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Cypress Pond in Autumn

by Brenda Orcutt, artist

Brenda Orcutt, Cypress Pond in Autumn, oil on canvas, 30 x 40″

It all started with an animal behavior class in college. My biology studies helped to solidify my love of nature, and, to this day, I’m most content in the pure beauty of the outdoors.

Naturally—pun intended—the most inspiring subject matter for me to paint is the marsh habitats. If I can get my outdoor painting gear to a pond cypress savannah, I’m in heaven. If I’m day trekking and capture some nice heron or egret photos, I’ll use those as references back in the studio.

The historic gardens along the Ashley River provide some great locations to set up an easel. They’re easily accessible and provide conveniences that can be appreciated! These areas are lush and vibrant, dripping with Spanish moss and full of wildlife. One of my new favorite sites near the Ashley River is Cypress Gardens. My most recent landscape, Cypress Pond in Autumn (pictured above), is a larger painting that aims to illustrate the delicate balance in nature.

I want to paint with an awareness of how sensitive our ecosystems can be, and I have long been a supporter of nonprofits that work to protect the land and water. I want my artwork to honor the ecological value of the native species that have, for so long, called this place home.

Brenda Orcutt is an artist living in Charleston, SC. Her work can be found at Dare Gallery, Sandpiper Gallery, and at



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Posted in Visual on March 11, 2020 (Issue 45: The Festival Issue) by Matt Mill.

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