Plein Air Painting in the Winter Garden at Magnolia Plantation Charleston SC

The unusually warm, sunny weather made my plein air painting today at historic Magnolia Plantation and Gardens a pleasure.

The main house porches are decorated with fresh pine garlands and red bows. I saw a staff member removing the garlands at the end of the day and spraying them with water to keep them fresh throughout the season. No plastic or artificial greens here. Only fresh, natural, decorations typical of the Colonial era.

I enjoy painting en plein air in the winter months when the sun is lower on the horizon. The long golden shadows in the late afternoon this time of year are very beautiful . It's always a challenge to paint fast enough to catch the quickly changing light effects at this time of day.

Today I painted studies of holly bushes with large red berries, sharp shinny leaves and the ever present Spanish moss.

The gardens also have many nandina bushes along the pathways with bright red berries and leaves that turn lovely shades of red and yellow.

Magnolia Gardens is known for it's beautiful reflecting ponds and distinctive bridges that have graced the gardens for decades.

Many visitors to the gardens have had their pictures taken on these bridges spanning the water darkened by the by the tannin from the nearby Cypress and Tupelo trees .

I'm making progress with my plein air paintings but will wait to post them until the opening of the Winter Garden Festival Art Exhibit January 19, 2008. In the mean time I'm posting photo's similar to the paintings I'm working on.

The show will offer creative works exploring the winter blooms, views and vistas of this large and diverse property.

For information about the Winter Gardens and Festival activities contact Magnolia Plantation and Gardens at

For information about artist workshops and plein air painting during the festival, contact the Charleston Artist Guild at

1 comment:

Katherine Muschick Schneider said...

To see more artwork from Magnolia Gardens, click on "Magnolia Gardens" in the Art Categories List at the right of this page.

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