Posts Tagged ‘Texas Laguna Madre’

Sun breaking through the Gloom

April 10, 2016


Sometimes I have an imaginary picture in mind of the poet Mallarmé in his study late at night–changing, blotting, transferring, transforming each word and its relations with such care–and I think that the sustained energy for that travail must have come from the secret knowledge that each word was a link in the chain that he was forging to bind himself to the universe; and so with other poets, composers and painters.

Robert Motherwell

As one who loathes reading pity-party blogs, I will just say that this weekend took me to rock bottom, simply started by spending my entire Saturday, from 9 a.m. till 11:30 p.m. grading exams from high school. I awoke this morning with a stiff neck, headache (I almost never get headaches) and a deep feeling of depression. Fortunately, I shook it off by traveling to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth to view for the third time in a week the extensive Robert Motherwell installation, to take more notes, record more observations, and then retreat to the cafe patio to read further from my new book Robert Motherwell: 100 Years over a cup of coffee. With rainy weather throughout the day, the sky was overcast rendering the temperatures cool and delicious.


Reading Motherwell’s imaginative ruminations about the poet Mallarmé inhis study stirred my blood, as it brought to my mind images of Motherwell working through the night in his Greenwich, Connecticut studio, painting, scrutinizing, adjusting, second-guessing, editing further. This is what motivates me when making art, and I wish to God I could have had studio time yesterday instead of burning up the entire day and night with grading deadlines. The past weeks have featured abundant obstacles, and time away from the studio pushes my spirits downward. At least on this splendid day, I could vicariously enjoy Mallarmé and Motherwell’s creative processes, and drink deeply from the Modern’s art collection. I feel more than ready to walk into tomorrow’s art history classes as we continue our push through the modern era.

The week ahead will be a busy one, with an overcrowded school schedule, and my first art festival of the year coming up Friday. I’ll do my best to blog between now and the weekend. Another part of my afternoon was spent going over the rough drafts of this book I’m attempting to write about my experiences last summer on the Texas Laguna Madre. The draft is still rough, just not as rough as yesterday. I will go ahead and post it below. It covers the first day of my island observations.  Thanks for reading.

Chapter One





Watching my Friends Pull Away

What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing?–it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.[1]

At 10:43 a.m., Sunday morning, June 7, 2015, I stood at the dock and waved at the boat pulling away, carrying with it my two new acquaintances that had just transported me to this small island on the Texas Laguna Madre. They will return in six days. For the first time in my sixty-one years on this planet, I stand, gazing across a hypersaline body of water. But I don’t feel exiled, cut off, expelled from civilization. On the contrary, I have been honored with space to create and find my artistic voice. Having reached a plateau in my body of watercolor work, I now have an opportunity to reclaim my mojo hand.  I have landed an Artist-in-Residence assignment with Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, and will spend a week exploring and painting this exotic environment on a spoil island in the Laguna Madre, with no distracting appointments and no transportation to use as an excuse to run off and find something else to do. As a painter, I am filled with deep-seated gratitude at what Eugene Delacroix and Henri Matisse described as “cleansing the eye.” This is not my home, not my environment. Just raw nature enveloping me, and in Emersonian fashion my head is bathed in the blithe air.

Having risen at 4:30 this morning to catch the boat to the island, and 3:00 yesterday morning, to make the eight-hour drive from Arlington to Corpus Christi, I felt fatigued and worried that Day One of my residency would be flat due to lack of rest. But as I watched Paul and Bobby pull away from the dock, a switch flipped, and turning to the front porch table I had converted to a workbench, I immediately began soaking and stretching paper for my first paintings.

From my tenth-grade Art II teacher, Mr. Leo Hoeh, I learned to soak and stretch watercolor paper over canvas stretchers, using a staple gun to secure the edges, in the same way oil and acrylic painters stretch canvas. When the paper dries, it shrinks and stretches tightly over the stretchers and feels like a drum skin. When painting outdoors en plein air (I was told that was French for painting with the bugs!), the paper dries rapidly while watercoloring, since the front and back surfaces are exposed to the breeze. After years of practice, I can stretch these very quickly, and immediately set to work stretching four 9 x 12” papers, laying them out in the sun to dry.


