Last Light

Dawho River, Edisto Island, South Carolina
June 2008
Oil on canvas
30 x 42 in. (76.2 x 106.7 cm)

Private collection

Now well below the horizon, the sun no longer touched even the highest clouds, but its fiery glow still brightened the western sky and hung in the atmosphere between the most distant clouds and me. Closer in, floating over the wide waters of the Dawhoo River, the leftovers of a day full of cloud-building found little light to reflect from the approaching blue of night. The quieting breezes still stirred the waters of the Dawhoo River, though they weren’t strong enough to push away the no-see-ums.

For a long time, this sort of open-water scene was a constant for all who wished to travel the southeastern coast, and so it still is for a few today. For most us, however, it is only a glimpse caught briefly on highway crossings of coastal estuaries. The view in this case is from the embankment of the old bridge that formerly crossed the intercoastal waterway to Edisto Island, South Carolina. Now used only as a fishing pier next to the new bridge, it offered me a place among the no-see-ums to observe, paint, and photograph the last light of the day.

* This is an excerpt from Philip’s essay appearing in: Bartram’s Living Legacy: Travels and the Nature of the South

Studio painting – July.

Exhibition History

Publication History