“Angel’s Nest” Weatherford, Texas
This striving after imitative expression, which one meets every where, is significant of the aim of nature, but is mere stenography. There are higher degrees, and nature has more splendid endowments for those whom she elects to a superior office; for the class of scholars or writers, who see connection where the multitude see fragments, and who are impelled to exhibit the facts in order, and so to supply the axis on which the frame of things turns.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Goethe; or, the Writer”
Returning to a day job after an exciting weekend of art-related activities could be compared to diving into a warm pond after a sauna. It is only Wednesday, but the week has been comparatively tepid. The watercolor posted above is on a full-sized sheet of 300# D’Arches paper. The original frame was damaged, so I’ve decided to re-frame it and bring it to hang in my show this weekend. It has been out of the public eye for about three years now, and the time is long past due to make repairs and bring it back out.
I have returned to reading Goethe during this week, and decided to pick up Emeson’s essay on that marvelous sage, probably the Shakespeare of Gemany. On Monday evening, feeling a bit hungover from the weekend show, I drove out to a beautiful green belt on the east side of Arlington, found a park bench, and read this essay until dark. I cannot describe the feelings that washed over me, but the passage I’ve cited above gripped me the most. With Emerson and Hemingway, I have frequently translated the theories of writing to the visual arts, and here is another example. Emerson contrasts the stenographer with the poetic writer, and I always feel the conflict between the illustrator and the fine artist when I attempt to paint. When I decided to tackle this magnificent Victorian house in Weatherford, Texas (where I stayed during my 60th birthday), I knew that I wanted to go beyond mere description of that intriguing structure, to transcend the architect’s rendering of the subject. That is the main reason I kept the subject small on the paper and devoted the greatest expanse to the sprawling lawn in the foreground. I am wishing to paint this subject again, because I’m not satisfied with every aspect of it and would love to have another run at it. I have always loved Andrew Wyeth’s “Christina’s World” and have always wished to render a house atop a hill with that expansive sense of space surrounding it.
Thanks for reading. I can’t wait to return the The Gallery at Redlands for the weekend.
I paint in order to learn.
I journal when I feel alone.
I blog to remind myself I am not alone.