. . . and so begins the task . . .

As the paper dried on the stretchers, I took out my small Fluid watercolor block and went to work, looking to the west by northwest at the distant gas-powered electrical plant for Flower Bluff, adjacent to Corpus Christi. The billowing clouds piled above were very attractive, and for the first time in my life, I tried to paint the actual clouds as portraits, recording their contours and colors as closely as I could to what I saw above me.  In time past, I had always “faked” my clouds, using gimmicks like pouring, blotting with cloth towels, scouring with Q-tips, etc.  I had never actually tried to copy clouds from life as I did on this day.

The longer I worked on the clouds, the more my soul smiled, feeling a connection with Monet and company as they experimented en plein air more than a century before. Desiré Louis, viewing the work of Monet, recorded the following on May 19, 1891 in L’Événement:

His skies, whether pure or cloudy, gay or melancholic, resonate with the mysterious sounds of the universe.  He forces the spirit to think and to soar above these magisterial representations . . . of reality . . . . In front of this seductive painting, you have the impression of a full and benevolent life which makes you recall the intoxication one feels with the dawning of a new day.[2]


First Attempted Painting at the Laguna Madre

By the time I got to the water below, the sun had risen high enough that the colors had muted considerably. That is the challenge of plein air painting: light conditions change rapidly and the painter has to make quick decisions while painting this moving target.  Monet himself complained of nature not posing still for him, saying “I am grinding away, bent on a series of different effects, but at this time of year, the sun goes down so quickly that I cannot keep up with it.”[3]  I am thinking seriously about setting up at the same time tomorrow, and if the sun is strong and the day clear, perhaps I’ll get another look at that fabulous teal lagoon. I have little-to-no experience painting broad expanses of water and am unsure as to how to match those deep colors I saw earlier when I began.

Laying the painting aside, I resumed my reading of Thoreau’s A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers. I am about three-quarters of my way through the book now, and as I explore these pages, my enthusiasm just keeps building. I cannot believe the flair for writing the young Thoreau possessed. Finding my stretched paper dry enough to begin work, I turned my attention to a bed of wildflowers and prickly pear cactus on the south side of the field station where I’m living this week. I’ve never painted cactus before, and I’m going to have to make some more tries at this. I have trouble distinguishing it from the greenery surrounding it, and haven’t quite found the key to that. But the effort was still enjoyable. I love the process of plein air painting, even if I don’t get the results I anticipated.


Cactus and Wildflowers

About halfway through the cactus sketch, I looked out over another spread of wildflowers and lush grasses on the west side of my porch, and decided to give those a try, with a little help from a bottle of masquing fluid. I enjoyed the effort of duplicating the colors of the flowers that popped among the grasses, but also decided to make some abstract compositional decisions on the shape of the composition, thinking back over my recent experiments with Andrew Wyeth drybrush sketches.  My high school teacher of Art I and III, Mr. Robie Scucchi, taught me much about abstract compositional matters, pointing out the way Andrew Wyeth left the margins of his watercolor paper untouched, and shaping his positive spaces of landscape textures with fingers and tentacles reaching out into the white void in all directions.  Mr. Scucchi urged that the shape of the negative boundaries surrounding the composition were just as dramatic as the actual ground textures in the Wyeth drybrush studies.  I decided to experiment with the perimeter of my wildflowers sketch, pushing fingers of greenery into the surrounding void.


