Part 3 of the Entire Saturday of Plein Air Watercolor Painting

Andrew Wyeth Meditation on a Tree

This was my final successful stop on my all-day Saturday plein air excursions.  I stopped occasionally for coffee, journaling, and a little book store browsing.  There are two more tree studies in progress, but not good enough to post and blog.  Perhaps I will return and make something better of them.  The winds really got up, and thank goodness for a good Winsor & Newton watercolor easel with a successful mechanism for clamping the watercolor block in place.  Everything else, including my leather art bag, was getting knocked over by the gusting winds.

All I can say about this work is that I got totally lost in the bark of the trunk.  I felt as though I were “channeling” Andrew Wyeth, though I realize how arrogant that sounds.  I don’t pretend to approach his greatness, his eye, his technique.  But what I intend to say is–I feel for the first time in years that I have a sense of how he must have felt when he got lost in a dry brush study to the point where he lost all track of time.  I honestly don’t know how long I lingered over this work, but it was totally satisfying and I didn’t want the day to end.  When I get lost like that, or “in the zone” of watercoloring, I wish that I could seize the tail of that comet and ride it forever.  But alas, Proust has reminded us that all attempts to seize such Gifts result in their dissolution.  And so this study came to an end, but I cannot wait for the next time such a Moment arrives.  I’m still grateful for the experience this day as I think over yesterday’s activities.

Thanks for reading.

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2 Responses to “Part 3 of the Entire Saturday of Plein Air Watercolor Painting”

  1. Steve Schwartzman Says:

    A commenter said that a nature photograph of mine reminded her of Andrew Wyeth’s work, so I got curious and did a search to see if Wyeth ever happened to do a painting in Texas. I didn’t find one, but I was led to this meditation of yours. I’ll add that all my nature photography is necessarily plein air work.

    I like the way you make connections between visual art and literature.

    Steve Schwartzman


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thanks, Steve. Love your work, and glad that you followed up on the Wyeth contribution. To my knowledge, he never painted in Texas. In fact, I assume that all of his work was created in Pennsylvania and Maine. Nonetheless, he has remained a profound influence on me as I have painted my way between Missouri and Texas.


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