If Journalism is Literature in a Hurry, then what is Blogging?

Assembling a Still Life Composition in my Man Cave

Assembling a Still Life Composition in my Man Cave

As last weekend drew near, I took a short break from some busy activity and watched a portion of “Runaway Bride” on TV. I laughed out loud at Richard Gere’s line (quoted in my title).  If “journalism is literature in a hurry” as he stated, then I laugh profusely, just thinking of what blogging actually is.  But over the course of a two-day, twelve-hour watercolor workshop I was privileged to teach for the Trinity Arts Guild in Bedford, Texas, several affirming remarks were made about my blog, and I was embarrassed, knowing my writing habits had languished due to late nights in school preparations.  So . . . I am trying to return.

Even though I have driven myself like a steam engine over the past 72 hours, I am annoyed by this sense of internal guilt I always have trouble shaking, as though my best is never quite enough, as though my hard work is still not quite enough. My hero Ralph Waldo Emerson expressed those same kinds of sentiments since his days as a college student:

I find myself often idle, vagrant, stupid and hollow.  This is somewhat appalling and, if I do not discipline myself with diligent care, I shall suffer severely from remorse and the sense of inferiority hereafter.  All around me are industrious and will be great, I am indolent and shall be insignificant.  Avert it, heaven! avert it, virtue!  I need excitement.

(recorded in his journal October 25, 1820)

I could write for days over the experiences that were mine during this weekend workshop.  Tonight I just want to share a couple of photos of what participants did in this session.  Their studies ranged from still life to plein air sketching to working from reference photos:

This watercolor was created, looking closely at an old door I loaded into my Jeep and hauled to the workshop.  The artist pushed this one out very quickly, in fact she created at least four watercolors over a two-day period (maybe five).

Another participant painted this watercolor on the second day, using digital photos she had taken herself of an abandoned structure.  There were nine artists in this workshop, and I spent the two days walking about the studio and outdoors in a state of perpetual wonder–I was incredulous at their level of talent, and often worried about getting in the way of their creatvity rather than instructing and trying to improve them.  Not only did I find them very gracious toward me and receptive to my comments; they were so wonderful to one another with their words of encouragement and sense of wonderment at the world of watercolor possibilities.

As soon as I returned home late Sunday night, all I could think was getting back into the man cave/garage that I stopped using two winters ago.  I have posted a photo at the beginning of this writing to show what I’ve been trying have tried to assemble for my next large-scale watercolor still life.  The only problem I’ve encountered (besides time constraints with my teaching schedule) is that I have accumulated too much debris in the garage over the past two years and have found it a real trial, carving out a space large enough to paint a large subject such as this.  I used to be able to bring a portable drafting table into the middle of my studio space, but that space is just not there at the time being.  I’m still trying to find new ways to reconfigure it.  Thanks to this fascinating workshop experience, all I want to do now is cozy up this winter and try to create some sublime still life pieces.  I’ve waited far too long.

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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One Response to “If Journalism is Literature in a Hurry, then what is Blogging?”

  1. Deanna Tennent Masterson Says:

    Wonderful still life you’ve composed with the fantastic old door. The colors are so good together. You must paint it!


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