Labor Day Wanderings

Plein Air Watercolor Sketchin in Hico, Texas

Plein Air Watercolor Sketch in Hico, Texas

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,

Healthy, free, the world before me,

The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,

Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,

Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,

Strong and content I travel the open road.

Walt Whitman, “Song of the Open Road”

Monday.  Labor Day.  At around 11:00 this morning, I suddenly felt the window slamming shut on my three-day holiday.  I had not yet taken to the open road, and determined that it was today or not for a long time.  I gassed up my Jeep and felt the whisper of Hico, Texas, a town I had not visited in several years, but could still remember that quaint boulevard running down the center of historic downtown, replete with park benches and a gazebo.  The afternoon drive proved to be a long and arduous one, with termperatures lingering right at a hundred degrees, but I loved the old boulevard the moment I saw it. Once I began work on the sketch, I found the nonstop traffic rumbling along the highway through the middle of town to be a comfort, and I focused on the rough-cut stone facade of one of the historic buildings replete with a Coca-Cola ghost sign.  I had tried this composition a few years back and was glad to rest the watercolor block on my knees for a second try.

My Littered Work Area

My Littered Work Area

The play of the hot sun off the rusticated facade delighted my eye, and I spent most of this afternoon peering at those textures and colors, attempting to capture them on the page.  Throughout the afternoon, Walt Whitman’s words resounded in my memory, and I was grateful for his companionship.

Hico, Texas bench with watercolor and the view

Hico, Texas bench with watercolor and the view

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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7 Responses to “Labor Day Wanderings”

  1. Xraypics Says:

    Isn;t it interesting how a day can pass almost unnoticed unless you make a definite effort to break the cycle? Life can be a bit like that too; I wasn’t looking forward to time away from home, but here I am at the beginning of the day in Delhi and excited about the prospect of being a tourist, expecting to be hassled and possibly ripped off, but that’s the duty of a tourist. Do enjoy your break! Tony


    • davidtripp Says:

      Wow, I hope Delhi has turned out to be a great experience for you. I am so envious of your retired life, hoping that you are finding the quality time to pursue the things that matter most to you.


      • Xraypics Says:

        Thankyou David. it looks as though the “retired life” is going to be even more busy, at least there will be a little control over what I am doing. India was an incredible experience, i am hoping to do a series of pictures based on that, not sure how it will turn out.


  2. lifeofawillow Says:

    wonderful post. i get a real feel for the places you paint. thank you for expanding my vistas…


  3. Nellie Sheridan Wilson Statue Says:

    I love the bolog and the art..its wonderful and free spirited!


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