Opening a Vein

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The sincerity and marrow of the man reaches to his sentences. I know not any where the book that seems less written. It is the language of conversation transferred to a book. Cut these words, and they would bleed; they are vascular and alive.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Montaigne; or, The Skeptic”

Last night, severe thunderstorms mashed the sky (as Emily Dickinson) would have it, knocking out the electricity west of St. Louis for over an hour. I found it  cumbersome, reading Emerson by flashlight, but Bloom’s book about genius turned me on to the essays of Montaigne and Emerson, and the later I read, the more my imagination was stirred.

Annie Dillard once wrote that the task of writing wasn’t difficult; you just sit at your desk and open a vein. Her words, along with the others I’m currently reading, are seizing my attention with regards to blogging and journaling. I have always taken my writing seriously, and the ideas I post seriously. But I know that I could put more scrutiny into the actual mechanics of writing: anything worth expressing to the public is worth expressing as soberly as possible.

Last night’s storms knocked down leaves and scattered them all over my parents’ driveway. I received word from a dear friend in Athens, Texas that she is watercoloring leaves today, and experimenting with new techniques. That inspired me to try the same. Here is my beginning, as I ruminate in the shade over Emerson’s words.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to learn.
I journal when I feel alone.
I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

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12 Responses to “Opening a Vein”

  1. Laura (Createarteveryday) Says:

    Incredible rendering! Did you use one leaf as a mask, or did you draw them? Very impressive and gorgeous colors. I’m sooooo looking forward to getting into leaves this fall with drawing/painting.

    Like

    • davidtripp Says:

      Oh, thank you. I drew them all freehand, and could have done better if not in a hurry (wind kept moving them about as well!).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Laura (Createarteveryday) Says:

        Super impressed!!! Seriously. OK, I’ll be getting lots of practice at this next month! Looking forward to the challenge! (Trying to draw leaves last fall, at the beginning of my art obsession, was just realllllly tough.)

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      • davidtripp Says:

        You inspire me! I made my 2nd attempt tonight to render leaves in watercolor. It’s much more difficult than I anticipated.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Laura (Createarteveryday) Says:

        I read a technique in a book last year that involved dripping clear water into a damp wash. I couldn’t draw to save my life, but I did the best I could with a leaf and with that technique, it was pretty cool looking. It gave a very believable leafy texture. I’m sure that one is well-known to you, because you’re very advanced, but thought I’d toss it out there.

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      • davidtripp Says:

        Excellent! I don’t always get that mottled effect I like, but sometimes I hold a spray bottle of water at a distance and when I squirt, tiny drops of water fall and create BB-sized dots on the wash that stay and dry.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Laura (Createarteveryday) Says:

    And trees too! David, can you recommend any resources for drawing and/or painting trees? I want to be ready when they start to turn!

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