When we first got married in the 1970s, our home was decorated with posters from that era. No, not Farrah Fawcett – more like The America’s Cup.
The limited collection was very popular with our contemporaries as we all had one thing in common: a lack of money.
Through the years, as our income level increased, the artwork improved.
Living in Annapolis, Md., had a big impact on the art we purchased. The fact that we both sailed was also a driving force.
We had our favorites. I leaned towards Nancy Hammond with her silkscreen prints and lithograph posters of sailboats. My husband went for Willard Bond and the oil and watercolor paintings of sailboat racing.
Regardless, the house started filling up as we found ourselves buying local art whereever we traveled.
But now living here and getting invited into other people’s homes, we started to see a totally different assortment of paintings.
We have some close friends whose collection includes both oil paintings and watercolors of blue herons in the marsh. It is incredible to look at these paintings and comprehend the work that went into capturing the blue heron’s details.
We have also admired the artists who have conveyed the beauty of shrimp boats out on the horizon with their “arms” spread out, especially at sunrise. So, we have started to collect our own Lowcountry art now.
The first painting purchased was a watercolor by a local Gullah artist. The vibrant colors, depicting a woman with her straw baskets, are incredible.
Then our neighbor Beth, a local artist, sold us a painting of Jenkins Creek and the marshes beyond. The way she painted the colors of the reeds, from lime green to forest green, is amazing.
And recently, one of the Nancy Hammond pieces had to be moved to make way for another piece of local artwork.
There are still many wonderful local sailboat paintings, but we are finding ourselves drawn to the artwork that is unique to the Lowcountry.
It might include rows of oak trees lining old dirt roads; or maybe white egrets standing in the high grass; it might be the sun setting behind one of our bridges; or a lonely cottage standing on stilts on the beach.
Regardless, these are the Lowcountry paintings that will slowly fill my home.