Morning Coffee with Thoreau

2nd Day on Coca-Cola Watercolor

2nd Day on Coca-Cola Watercolor

Of all strange and unaccountable things this journalizing is the strangest.  It will allow nothing to be predicated of it; its good is not good, nor its bad bad.  If I make a huge effort to expose my innermost and richest wares to light, my counter seems cluttered with the meanest homemade stuffs; but after months and years I may discover the wealth of India, and whatever rarity is brought overland from Cathay, in that confused heap, and what perhaps seemed a festoon of dried apple or pumpkin will prove a string of Brazilian diamonds, or pearls from Coromandel.

Henry David Thoreau, Journal, January 29, 1841

Though I stayed up late last night, I was awake  by 9:00 this morning.  After putting on coffee, I sat in the morning light reading from the Journal of Henry Thoreau.  I found this quote amusing as well as insightful.  I began my journal activity in 1986.  I haven’t counted the volumes recently, but know that they exceed 110 by now.  I’ve had some good years, some good entries, some insightful recordings.  And I have also produced pages of stuff worthy for kindling in the fireplace.  I suppose if I had never kept a journal, I would not have easy access to my thoughts over the past couple of decades, notes jotted down from books and magazines, original constructions that were used as skeletons for high school and univeristy lectures as well as public speeches and sermons.  And I probably would never have launched a blog had I not followed the journal instinct throughout my professional life.  The more I read Thoreau, the more convinced I am that he is a kindred spirit.  I’m so grateful to have been introduced to him.

As for day two of my watercolor, I worked through the morning, masquing, rendering more foliage, and detailing the twisted gate wires and a small portion of the Coca-Cola sign.  The painting is large–22 x 28″–and I am enjoying it challenges.  I cannot wait to take it up again after school tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal because I feel that I am alone.

I  blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

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4 Responses to “Morning Coffee with Thoreau”

  1. Duncan Says:

    As mentioned earlier, I am also reading Thoreau right now. It seems to me that he gets a lot of lip service – everyone has heard of him and his writing. But it doesn’t seem that anyone wants to take his writings to heart. Just my .02. Looking forward to the finished painting.


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you for the kind sentiment. It’s always rewarding, meeting a kindred spirit who reads Thoreau. What I love about Walden is that it is not sequential–no plot to follow. You can open it at the beginning of any chapter, or even any paragraph for that matter, and begin reading. The book is “oracular” to me. I’m amazed at what that man could do with the written word.


  2. Bonnie Says:

    Looking great! I L.O.V.E. garden gates…I have one on my wall that I use for cards and memorabilia. Glad to see you posting again…I was getting worried. Great that you were enjoying new/old things. I’m still seriously resting, though I did complete a drawing in this mode. 😉 Seems like it’s taking a long time to get back to where I was. (They say I’m “fragile”.) I so enjoy your paintings!


    • davidtripp Says:

      Bonnie, thank you. I’m sorry to read of your fragility, and hope that you are finding creatve bliss while you convalesce. Please be good to yourself, enjoy your art, and thanks so much for looking at mine and encouraging me. All the best to you . . .


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