Hoping to “Cleanse the Eye” this Afternoon

Chisholm Grill, Waxahachie, Texas, 2009

Chisholm Grill, Waxahachie, Texas, 2009

We read books.  They make us think.  It matters very little whether we agree with the books or not. . . . If you are to make great art it will be because you have become a deep thinker.

Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

I love the sentiment behind the Henri quote.  I was always concerned about the arrogance one could sense behind such a remark.  I did not become interested in the academic side of life until my bachelor’s degree was half-earned.  I never considered myself a serious thinker until I was a year into graduate school.  All I do know is that intellectual activity remains my passion, twenty-six years after graduation, and since I have returned to making art, I have never ceased searching for ways to get my art and my ideas to feed one another.

I have posted my first plein air watercolor from the Paint Historic Waxahachie event, from 2009.  I was seated beneath the shade trees of the Ellis County courthouse, late in the afternoon, terrified by the subject before me.  I really thought I was going to make a mess of it, and remember staring at the white watercolor block in my lap, too scared to lay down the first strokes of the pencil.  Sadly, this cafe burned down a couple of years ago, and demolition removed not only what was left of this structure, but half the block on the south side of the town square.  I had painted the cafe, and later the law office next door.  I had hoped to paint the barber shop and its pole, but sadly it is gone with the rest of the businesses.

I hope when I return to Waxahachie late this afternoon, that I’ll experience what Eugene Delacroix and Henri Matisse described as “cleansing the eye.”  Going to new places to paint offers a fresh perspective, and keeps us from cranking out the same tired compositions.  I feel ready to tackle historic architecture again, and hope I can find some decent sunlight (hasn’t happened yet this time in Waxahachie) to play off the walls of the house.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal because I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.



2 Responses to “Hoping to “Cleanse the Eye” this Afternoon”

  1. lifeofawillow Says:

    I love the crispness in this one. Im also ahuge fan of the written word 🙂 nice post.


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