A Second Attempt at Sketching Wildflowers

As the June sun waxed in the western half of the sky, rendering the heat of my front porch unbearable, I retreated to the rear of the field station, seeking shade, and noticed some attractive clumps of gulf cordgrass with white flowers accenting their base, flourishing a few feet from the eastern porch. Sitting on a bench and leaning against the field station, I read some more from Thoreau, but kept looking up at the cordgrass on the shady side of the house, and could not stop thinking about the Albrecht Dürer drybrush studies of tall grasses that I have always admired. Wyeth was always harking back to those compositions, testifying that they inspired him to attempt grass studies in watercolor.  I recalled Dürer’s statement that “art lies hidden within nature; he who can wrest it from her, has it.” So, I closed the book and contemplated on solving the problem of rendering tall grasses in transparent watercolor. Suddenly it hit me: masque the white flowers first on the white paper, then flood the paper with the lightest, coolest shade of green. When it dries, draw tall grasses with the Masquepen. Let it dry. Then flood the paper with a little darker green (I mixed transparent yellow into it). Let it dry. Then draw more grasses with the masquepen. Let dry. Then I added Winsor Red to darken and warm the green and flooded the area again. After it dried, I masqued more grasses. Next I added Winsor Violet to the ever-darkening green I was building up. Then I masqued some more. Finally, adding Alizarin Crimson, I made the green nearly black, and painted grasses over the entire masque-and-layered composition, frequently raking my sharp HB pencil through the wet to draw out thin, spiky blades of cordgrass. Once it dried, I stripped away all the layers of masquing, and finding too much white grass, flooded it once more with a light, cool green to turn the white grasses into pale green.


Fourth and Final Watercolor of the First Day

This was my fourth watercolor of the day, and I was too tired to assess whether it was any good (or any of the other paintings for that matter). But I was deeply pleased that I kicked out four sketches on Day One, got in some excellent reading, and ground out a number of journal pages.

That man who does not believe that each day contains an earlier, more sacred, and auroral hour than he has yet profaned, has despaired of life, and is pursuing a descending and darkening way.[4]

The day was perfect, but long. That night I planned to sleep a long time for the first time in three nights.


[1] Jack Kerouac, On the Road

[2] Paul Hayes Tucker, Monet in the ‘90s: The Series Paintings (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1989), pp. 3-4.

[3] Ibid,. p. 3.

[4] Thoreau, Walden.



Video of the Laguna Madre Field Station

February 9, 2016

I just found this cool 41-second video filmed from a helicopter approaching the Laguna Madre Field Station where I did my artist-in-residence in June 2015. This will be the site of our island watercolor workshop March 18-19. Enjoy! Hope you can join us. Remember, only six will be selected to participate.

Finally Breaking Through

January 16, 2016


In recent days, I have tried to find another gear, editing earlier attempts of paintings of the Texas Laguna Madre, where I spent six days last summer as artist-in-residence. My major one-man-show opens at the Art Center in Corpus Christi at the beginning of March, so there are still some new works to be framed, and several scattered pieces that had been begun badly and tossed aside. The one pictured above is one of them. This painting started out so badly that I nearly discarded it a couple of times. This morning, looking at it over a cup of coffee, I determined to make one last run at it, and what I did worked (I believe). At any rate, I have now signed it and plan to deliver it for the show as well.

cactus among the flowers

Paying Yourself First

September 13, 2015
A Repeat of a Four-Year-Old Plein Air Sketch

A Repeat of a Four-Year-Old Plein Air Sketch

Because the soul is progressive, it never quite repeats itself, but in every act attempts the production of a new and fairer whole.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Art”

After losing the natural light last evening, I decided to go ahead and see if I could kick out a rough watercolor sketch similar to the one I did in L.A. four years ago. I’m pleased that a musician has chosen the old one to decorate the cover of her CD, and thought that perhaps I should return to the subject. While working on it, I thought of Ezra Pound and his fondness for Chinese calligraphy and the Chinese brushwork with all its aesthetic qualities. It made me return to the Six Canons offered up in Helen Gardner’s more recent editions of Art Through the Ages. I love this sense of reaching for the bare “essence” of a subject and simply suggesting it with gestures rather than defining it with pictorial precision. As I worked on this last night I felt liberated, not constrained the way I often feel when working on the exacting details of my watercolor pieces.

