Fly Fishing the White River outside Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Tripp Standing in the White River Mist

Tripp Standing in the White River Mist

I was in such a state of mental agitation, in such great confusion that for a time I feared my weak reason would not survive. . . . Now it seems I am better and that I see more clearly the direction my studies are taking.  Will I ever arrive at the goal, so intensely sought and so long pursued?  I am still working from nature, and it seems to me I am making slow progress.

Paul Cezanne (words recorded by Maurice Merleau-Ponty “Cezanne’s Doubt”)

I must say that this is one of the most welcome Spring Breaks I have known in many, many years, and I am barely into it.  I have (so far) pursued a daily regiment that balances household chores with studio time, and have been working on three watercolors over the stretch of a day-and-a-half.  This is the first time I’ve published this one, begun late last night.  The other two were “emulations” of Winslow Homer fishing compositions.  This is from a photo taken by a professional photographer nearly four years ago while he and I were fly fishing the White River outside of Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  His wife was taking my watercolor workshop at the Eureka Springs School of the Arts that week, and he and I were getting into the river as much as possible, outside of class hours.  The river is remarkable as it is frequently shrouded in mists, and I have always been intimidated, trying to capture misty atmospheres in watercolor.  I always thought it would be relatively easy, but for me it’s not–I have tried this painting over and over again, and this is the first attempt that I have dared put on the blog.  The others were shredded and discarded.  I still don’t have what I want, but I am getting better, and think I can share in Cezanne’s exasperation–how much longer do I need?  Will I be given that time?

Thank you for reading.

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2 Responses to “Fly Fishing the White River outside Eureka Springs, Arkansas”

  1. artsifrtsy Says:

    I paddle through that mist several times each year – It’s worth getting up early for. I love to weave past the fly fishermen all decked out in their gear staying as silent as possible. I love how this image captures that mist.


    • davidtripp Says:

      Isn’t that an enchanting environment! So surreal! I struggled again and again with the watercolor mist, and am glad finally to get something that looks O.K. I’m not satisfied though. Want to try it again. I’m jealous of you living near such a pristine environment. The rainbows I’ve caught there were beyond belief.


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