Pushing the Silt Downstream

My Workspace in The Gallery at Redlands

The world’s spiritual geniuses seem to discover universally that the mind’s muddy river, this ceaseless flow of trivia and trash, cannot be dammed, and that trying to dam it is a waste of effort that might lead to madness.  Instead you must allow the muddy river to flow unheeded in the dim channels of consciousness; you raise your sights; you look along it mildly, acknowledging its presence without interest and gazing beyond it into the realm of the real where subjects and objects act and rest purely, without utterance.
Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

The best part about working all day in a gallery without television or radio is not hearing news chatter or small talk. All I did throughout the day was paint, and my mind drifted freely down a myriad of tracks. I started and finished a 5 x 7″ watercolor of an F-series diesel, thus rounding out a trio of train compositions during my four-day stay here.

Thanks for reading.

6 Responses to “Pushing the Silt Downstream”

  1. Patricia Says:

    Beautiful paintings! What substrate are you using? Is it watercolor paper that you stapled around a board? Or do you use watercolor grounds on canvas? I also noticed in other posts a board-type material. Is it watercolor board?


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you for looking. I soak 90 lb cold press D’Arches paper and staple it on stretchers to shrink & tighten. The watercolor dries faster on that surface. When finished I remove staples and cut off folded edges. Lays nice & flat for framing.


  2. Lorraine McFarland Says:

    Hi David! Love the train paintings and the Annie Dillard excerpt. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is one of my all-time favorite books. Thanks for the reminder. I’m going to pull it off the shelf today and read it again. BTW, if you get a chance before the eclipse in August check out Annie’s essay on the eclipse in Teaching a Stone to Talk. Loving the paintings and your blog!


    • davidtripp Says:

      Yes! The essay about the eclipse is what convinced me to travel to Missouri and see it this year! I’m glad you’re finding fulfillment in your art, as I am in mine. Give Norm my best as he sails into retirement. I’m loving it on my end!


  3. DIan Says:

    Love the train paintings! Your opening quote from Annie Dillard is one I have written down and visit often. She so aptly describes how my mind works!!


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