The weather in Charleston, South Carolina in the winter is the stuff of dreams. I have known winters when the streets have been decorated with camellia bushes bent to the ground with heavy blooms,the first flush of roses and azaleas in all colors. The South can have so many clashing colors textures and extravagant plant shapes that I consider it unwise to paint it. Even the most expert of painters strain the viewer’s belief when they accurately reproduce southern landscapes.
Painting in Charleston can be fun. Finishing a painting, not so much. By finishing, I mean protecting the painting with a varnish. What’s not so nice is the intense humidity for most of the year. Great for flowers, murder on varnish. It’s best to apply several light coats of spray on varnish rather than apply varnish from a can with a brush. This usually means spraying outside and hurrying the painting indoors. To prevent collecting dust and fuzzies, you let the painting rest flat for about 10 minutes and the propping it vertically to finish drying. High humidity clouds varnish badly, so that means the painting has to dry with the windows closed with either the a.c. cranking or the heat. When there is the occasional day that there is low humidity, no one varnishes paintings. They run outside and have picnics.