Low Tide Logan Martin Dam
Oil on Linen
Logan Martin Dam
I called this painting “Low Tide” even though there is no tide within hundreds of miles of this spot. Everything about the place just felt, looked, and smelled like low tide. Not however, low tide in Alabama, but more of a low tide in Maine.
This was early Sunday morning and again I was off in search of a place to paint. In a lot of ways, finding the right landscape to paint is like fishing: you have a general idea of what you want to catch, but it invariably turns out differently from what you expected.
I was staying at a time-share condominium with my in laws near the Logan Martin Dam. Everyone wanted to sleep Sunday morning except my father in law, Mike, who is always up with the sun. Mike is an avid birder so he came along to look for birds while I looked for subject material.
We drove over the dam to look at the other side of the lake but I found nothing. Upon coming back, I could see the river below the dam and we decided to take a look there. It was quite fantastic as the water was very low and all the rocks in the river were exposed. It hadn't been that way long and there were puddles and small ponds everywhere. The sudden dip of the water level must have trapped many small fish because the Blue Herons had descended on the area in mass. Following right behind the Blue Herons were the sea gulls. The sounds of the gulls as well as the sight and the smell of the freshly exposed wet rocks reminded me of a low tide in Maine.
The sun was coming up and I was painting directly into it. The glare and the reflections added to the feel of being near the ocean. While I painted away, I was oblivious to the rising of the water as the dam, which was also a hydro generating plant, released more water. When I came back two hours later to show the rest of the family the scene I’d just painted, the whole area had sunken beneath the water, the birds were gone, and it looked very ordinary. I guess timing is everything.