Opening the Fountains

Finished the Latest Installment of "My Town" Series

Finished the Latest Installment of “My Town” Series

I am here only opening the fountains, and clearing the passage.

Alexander Pope, Introduction to “An Essay on Man”

I posted earlier about my discovery this morning while reading Alexander Pope’s Introduction to “An Essay on Man.”  Though I find his essay very comprehensive in scope, he regarded it as only a beginning, a first movement, a poetic push at a subject to which he intended to return in greater detail later.  I immediately recognized that this principle could be interpreted on so many levels.  The one that resonated most with me was the nature of drawing and watercolor sketching as a preliminary to larger comprehensive, framed paintings.  Andrew Wyeth dashed off sketches as preparatory pieces for his egg tempera panels.  As for myself, I still have not returned to the world of oil or acrylic painting, and never tried tempera.  I still wish to treat watercolor as a finished work of art, occasionally working on larger 22 x 28″ scales.  With the crush of a summer school schedule, however, I have found solace in these smaller pieces, and have tried to find ways to speed them up in their execution.  I thought the small watercolor posted above was finished last evening, after only two studio sessions.  But today I accepted an invitation to join a group of Bedford artists and work in the studios of the Trinity Arts Guild immediately after I finished summer school.  As I peered into this work, I found a myriad of details that I wanted to pursue, so I took delight in taking up the pencil and ripping through the existing watercolor composition, inspired by something I read from Robert Motherwell late last night:

Painting can overcome one with its seriousness, like the soft warm skin of a woman, in a way that drawing cannot.  But drawing can be as clear-cut as one’s father’s precepts.  Drawing satisfies our sense of definition, even if we cannot define “drawing” itself.  Drawing is a racing yacht, cutting through the ocean.  Painting is the ocean itself.

Robert Motherwell, “Thoughts on Drawing,” 1970

It’s been another good day, in the classroom as well as the studios.  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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