my equilibrium and get the feeling back in my legs, or I could easily lose my balance on the wet and narrow pier and be in the bay camera and all! I shuffled back using baby-steps, slowly making it to dry land and knowing I must be providing someone with a good laugh.
After our gallery hopping was over and it was time to head home, we took a slight detour out of Oxford and headed south to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. Blackwater is a large resting area for migrating birds, and home to a great variety of waterfowl and shorebirds. It is a birdwatcher’s paradise. We saw numerous GBHs, Bald Eagles, ducks, Cormorants and many other birds.
We drove the 4 mile loop twice, stopping many times to take pictures of birds for future painting material. It’s not only a birdwatcher’s paradise, but the marshland/wetlands are so scenic I started envisioning myself doing a series of large canvas wetland paintings.
This time, unlike my time at Sunset Cottage, I came home energized. My appreciation for the Eastern Shore grew immensely on my trip to Assateague Island last spring, but this trip to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Oxford, St. Michaels, Easton and Annapolis sealed the deal.
I not only found endless new painting material, but we found galleries where we could envision my work being shown down the road. People migrate from all over the world to visit the Eastern Shore during the Waterfowl Festival in early November (not to mention year round) and have a great appreciation for wildlife art.
I’m hoping to produce a large body of bird life and wetland paintings over the winter. Inspiration for an artist is critical in bringing out the best in one’s work. The Eastern Shore is a treasure and thankfully has provided me with much inspiration. I feel very fortunate to have awakened to its natural beauty.
Thank you as always for reading my blogs and your interest in my art! To view my bird paintings click here.