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  • Karen Terhune Duncan

Music, and art, of the marsh

One of our first neighbors to greet us when we moved to The Landings was Phyllis Tildes. She popped a note in our mailbox inviting us to cocktails. The pretty card featured beautifully hand-painted Gerber daisies, which I came to admire in her actual garden when we met her and Bill. Phyllis is an artist. Of some acclaim. After touring her impressive upper level studio she introduced us to The Landings Art Association, of which Phyllis is extremely involved.

Founded in 1987, the Landings Art Association is one of the largest and most diverse community art associations in the country. A 250+ member group with a wide range of experience and expertise, including award-winning professionals such as Phyllis. While her collection of paintings is extensive - it ranges from children’s portraiture to breathtaking landscapes - her passion is writing and illustrating children’s books, of which she has published 25. I have purchased (and had Phyllis sign) several for the young people in our lives.

When The Landings Art Association held their annual Spring Art Show more than 150 pieces were displayed, and for sale. Festive and inspiring the work was remarkably stunning - each artist with a story to tell. Sipping cocktails we strolled the aisles admiring each piece. And then I spotted one that truly spoke to me. The piece entitled, “Music of the Marsh,” received the Mixed Media blue ribbon. I came back around that corridor to view it at least 3 times during the reception. It is an encaustic painting (beeswax melted and fused in layers mixed with paper). We both agreed that this would be our first “Landings artist” purchase.

Artist Lydia Bishop has a passion for painting. A Landings resident since 2011 she and her husband came to Savannah from Wisconsin. Raised in Pittsburgh (so a natural connection for me) she claims a 64 Crayola Crayon box was her favorite toy as a child. Lydia received her nursing degree from the University of Michigan and spent all her career as a nurse in the midwest.

A lifelong artist, her retirement has jet fueled her painting and now shows at a downtown gallery in Savannah as well as with the Landings Art Association. “My art allows me to go wherever my imagination leads,” she says. She mixes her relatively new fascination with encaustics, (the ancient art-form of wax painting), with paper and other objects. The idea of fusing sheet music to the edges came to her as she was listening to the sounds coming from the lagoon outside her house. She added in tiny musical notes to the etherial marsh scene. It’s as captivating as it is beautiful.

When she personally delivered the piece to us we found her as charming as her paintings. And she was thrilled that she was our “first” Landings artist purchase. We plan on “Music of the Marsh” being the first of many local artist acquisitions.

Music of the Marsh by Lydia Bischop

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