Searching Out the Deeper Current

The Beginning of an 18 x 24" Watercolor

The Beginning of an 18 x 24″ Watercolor


Beginning to Watercolor

The Beginning of an 8 x 10″ Watercolor

The deeper current carries no propaganda.  The shock of the surface upheaval does not deflect it from its course.  It is in search of fundamental principle; that basic principle of all, which in degree as it is apprehended points the way to beauty and order, and to the law of nature.

Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

I am still working on the dualism posted earlier today, involving the deep-seated permanent truths vs. the superficial changing phenomena always demanding too much of us in day-to-day life.  After spending most of the afternoon and evening hours on the two watercolors posted above, I began to lose the northern light I depend on in my studio.  Texas temperatures are cooler now, compliments of recent thunderstorms.  Feeling a touch of cabin fever, I snatched up my journal and Robert Henri book and headed for this beautiful green belt at the Arlington Highlands.  I didn’t know till I visited that location last evening that there was a Starbuck’s Cafe located there.  Treating myself to coffee, I took up temporary residence on a large flat boulder overlooking the coursing stream below me, and read for a long time, occasionally scribbling out my ideas in the journal.  The gentle laughter and babbling of the flowing water over the rocks below soothed my soul and provided a much-needed decompression time.  This past weekend was a real bugger-bear in more ways than one.  I’m glad finally to recover my physical and emotional sense of rest and repose.

At this age, I am still trying to sort out my identity as a practicing artist, knowing I have this deep-seated desire to paint meaningful memories, yet still making decisions on technique and compositions.  Of course, I will never reach the bottom of it, but still I can become fretful when I feel I am not making enough progress.  This morning’s meditation on the Presocratics is still with me–each of those thinkers sought the ultimate Ground of life, and I suppose that is what I am trying to do as I pursue the arts.

I have loved this challenge from Henry David Thoreau for years:

Let us settle ourselves, and work and wedge our feet downward through the mud and slush of opinion, and prejudice, and tradition, and delusion, and appearance, that alluvion which covers the globe . . . till we come to a hard bottom and rocks in place, which we can call reality, and say, This is, and no mistake; and then begin, having a point d’appui below freshet and frost and fire, a place where you might found a wall or a state . . .

There is a solid bottom everywhere. We read that the traveller asked the boy if the swamp before him had a hard bottom. The boy replied that it had. But presently the traveller’s horse sank in up to the girths, and he observed to the boy, “I thought you said that this bog had a hard bottom.” “So it has,” answered the latter, “but you have not got half way to it yet.” So it is with the bogs and quicksands of society; but he is an old boy that knows it.

I suppose I am not yet half way to this hard bottom.  So, I’ll continue to search the depths.

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.


4 Responses to “Searching Out the Deeper Current”

  1. BJR Says:

    You’ve been busy! I haven’t been here for a bit…but stopped by today and was surprised. Love what you’ve been doing! The old lumberyard!…my dad was a carpenter so anytime he seen an old deserted lumberyard it made him sad. I love how you’ve portrayed it. And the old houses! (Hubby liked the flyfishing one!) And the words…”Backwards, O backwards…make me a child again for tonight.” (my wording.) They are on a page in one of my sketchbooks. I love them.


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you BJR! I’m thrilled that there were lumberyard memories for you and flyfishing connections for your husband. It’s been a busy but productive week. I need to catch up on some needed rest!


      • BJR Says:

        Hmm!…that’s all I’ve been doing. Resting!…(forced, though it be.) But there’s been drawings in my sketchbooks…so it’s been productive. I had a group of children by my bed the other evening who had never seen my drawings and they were enthralled!…and I had a heart full of JOY! 😉


      • davidtripp Says:

        How thrilling to read those words! I’m delighted to hear of your audience’s response and how that flooded your soul. I too have come off a very good 3-4 days of people coming forward with very affirming words about my art (in addition to the wonderful blog responses). Words like that do fill our sails with wind, yes?


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