Sunday Brunch

Sunday Brunch

After a relatively sleepless night (too many good things to ponder), I rose rather late this Sunday morning. With fond memories of my Saturday breakfast of coddled eggs with herbs of Provence and Canadian bacon, I decided to do a repeat even though it was already late this morning.

Paying Myself First Today

Paying Myself First Today

I have homework (yes, teachers always, ALWAYS have homework) in both college and high school courses, so I have to devote the lion’s share of today to getting ready for those responsibilities tomorrow. But I have decided to pay myself first, just in case the night falls and I’m still working on school stuff. Don Quixote has been a most engaging read, and I have this itch to return to a thickening manuscript that I reopened last night concerning my experiences as Artist-in-Residence on the Texas Laguna Madre last June. I still have plenty of writing and editing to do, and I’m in the mood. And I really want to burrow further into Don Quixote. So, I am going to pay myself first, and then answer to the school responsibilities after I have satisfied my own itch.

Thank you for reading.

I paint in order to learn.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am never alone.

Morning Brings Back the Heroic Ages

September 12, 2015

The morning wind forever blows, the poem of creation is uninterrupted; but few are the ears that hear it. 

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

A Satisfying Saturday Breakfast

A Satisfying Saturday Breakfast

Waking at daylight without an alarm on a Saturday morning was a pleasant surprise, and even the greater surprise of learning that it was 65 degrees outside. I made coffee and sat on my back deck for the first time since last spring (Texas summers are beyond torrid) and felt the serenity of the world engulfing me. Going back inside, I decided to make a more satisfying breakfast of coddled eggs with herbs of Provence along with some fried Canadian bacon.

Following breakfast, I learned the sad news that the husband of a dear friend I’ve known for thirty years had just passed away. About an hour later, I was sitting with the family and listening for the most part–we are all so helpless when we sit with friends who have suffered such an unspeakable loss. There is no way I can describe the love I feel for this family, and frankly the rest of the day was just going through the motions for me. There is a gigantic hole in our world right now.

This evening, before the light faded, I decided to begin a new watercolor of the Laguna Madre environment. I barely got the sky and horizon laid in before the light was gone, and for such landscape paintings, I really hate working under artificial light bulbs. So this will have to wait until morning. It measures 14 x 20″.

A New Beginning on the Laguna Madre

A New Beginning on the Laguna Madre

There is plenty of Saturday evening still stretched out before me, and I have a number of books I have been reading. Last night Don Quixote was providing plenty of mental stimulation. Perhaps I’ll push him a bit further this evening. I still cannot make up my mind whether to sit in the comforts of my study or go out on the town–Fort Worth’s Sundance Square has been so delightful, especially with falling temperatures. And there are always the Starbuck’s Cafes. . .

Thanks for reading.

Re-exploring the Laguna Madre

August 27, 2015

imageThursday evening has offered me a luxurious gift–I was ready for tomorrow’s classes by early afternoon, and had time to paint in the studio with quality light coming through my windows. All day throughout my classes I envisioned this painting I began, knowing what I wanted to do next with it. I love Andrew Wyeth’s description of his drybrush watercolor process as similar to weaving a tapestry–he said if you drybrushed on white paper, the painting would be too harsh, too abrupt. He preferred to lay down a light wash, then drybrush over the top of it when it dried, then lay down a wash over the top, apply more drybrush, etc. I have done this repeatedly in rendering the weatherbeaten sides of buildings, and have made a few forays into landscape with the technique. But this will be the first time working on a larger piece (20 x 24″) that is exclusively landscape, with no props such as architecture to take the eye away from the land textures. I am continually layering drybrush and wash, one atop the other, and the land is starting to take on a richer complexity and texture.

