Reminiscences of Fishing Days, Through a Watercolor Lens

Working Late Night on the Fishing Still-Life

Working Late Night on the Fishing Still-Life

It is never enough that our life is an easy one.  We must live on the stretch; not be satisfied with a tame and undisturbed round of weeks and days, but retire to our rest like soldiers on the eve of a battle, looking forward with ardor to the strenuous sortie of the morrow. . . . As our bodies court physical encounters, and languish in the mild and even climate of the tropics, so our souls thrive best on unrest and discontent.

Henry David Thoreau, Journal, February 11, 1840

I wish I could say that this has been an interesting week in Lake Wobegon.  The harder I work on my daily lesson plans and try to stay caught up on the grades, the more determined I am not to let my watercolor languish in the studio.  Today was a day that cried out for me to leave the art work alone and just grade and prep for tomorrow’s classes.  But I had to do both.  I painted all afternoon, then graded and prepped all evening, and, once finished with school responsibilities, returned to the Cave to continue painting.  I wish I could show more progress on this piece.  I have been working on minutiae, but I love those tiny details, those little struggles in the shadows, those decisions on how to match a cool or warm color in the shadows and the half-lit areas of this still-life.

I am still working like the dickens on the darker portions of this still-life, trying real hard to capture the nuances lurking in the shadows and the half-lights.  I never knew so much went on in those regions, because I never gave them much thought in previous watercolors.  I have always cranked out light compositions.  Absorbing the light and enriching the dark tones, I find to be very challenging.  But I’m loving every minute of it, and just wish to God I could give it more hours in the day (and night).

Anyway, I echo the sentiments of Thoreau.  I seem to find a way to stay busy, to keep challenges in front of me, never to stop, never to let inertia creep in.  I know the risks of burn out and I am trying to keep a discerning eye on that as well.  But at this stage of my life, I just don’t want to go into cruise control with my watercolor activity.  I am trying to carve out new pathways, to pursue new directions,and that is taking a lot out of me lately.  But that, I think, is a good thing.

Thanks for reading.

5 Responses to “Reminiscences of Fishing Days, Through a Watercolor Lens”

  1. Xraypics Says:

    Great sentiments. I heartily endorse them. Sounds as though you have your potential burnout problems sorted with your painting, and by doing new stuff you aren’t going into cruise control either. Good on yer’ mate. Tony


  2. Micah Says:

    The color is looking fantastic already! Can’t wait to see the finished work.


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you, Micah! I’m working on this now as we write. It’s been quite a struggle, matching color with the reality in front of me. But thanks so much for your affirmation.


  3. Playamart - Zeebra Designs Says:

    i would have a hard time putting down the brush and exchanging it for a pen or pencil for grading papers! you have a balance between those two worlds, which is healthy!


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