Flashes Between the Points

Sketching out Ideas for the Laguna Madre Adventure

Sketching out Ideas for the Laguna Madre Adventure

Thought is only a flash between two long nights.

Jules Henri Poincaré

I cannot recall a more successful working weekend than the one I just completed. The past two-and-a-half days found me submerged in Thoreau’s Journal and Heidegger’s essay “The Origin of the Work of Art.” Both of these fine minds launched me in my journal to write feverishly as ideas kept brimming to the surface. I also spent a great deal of time gleaning material from Andrew Wyeth interviews, most notably from the book Two Worlds of Andrew Wyeth. I am at a loss to describe the power and intrigue of the thoughts that flashed between the long nights.

As a plein air watercolorist, I confess that I am still overwhelmed at the vast complexity of the natural landscape that envelops me when I attempt to paint it. When I spend time poring over my Andrew Wyeth books, I swoon at his vignette quality drybrush watercolor sketches, particularly the way in which he focuses on one or two small areas to develop in high detail, while letting the rest trail off into out-of-focus washes of color, and ultimately into the white abyss of the paper borders. I have also been smitten by the shapes of his compositions, those organic abstracted borders possessing a sophistication that my high school art teacher tried again and again to pound into my artist perceptions.

Andrew Wyeth Drybrush: "Flock of Crows"

Andrew Wyeth Drybrush: “Flock of Crows”

In the midst of the weekend, I suddenly received this flash of inspiration to take another look at the photos I took on the island a couple of weeks ago. For two weeks, I have been making thumbnail compositional sketches from these photos, trying to visualize a way to design a drybrush watercolor with a vignette type finish. I suddenly decided to apply Photoshop to them, subtracting certain areas around the borders and snaking up into the heart of the composition, creating overall compositional shapes reminiscent of Andrew Wyeth borders. Once I finished these, I then printed them off on cheap computer paper, and taking out colored inks, toothbrush, pencils and assorted tools, I began to splatter the white areas and texture them with the toothbrush. Finally, I took a #2 pencil to the formerly white regions and began rendering grasses and debris found in coastal sands. I think I’m getting an idea now of how I want my watercolors to look once I finally get on the island to stay awhile. In both of my posted photographs, there was no sand, only green grasses. I used Photoshop to erase large patches to look like sand, then went back over them with watercolor, ink, pencil, and other items to try and make them look like sandy areas. Once I get on location, I am going to see how well I can render greenery and sand while letting the borders trail off into the white paper.

A Second Photoshopped Photo with Ink and Watercolor Additions

A Second Photoshopped Photo with Ink and Watercolor Additions

I still have a week of school to endure before the semester closes. Naturally, I’m finding it hard to concentrate on my daily duties when every night I just want to bury myself in the studio and explore these new worlds.

Another Intriguing Night Beckons

Another Intriguing Night Beckons

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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4 Responses to “Flashes Between the Points”

  1. Dian Darr Says:

    Fascinating to enter your mind and follow your creative process!


  2. Xraypics Says:

    Fascinating. I’m really looking forward to seeing your work in the fullness of time. You sound enthused and excited. That will reflect in the work.


    • davidtripp Says:

      Tony, I always thrive on your encouragement, thank you so much. I am especially enthused about the fulness of time (pleroma tou kairou!). I only hope that what I experience will show in a good way through the things I make during this time.

      Liked by 1 person

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