Sunrise over the Salt Marsh ~ Assateague Island

Once the simple outline drawing was done of the flat, sandy marshland, the hard part started.  Since the land is flat, the water calm, and there aren’t any birds in sight, the challenge became developing the sky and the lighting enough to make the painting interesting.  

The rays of morning sunshine create a softly lit terrain, with a center beam of light leading right to the viewer, grabbing their attention.  After that the light tickles treetops, pours over the sand, casts shadows and causes reflections on the water.  

This painting is unusual in that once I started painting I rarely looked back at the original photo that I took.  Simple landscapes in photos often lose much of what made you take the picture in the first place.  So it became my goal to just have fun with it, work from the memory of how I felt when I was on location.  

I worked hard at darkening down the foreground, knowing that it is furthest from the light.  This would allow me to add the cattails later and have them standout in the foreground. I also darkened down the upper sky to help create greater depth and help with the dramatic lighting on the clouds.   

I decided to cut back on mixing too much white in with other colors, so that the colors kept a higher intensity.  

In the end, I’m pleased with the amount of interest in the piece.  I hope you find some serenity when looking at it ~ that was my ultimate goal.



When we first became familiar with Bill Beebe’s work we saw his Maritime masterpieces. His interpretation of antique schooners and Maine coastal towns is breathtaking. We both agreed that his work is so strikingly beautiful that they belonged in a Museum for all the world to see. The sophistication and accuracy of detail of his marine art is amazing. Bill has now added to his collection lovely European and American Landscapes. We saw High Rock Vista at one of his shows and simply fell in love with it. The light and refined elegance depicted in this Spring landscape painting is breathtaking. We are now the proud owners of this stunning scene. It lights up the room. William Beebe has a natural talent and his ability is highlighted in the diversity of his work. If you are lucky enough to purchase one of Bill’s paintings it will surely be one of your prized possessions and a wonderful heirloom for future generations.
— John and Diane Dunlap