Coming Unto Our Own

Continued Work on the Laguna Madre Landscape

Continued Work on the Laguna Madre Landscape

. . . remember that decayed wood is not old, but has just begun to be what it is.

Henry David Thoreau, Journal, March 19, 1842

Throughout my life, I have heard the laments of aging: the wry jokes as well as the moans. And in recent years I have noted the things I can no longer do effectively as I once did. But in recent months (and I hope this trend endures), my sentiments have flipped to the opposite side, and I have found delight in pleasures I could not appreciate when I was younger. I love to hear Thoreau write, in Aristotelian fashion, that as we age, sentiments emerge whose seeds have been in us all along. Existentialism urges you to “become what you are”, and Thoreau, a century earlier, already laid that principle down in his personal journal. Others have said the same throughout time. The presocratic philosopher Anaximander, in one of his fragments told of the end being already present in the beginning. T. S. Eliot wrote of the same. Aristotle said the ultimate purpose was contained in our infancy. Wordsworth wrote that the child is father to the man. I love that notion, and especially the reality that many of the sublime elements in our life experiences are not appreciated until we reach the later years.

Today, despite repeated interruptions and errands linked to the business side of art, I have worked in the studio as much as time would allow, experimenting with this Laguna Madre painting. I am probably done with the heavy foliage to the left of the Field Station, and am tinkering with the firewheels and sand in the foreground. The dock to the right and the horizon of the lagoon behind it are also requiring some close scrutiny. But I’m having fun, and that is what I enjoy most about watercoloring–the experimenting, the tinkering, and the slow emerging of a composition.

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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12 Responses to “Coming Unto Our Own”

  1. Jodi Says:

    I love watching this evolve and love reading your words 🙂


  2. Laura (Createarteveryday) Says:

    David, I’m amazed at what you can do with the medium. Enjoying this one coming to life.


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you, Laura. I’ve been trying out some different techniques lately, and hope I’m on to something. 

      Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

      From:”David Tripp’s Blog of Watercolors and Ideas” Date:Thu, Jul 16, 2015 at 7:36 PM Subject:[David Tripp’s Blog of Watercolors and Ideas] Comment: “Coming Unto Our Own”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dian Darr Says:

    Thank you for this wonderful reminder of a different view on aging. You have given me a fresh outlook that I am excited about. I needed this especially since I just experienced my 70th birthday!


    • davidtripp Says:

      Oh, happy birthday, Dian! 70?! I always thought you had only 3-4 years on me. Your energy always made you appear 10 years UNDER me! Thank you for your affirmation. I’m grateful to feel good things at this stage in life.


  4. Xraypics Says:

    Thankyou for those comments, and the picture which I’m enjoying watching it as it evolves. Funny you should have written about ageing because it is only very recently that i feel as though I have become me, after so many years of anxiety and worry. What you have written is so reassuring.


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you for responding, Tony. I feel that I’ve emerged from a lifetime of anxieties. More than ever before, I’m so grateful for life and the capacity to recognize the beauty that embraces us.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Xraypics Says:

        And it is interesting the insight that time gives. The ability to appreciate subtleties, perhaps the time to appreciate them – enforced by the loss of some faculties that obstructed that view before.


      • davidtripp Says:

        Wow, talk about insight! You brought up something I hadn’t considered: the idea that losing some faculties at this age enriches other faculties. That certainly resonates with me. Perhaps because I’m not as distracted as I was in earlier years, I have an ability now to stop and reflect longer, put more space around myself without feeling lonely. I really appreciate your ideas.

        Liked by 1 person

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