Lowcountry Reflections ~ big picture, small painting!  

On our first trip to Huntington Beach State Park at Pawley’s Island, SC, I was hoping to see some Roseated Spoonbills and a variety of other birds. I left my camera bag in the car with several lenses and set out with my 400mm zoom lens on our birding outing. 

We walked along the causeway and I had a field day photographing a variety of birds, zooming in on them and capturing them in flight and in their natural habitat, the salt marsh.  

After a period of time we began to take in the beauty of the marsh right in front of us. The tall grasses were a colorful green and the tidal creek meandered off into the distance in a graceful curve, with several small islands of grass dotting the open water.  

    Lowcountry Reflections    by William R. Beebe, 11 x 14, Oil on canvas, $850

Lowcountry Reflections by William R. Beebe, 11 x 14, Oil on canvas, $850

Then a wall of bright, cumulous clouds formed against the blue sky and the reflections in the water became strong. The marsh scene I had been looking to paint was right in front of us! One problem, my zoom lens couldn’t take it all in. My regular lens was way back in the car, about a half-mile away!  

It was in the 90’s and we were on pavement. Would it be worth it to run back to the car and get my lens just to get this marsh shot??? Would the cloud formation change and all that effort be for naught???  I had recently started jogging again after many years and thought to myself, I think I can make it.  ☺

Well I made it there and back, all the while thinking why didn’t I just take my camera bag in the first place?  ☺  The cloud formation was even stronger when I returned and I took numerous pics hoping to capture at least the essence of the “big picture”.  

This painting, entitled Lowcountry Reflections is on a relatively small canvas, 11” by 14”. I worked in my studio from my photos, recalling how big the sky seemed, with the wall of clouds receding off into the distance along with the meandering tidal creek. The sky was a beautiful blue, the grasses a summer green with some warm brown grasses remaining from early spring, and the colors were all reflected on the glassy surface of the shallow water.  

   Lowcountry Reflections   (detail shot) by William R. Beebe

Lowcountry Reflections (detail shot) by William R. Beebe

I can see why so many artists paint the Lowcountry marshland. Depending on the time of day and lighting, such simple scenes can evoke so many emotions, provoke deep thought and hopefully lift one’s spirits.  

I hope you like my painting Lowcountry Reflections. I enjoyed painting it, even though I did have to run back to the car to capture it. ;-) Thanks as always for reading my journal and for your interest in my art. 

I’ve already started working on my next downtown Charleston scene.  Can’t wait to paint my next marsh painting, maybe on a larger scale. I also have another Shem Creek painting in mind!  

If you’d like to comment below, I’d love to hear from you. Thanks again!  


One of the joys of being an artist is having the freedom to follow my passion...
— William R. Beebe
 What's next?  Drawing by William R. Beebe   

What's next?

Drawing by William R. Beebe