The layout of the island where I stayed last June on the Laguna Madre becomes more fascinating to me in these months following, as I look at photos I took, sketches I did on location, and study closely the textures and colors of the various plant life and sand colors. This time, I am really trying hard to match the colors as best I can. Of course, I want to make a pretty painting, but I want this watercolor to be truer to the colors I saw on location, and the process is requiring plenty of experimenting and scrutiny. And I love the process.

I am hesitant to toss this photo up on the blog for two reasons: 1) I have gotten further along, but it is now dark, and my photography of my large watercolors under artificial light is awful, 2) the painting is coming along like a jigsaw puzzle, as my plan is to develop that serpentine line of ground textures from the foreground to the lagoon. Currently there is still a great deal of white paper surface that has not yet been touched, and there is no quick way for me to get that done. All in good time.

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.

Pre-dawn Moments with the Muses

August 25, 2015


I who sail now in a boat, have I not sailed in a thought?
Henry David Thoreau, Journal

Rising at 5 a.m., one hour before my scheduled time, proved to be extremely difficult. I fought off every urge to return to my bed to get one more hour of sleep. Though I did not feel great physically, I really believed down deep that it was important to have at least an hour to myself before entering the classroom. Thirty minutes passed before I finally found my footing in the Journals of Thoreau. Every time I awaken with that feeling of uncertainty about what I am doing with my life, I find an affirmation in the writings of a great soul, on this occasion, Thoreau:

The hardest material obeys the same law with the most fluid. Trees are but rivers of sap and woody fibre flowing from the atmosphere and emptying into the earth by their trunks as their roots flow upward to the surface. And in the heavens there are rivers of stars and milky ways. There are rivers of rock on the surface and rivers of ore in the bowels of the earth. And thoughts flow and circulate and seasons lapse as tributaries of the current year.

As I lingered over his words, I thought of my own life as a river that flowed eventually south into the Texas Laguna Madre, settled there awhile, and then reversed its course back to the metroplex where I now try to share my vision while down there. The river is a marvelous metaphor for the life of the mind. How many times could we describe our individual selves as rivers of ideas, each of us pushed on our unique course by a passionate heart that pumps that energy throughout our bodies? Or better still, could each of us not represent a single tributary, branching from the same source and pushing on our individual odysseys? Meandering rivers. Splintering tributaries. All of us beautiful in our own way. For about half an hour this morning, I enjoyed the flow.

Taking up the pencil, I decided to push my experiment a little further down the river. I am still exploring the possibilities of indenting the paper surface with a dried-up ballpoint pen as a stylus, and then rubbing soft graphite and blending stumps over the top, to see if I can render the semblance of grass and flower patterns. I posted this morning’s example above.

Just before leaving for school, I took last night’s painting outdoors, peeled off the masquing and brushed away the grains of salt to see what lay beneath the mess:

Lower Left Corner of Watercolor in Progress

Lower Left Corner of Watercolor in Progress

I believe that with a little tweaking, I can turn this blob of color into a bed of firewheels and assorted wildflowers from the Texas Laguna Madre.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to explore.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.


Conflicted, as Usual

August 21, 2015
Trying to Get Day One Prepared

Thrashing my Way through Preparations for Monday

I force my mind to become self-absorbed and not let outside things distract it. There can be absolute bedlam without so long as there is no commotion within.


I shun father and mother and wife and brother when my genius calls me.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self-Reliance”

In Arlington, I am seated in the rear of my classroom, hammering out Advanced Placement Art History teaching points for Monday’s first day of school. Meanwhile in Corpus Christi, my new friends are assembling a one-man show of my watercolors from the Laguna Madre Artist-in-Residence experience last June. The show will be held in the university library the last three weeks in October. A larger show will follow next March in the Art Center of Corpus Christi. Focusing on my job here is demanding a Stoic resolve.

But that is what life contains-conflicts. Always. Currently, I am wrapping up a week of meetings, and my time would have been much better spent organizing the teaching points for my five subjects. But that point is never considered by those in charge of setting up these calendars. I suppose it is the state legislature that believes they are developing us as professionals by requiring long hours of sitting through meetings that penetrate our classroom efforts as effectively as a spider does water.

