Night Time End-of-the-Holiday Musings

Haltom Jewelers--Fort Worth, Texas

Haltom Jewelers–Fort Worth, Texas

Ernest [Hemingway] said that he was sick of it all to the marrow of his bones: the only reason he stuck it out was that every time he had been this bad before he had managed to rise out of it into a “belle epoque” of writing.  He was still hoping to repeat the process, and could not bring himself to face the fact that never before in his life had he been half so “bad” as he was now.

Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story, by Carlos Baker

Tonight I finally completed my reading of the 564-page biography of Ernest Hemingway that I began last winter.  I usually don’t take that long to slog through a book, but it seemed that interruptions kept taking me away from this excellent text.  It goes without saying that reading of the final years of Hemingway’s life is not an uplifting experience.  I am just as saddened by his sentiment that he had lost his writing ability for good  as I am by his suicide.  Earlier today, I posted about the ebb and flow of creativity and how I had come to peace with that long ago, thanks to the insight of Emerson and Whitman that this is a natural life cycle.  And for years I have tried to transcend that feeling of depression that comes with the self-doubt that makes creative spirits feel that their work is no good.

Self-doubt crept in about an hour ago as I turned my attention to tomorrow night’s task–a watercolor demonstration before the Trinity Arts Guild in Bedford, Texas.   I go through it every time before such a demo (and I have a second one coming up Thursday night)–I don’t doubt my watercolor talent as much as I torment myself with all the things that could go wrong–that I screw up the painting with all of them watching, or that I stumble about with my words, or have difficulty expressing my ideas.  I really wonder why we do that to ourselves–that nagging feeling that when the night is over, we feel that we have wasted the audience’s time.

Oh well.  After about an hour of floundering, I began organizing my presentation, my talking points, my materials.  It all came back to me.  I’m fine now.  And I’m glad it’s only 9:48 p.m.  I still have some time for reading, reflection, journaling, getting my mind on a good track before I sleep.  Thomas Jefferson and Marcus Aurelius, as I recall, tried to end their evenings on positive reading and positive thoughts in order to sleep more restfully.  I could learn plenty from their example.

Thoreau’s Journal awaits.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel that I am alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

P. S.  I did not work on a new painting today.  So, in order to have a picture, I’ve posted what is probably the best watercolor I’ve ever done.  I wonder if I’ll ever rise to that level again.

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13 Responses to “Night Time End-of-the-Holiday Musings”

  1. Deanna Tennent Masterson Says:

    David, this is a gorgeous watercolor………it glows with beautiful color harmony. thank you for posting it. for your demo…… advice is be yourself….that’s the person the peeps watching will want to connect with. they will love your honesty. that’s what I love about your art & writing here on your blog,


  2. Suzy Says:

    That is indeed a beautiful watercolor–the kind I’d dearly love to paint. But I have no doubt you will rise to that level again and again. You have, in fact. You’ve posted many! Bets of luck at the demo tonight. I’ll be crossing my fingers for you, and hey! Post the results!


  3. drawdoodle Says:

    As I am new to your blog and am not familiar with all your work, I can only say this…WOW on that Ft Worth picture…absolutely stunning and if you’ve done it once surely you will continue……I always always make sure that I like or am inspired by the subject I draw otherwise I lean toward boredom and that does not bring out the best in me! Good luck in your next Stunning Piece and your demo 🙂


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you. I’m really looking forward to tonight’s demo and hope to be sufficient for the task. And thanks for your encouagement on my art work. I too have to feel a connection to the subject if I have any hope of doing good work. I recall it was said of Edward Hopper that he only painted subjects that seemed to “put out a call”, inviting him to paint them. I like the sound of that.


  4. Trapper Gale Says:

    Gorgeous work.


  5. Bonnie Says:

    This is a beautiful painting! I think we all have a favorite of our work. One we class the best. Mine is a quiet corner in an attic…a very peaceful setting entitled “The Attic Room”. (Pen and ink.) But my hubby classes another “the best”. I find that interesting. I think the most important is that we keep striving to create, whether it’s dealing with scheduling and work…(fatigue and pain)…or whatever else. I, too, deal with doubts. For me it’s something that comes after I haven’t drawn for a bit…yet if I pick up a pen and apply myself, the doubts finds less room to reside in my mind. 😉


    • davidtripp Says:

      Bonnie, thank you for sharing those personal matters. I always find myself surprised when others focus on a “favorite” painting that I myself think is substandard. And on the other end, I have a few originals, framed, that I think are among my best pieces that have evoked little-to-no-interest from the public. One never knows. I would love to see your “Attic Room”. I love the title and the image it evokes in my own imagination.


  6. Xraypics Says:

    This painting is stunning. By the time i write this your evening presentation is over and completed. Just glad it went well. Tony


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