A Necessary Kick in the Pants from a Dutch Uncle

Putting the Final Touches on the Fishing Still LIfe

Putting the Final Touches on the Fishing Still LIfe

In spite of his own writing difficulties, Ernest played Dutch uncle to Fitzgerald, repeatedly urging him to get forward with Tender is the Night.  The only thing to do with a novel, said he, was to finish it.

Carlos Baker, Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story

Today, I decided enough is enough.  I’m tired of this sickness that has been draped all over me like a cheap suit for over a week now.  Today is President’s Day, no school.  And though I am still weak,  I am tired of the lethargy, the sleeping, the moping and the self-pity.  Reading this morning from the Hemingway biography gave me the necessary kick to get up and return to the cave, and finish this darned still life that I’ve been mooning over for far too long.  It is time to get on with the next endeavor.  This one is done.  The only thing to do with a painting is to finish it.

There was nothing left to do but work a little more on shading the lantern and signing my name.  After spending some morning time staring, painting, staring some more, painting some more (again, I felt like I was Willem de Kooning, who was laughed at for staring and contemplating more than actually painting), I finally decided I did all I could, and that it was time to move on to something else.

I am grateful for Dutch uncles as Hemingway was to Fitzgerald, and  Jackson Browne was to David Crosby, nudging him to complete The Delta (one of the most moving songs ever to come over me).  Nobody thinks twice about the work-in-progress, the Ph.D. all-but-dissertation or the season that almost was.  I find just as much joy as anyone in the process of creativity, but how much more I love looking at something finished, a fait accompli.  

So, thank you, Carlos Baker.  Your published word this morning became oracular to me, when I need it the most.

And thanks all of you who read me.

The Completed Painting

The Completed Painting

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9 Responses to “A Necessary Kick in the Pants from a Dutch Uncle”

  1. Sara Says:

    That is a very nice painting. I take weeks just to finish one painting usually. Sometimes longer. I’m not very motivated.

    Like

    • davidtripp Says:

      Sara, thank you. I know all-too-well the comings and goings of motivation. I’m rather stuck right now as well. But one way or another, Ill get the next one up and running (or crawling). Thank you for looking at my work and offering comments.

      Like

  2. artsifrtsy Says:

    Well done! I have enjoyed watching the process. It’s so satisfying to complete a work and move on. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

    Like

    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you! I believe I am going to work smaller this week. I have a group show opening Saturday, and will be distracted with details this week. Working smaller is doable when other things like that from the outside beckon. I hope all is well with you and your art.

      Like

      • artsifrtsy Says:

        I am dealing with the crud myself, but I did manage to get out to take some photos. I haven’t watercolored in years, but watching this process reminds me of why I enjoyed it so much.

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      • davidtripp Says:

        I posted to your blog last night. Your bird photos are magnificent, and would make drop-dead watercolor compositions.

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      • artsifrtsy Says:

        Thanks – I appreciate that. I am working on composition, it’s so easy to focus on capturing rather than composing. I just might break out the watercolors next weekend.

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  3. Xraypics Says:

    Great post, I might take the Dutch Uncle to heart myself; procrastination as they say is the thief of time. Fine painting, it has grown beautifully since it was begun. I’m glad you are feeling better, if weak. Tony

    Like

    • davidtripp Says:

      I appreciate your comment very much, Tony. I think we all need Dutch uncles! It’s really hard to keep the momentum going, and I appreciate it every time I get that nudge, no matter the source.

      Like

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