"Bowens Island" is number four in the series of seven oil paintings I am painting for the SCETV Board Room.
I took the photo that inspired this painting while staying in Charleston for 18 days during the 2012 Piccolo Spoleto Festival held in Charleston every May.
Tim and I "moved" to this wonderful city for 2-1/2 exhausting but wonderful weeks, as I participated in this 16 day marathon-of-all-marathons art festival. 16 days in a row. 16 days in my art tent, praying that the weather wouldn't ruin the years of my life's work. 16 days meeting some of the neatest people from all around the country. 16 days of confirming my calling as a visual artist.
16 nights eating at whatever interesting restaurant we could find.
Which is how I ended up with the photograph from Bowens Island! Click here http://bit.ly/1I2RYON to see photos and reviews of the "Bowens Island Restauant" which is really more of a fish shack — meant truly as a compliment.
On the night I took this photo, we spent a perfect evening enjoying a delicious dinner and watching the sun slide into the water over the course of a lazy hour. The warm weather was in my perfect 5-degree range of comfort, which is between 79 and 83 degrees. Tim even carved our initials into the deck rail, along with the decades of other folks who had done the same. So this painting is the reminder of so many rich memories for me.
In the midst of this project, a friend came into my studio to see what I was working on. I didn't say a word, before he blurted out "this is my favorite place in the whole world." So needless to say, Bowens Island, SC is a special place that is worth the hunt to find.
Another reason this piece is meaningful to me, is the Piccolo Spoleto festival is the reason I still am painting today. In 2011 I did the show for the first time, as a "hail mary" move for my career. If it didn't go well, it was going to be the closing chapter for Marie Scott Studios.
As you can probably figure out, it went better than well since I went back again for a second year. So here I am four years later, still painting.
Unfortunately, our life circumstances prevented us from going back again for a third or fourth year. But when I'm ever really down in the dumps about whether or not I should keep living the artists' life, I remember my 36 days spent in Charleston in those two years of the Spoleto festival. Those were milestone days for me, which confirmed that painting IS a calling that God has given to me.
A calling which I need to continue to pursue, whether or not it feels like it is making a difference or not.
Thank you Picolo Spoleto, and thank you Bowens Island for the unforgettable sea of memories made alongside my husband/best friend.