In Search of a Daily Watercolor Rhythm

Closing Out the Weekend, Watercoloring

Closing Out the Weekend, Watercoloring

There are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we seem to see beyond the usual–become clairvoyant.  We reach then into reality.  Such are the moments of our greatest happiness.  Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom.

It is in the nature of all people to have these experiences; but in our time and under the conditions of our lives, it is only a rare few who are able to continue in the experience and find expressions for it.

Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

I wish I could call this a weekend of joy.  About ninety per cent of it was devoted to grading.  I am not yet finished early now on this Sunday evening, but I will be finished before bedtime, and I’m confident that that will give me an emotion close to “joy”.  Close.

I’m glad I rose early Saturday morning and spent about ninety minutes chipping away at this composition before laying down the brush for twenty-four hours.  Today I made a concerted effort to keep myself on a time budget, balancing grading and painting.  I came to this watercolor three different times–all the rest of the time was spent bent over a stack of papers.

The light is gone from my studio as I write this, so I will have to lay down the brush for good and return to the school work.  I’m glad I got to spend time working on the truck, nearly finishing it.  The truck would be “finished” if it didn’t appear to be too timid to me.  I feel that I got all the proportions right but that I didn’t lean into it much with the pigments or shadows.  I’ll give it another hit tomorrow.  The section of building behind the truck got plenty more work in the shadows and some detailing.  I also finished the apex of the gable roof of the station.  A little more warm shadow color was added to the pavement as well.

I am taking to heart the above words from Robert Henri.  I count myself as part of that minority that actually knows those feelings he expresses.  But I do find it hard to get into the zone when so many other duties pull at me.  This weekend I had to answer several bells, including household chores, laundry, and other uninteresting details.  But still, I managed to carve out some quality time to paint, and I consider those moments the highlight of my weekend.  I will consider this “practice” because I have a very long, demanding day of details to tend tomorrow, and already tonight I am determined to insert painting into that mix.  I will do everything possible to paint daily, even if it is for short sessions such as the recent ones.

Detail of the Sinclair Truck

Detail of the Sinclair Truck

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

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4 Responses to “In Search of a Daily Watercolor Rhythm”

  1. John Northcutt Young Says:



  2. June Says:

    I’m constantly amazed at your ability to take a subject that (had you only told me about it) I probably would have thought odd. But when I see what you produce, I am amazed by the beauty of it! It makes me think of the impressionists who wrote often about their own works with no photos to send, no instant messaging pictures, and no blogs or Facebook technology to enlighten their readers. How times have changed, but thanks to the artists in our world – beauty can still be shared today and always. And just as always – the greatest pleasure is seeing the work up close and personal. l can’t wait to see this one.


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you, June. You’ve made my weekend! I do love the age in which we live, how technology enables us to share our images with more immediacy. I still love reading the Impressionists’ notes on their work, and reading those pieces makes me look at my own more closely. I am really enjoying this current piece, and look forward to those times when I can spend more quality time tweaking it.


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