Living with a Longer Radius

9 x 10" Watercolor Sketch

9 x 10″ Watercolor Sketch

Yes, roam far, grasp life and conquer it, learn much and live. Your fetters are knocked off; you are really free. . . . Do not repose every night as villagers do. The noble life is continuous and unintermitting. At least, live with a longer radius. 

Henry David Thoreau, Journal, August 23, 1845

Having driven great distances the past couple of days, it was nice today to sleep in, and then relax into the day. Saturdays are nice for that. I devoted hours to going over my Laguna Madre papers, watercolor sketches, and digital photos. Delicious memories flooded my soul, and as I lingered over some of the photos I had taken of the lagoon, I decided on impulse to stretch a sheet of 9 x 10″ 140 lb. cold press paper and see what I could do inside such a small surface. I have posted today’s work/play. I have some ideas of what to do to tighten it up, but I think I’m going to let it rest a few days. I felt such warm feelings and memories as I worked on this piece, and I’ll remain grateful to my last breath for those six days of splendor on the island. I close my eyes, and I am back there again. There is talk of a plein air painting camp to be held on that island next year, and I would do nothing to miss out on that. I am just dying to see that heavenly environment again.

I took Thoreau’s challenge seriously. I am not comfortable, working on small watercolors, to begin with. I’m still trying to solve the problems of horizons such as this, where land masses and lagoon zig-zag in patterns I’ve never attempted to paint before. I love looking at the stacked bands of color, from sky, to trees, to ground, to sand, to lagoon, and then land again. Depth perspective still deals me fits as I try to render flowers in the foreground and gradually shift to middle ground and then background. So much still to learn, but I’m anxious to grow into this. Thoreau challenges me to strive onward and enlarge my circle of understanding. Perhaps I will be better in the classroom as I continually remember that I myself will always be a student.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

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