Return to the Watercolor Studio

Late night in the studio

I kept my promise to myself, and re-entered my garage studio tonight, after much tidying and re-adjusting of my furniture.  Unfortunately, I load my art festival gear in and out of this same garage, and drafting tables and work benches end up getting covered in trunks and crates.

As I worked, clearing and re-arranging my studio, I had great company–Robert Johnson spinning on the turntable.  I bought his Robert Johnson: King of the Delta Blues Singers on vinyl several years back, and absolutely love playing it in the garage at night.  My last two Humanities class sessions at Martin High School have focused on the life of Robert Johnson, so I have had his music in my ears for about four days now.  It wasn’t until tonight, while alone in my work and my thoughts, that I realized how unspeakably sad some of his pieces are:  Love in Vain and Malted Milk. For a traveling troubadour, he undoubtedly was acquainted with profound sadness.  It upsets me further to think of his untimely homicide at age 27.  I wonder how much more our Mozarts and Robert Johnsons had within them that was never brought to birth.  Of course, my mind also goes to artists like Vincent Van Gogh, Frederic Bazille and Umberto Boccioni, all dead just as they were hitting their stride.  Sometimes I look at my own 57 years, and am bothered that I have been granted such a long stretch, and didn’t have enough interest to pursue this art until much time was spent (wasted) along the way.  But, I suppose it’s human for us to look back on our past with regrets.  How many of us, after all, did all of it right?

After setting up my watercolor work station, I returned to work on this daunting fire escape, shadows and windows on the side of Saint Ignatius Academy in south Fort Worth.  I had to re-draw much of the angles that I got wrong the first time.  I hate re-doing mistakes as it slows down the painting process, which is painstaking enough without it.  Now I feel as though I have gone ten rounds in the ring.

Tomorrow I don’t have to appear at school until 9:00 a.m. as I will leave with the Art Club for a Kimbell Art Museum field trip.  I’m leaning seriously toward setting an early alarm and getting into the studio, rather than sleeping in.  My daily habit is to rise at 6:00 in order to make my first 7:35 class.  Fatigue has settled into me, and I think I should approach this painting first thing in the pre-dawn morning.

Thanks for reading.  I certainly hope to have progress to report tomorrow.


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