Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Celebrating the Harvest Moon and Autumnal Equinox II

Ofttimes, when I choose a subject or specimen to paint in my journal, the journey to the completed page takes many roads. Journal...... journey....
Hmmmmmm. Kind of goes hand in hand, don't you think?

I wanted to paint this unique Harvest Moon at a very special location. Spring Island immediately came to mind.
It's a 3000 acre nature preserve and residential community in the heart of the SC low country.

I'm very partial to this little piece of heaven on earth. I first visited the island, in 2007, as a visiting artist, teaching nature journaling. It is also where I studied to be a SC Master Naturalist. In 2009 I was fortunate to be invited back to conduct a second workshop. This past spring, I was asked and became the Spring Island Trust's Visiting Artists Program Coordinator. Pinch me, I think I'm in heaven :) We are entering the busy season for events - thus my blog postings aren't as numerous.  Somehow, as you age, the days get shorter and shorter :)

The above scene is the view from the 18th fairway. Rob and I were wondering if the clouds were going to break open enough to view the moon's rise. It was a lovely evening. The long shadows were sliding over the marsh grass. A sailboat was out on the Chechessee River heading toward Port Royal Sound. Clouds were turning this amazing shade of orange! And, flocks and flocks of White Ibis and quite a few Wood Storks flew over, heading to the Island's rookery.

As sunsets do, all the colors in the sky disappeared and boom, the Harvest Moon in all its glory peeked out! There were soooo many clouds moving quickly that I decided to do three vignettes - all in 8 minutes! 
Sketching was cut short as the sprinklers on the fairway were starting to cycle.  Fortunately, at that moment, not near us! We decided to move farther into the waste bunker - surely they wouldn't water there.....  I dropped my paint tin, upside     down,   in   the    sand.  Thank goodness, no sand collected in the colors I was using :)

I love it when Rob is with me on these outings.  He's the photographer in the family.  RIT graduate with a photo science degree - and he still remembers all the technical stuff!  Oh, to have half of his memory capacity :) At first, he felt a tad encumbered with my totally automatic camera. He'd much rather have his larger SLR and big lens, set on manual no less! He made it work and I've got some great reference shots to finish these sketches with.
At 7:45 p.m. the mosquitoes were about to fly away with us.  No bites, the bug spray was holding, but our arms were very busy swishing them away from our faces. An evening well spent. Journaling always makes me feel like I've been away on a vacation. Refreshed once again :)

I first learned this year's Harvest Moon and Autumnal Equinox were to coincide a couple of weeks ago. Wow! How special and what a treat for my Full Moon Series! Here are links to some very interesting information.

Astronomer Ed Murphy from UVa discusses the Autumanl Equinox and how leap days came into being.


Wikipedia - Equinox info

Christian Science Monitor  article about moon on fall equinox

Seasons & Dates for 2010

Sun and Moon rise/set dates


  1. Wonderful post and beautiful watercolors! I feel like I was there with you - minus the bugs of course :-)

  2. I am really enjoying following this series. This Harvest Moon painting is exceptional. I love all of the color that you've captured in the clouds - awesome.

  3. I love the moon sketches. You went to a lot of trouble to get them.

  4. Hi Joan! Ah yes, the adventures of summer evening sketching! Thanks for stopping by :)