Inspiration Doesn’t Keep Appointments

Late night in the Studio

Late night in the Studio

The problem of inspiration is simply to be fully alive at a given moment when working.

Robert Motherwell

I have spent most of this afternoon and parts of the evening, drawing, measuring, re-drawing, revising, second-guessing, and enjoying little-to-none of it.  Now, 10:00 p.m. has struck, and I’m interested.  I have to rise at 6:00 in the morning, but a part of me is saying “Hey, it’s Friday, no one will take school very seriously anyway, just stay up late and enjoy the painting while you can!”  No doubt I feel this way BECAUSE I have responsibilities pending.  If tomorrow was free, I would probably be wasting my time at something else instead of feeling the compulsion to paint.  I seem to be made that way.  One writer called it “The Dance of Avoidance.”

And so, temperatures are dropping outside, I have put on an extra layer of clothing, and the garage/man cave ambience is quite nice again.  I am starting this painting by blocking in the dark shadows, trying to build the contrast early.  I’m also looking again at a myriad of Andrew Wyeth drybrush paintings the same size as this 28 x 22″ composition, and noting how large his dark areas are, in contrast to mine.

I’m enthusiastic about the potential of this one, and fascinated with the multitude of details it offers.

Thanks for reading.

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4 Responses to “Inspiration Doesn’t Keep Appointments”

  1. Turnbull Chapter - CAHS Says:

    Hi! Just a quick word to tell you how much I appreciate your blog. There are all sorts of reasons, of course, but the main one is your description of how you proceed and the accompanying illustrations. For example, I have often wondered if I should try to put in some of the dark portions of a piece right at the start, only to go back to my usual approach of light than dark – as you can always add dark over light but never the other way around. Dry brush allows more leeway, still I am afraid to try. After seeing this day’s offering, I think I will give it a try. Thanks again. You are a great watercolour artist.


    • davidtripp Says:

      I am touched by your comments, thank you. And thanks for looking at my blog. The reason I am blocking in dark colors first this time is because my watercolors always come out light–oftentimes too light for my liking. I think it is because I always start light, intending to work to dark, but then get too timid as the painting takes shape and I begin to “like it the way it is” and therefore don’t push for more dramatic contrasts, afraid I will lose it. So, this time I’m working as dark as possible, leaving the other areas white to detail later. I really like the darkness of many Andrew Wyeth interior watercolors, and finally have a still life dramatically lit that I am painting in the night time when no light can come through the garage windows. We’ll see how this one goes. But thank you so much for your observations and comments. Best of luck to your endeavors as well.


  2. artsifrtsy Says:

    I would be inclined to be a crank the next day and paint late into the night. I am most inspired in the evenings and I tend to work very late – until I just stop. You are probably far more functional in the morning than I am.


    • davidtripp Says:

      You’re an artist after my own heart! I did stay with it, but quit a little after midnight, though I had not yet gotten sleepy. It seems that my Muse works better late into the night, when all other interruptions and business has ceased and the rest of the world has gone to bed. I can do a work day on short sleep occasionally, but cannot keep it up on a nightly basis. Thanks for your response.


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