As I thrash out this new curriculum for Advanced Placement Art History, mandated by the College Board, I find my eye drifting to this watercolor in front of me that I began several weeks ago, and forgot to finish. The hiatus turned out to be good, I believe, because when I looked at it this morning while packing my books, I suddenly got a compositional idea I am anxious to apply–a serpentine line of grasses, foliage and coastal debris beginning with the wildflowers in the lower left foreground, and arriving eventually on the horizon line. Right now, that is all I really want to explore. But . . . I have a job to do, and I cannot put it off any longer.

Thanks for reading, and I hope this day holds great surprises for you.

I paint in order to learn.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

A Sacred Space Where Word and Image Can Merge

July 30, 2015
Combined Text and Image in Drawing

Combined Text and Image in Drawing

And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Thanks to comments from my blogging friend Tony, and encouragement from Dinah Bowman, I’ve decided to explore further the possibility of sketchbook/journal art, allowing my thoughts to nestle alongside the images I attempt to draw and paint. For decades, this is how my mind has operated when imagination forms words and pictures. And yet, I can recall only Leonardo da Vinci among the artists who combined his sketchbook with his journals, the words meandering around and into his drawn images. For a number of years as an art teacher in public schools, I tried to establish this practice among my students, without success, as far as I could determine. A couple of years ago, a very gifted pair of twins in my A.P. Art History class daily sketched and wrote out their ideas in Moleskine journals, and seeing them do that inspired me to do it, from time to time, but not with consistency. Funny–I’ve had no problem maintaining journals and blogs without a break, but the sketchbook aspect just never seemed to stick with me. At any rate, I did buy a sketchbook a few weeks ago, when my last Moleskine journal was completely filled. And I have done more drawing in this sketchbook, though I frequently tear out the pages (hence the one posted above). I am determined to find my way in this endeavor.

My blogging friend Tony wrote, asking if I had the three pages presented in an earlier blog prepared for posting and reading. I did not. But a phone call to Dinah resulted in her sending me the images via email (she lives eight hours away, and now has my Laguna Madre portfolio for framing) and I am all-too-happy to post them this morning, Thank you for asking, Tony. These are for you. And Dinah, Tony and I both thank you for taking the time to photograph and send these.


This is the very first watercolor I attempted while on the island in the Laguna Madre. Once completed, I disliked it, thinking it far too pale and devoid of contrast. Nevertheless, it was the first, and has been selected to be in my show this coming October. I like Dinah’s idea of adding my journal entry to the bottom. The plan is to float this watercolor sketch/journal entry in a frame, instead of cropping it with a mat as one would with a traditional watercolor.

This was watercolor number four, completed at the end of the first day of my island stay. Currently, the plan is to float this one in the frame as well, leaving the crimped edges with the staple holes showing (I had this one stretched over canvas stretchers while painting it).  When I stopped painting it (the evening had arrived and the light vanished) there was a considerable amount of negative area occupying the top half of the surface, and my idea was that it could nevertheless be cropped and matted, and presented as a vignette with a halo of light around the borders. Dinah suggested that I insert my journal entry onto this one as well–one of many reasons I am so glad for my obsessive/compulsive habit of keeping journals.

I have an interview later this morning with a free-lance journalist. He wants to write a column for the September issue of Arlington Today magazine about my Artist-in-Residence experience. This has been a gift that keeps on giving, and I am so thrilled at everyone who has reached out to me, allowing me to share this story. Daily, I am writing and revising my materials covering this Artist-in-Residency, hoping that a book could emerge. I have only published articles in magazines, but never wrote or illustrated an actual book. Now I am hoping I can carry out such a project, and as I proceed, I am looking for ways to combine my writing, drawing and painting into an acceptable art form. I thank you, my readers, for all your positive comments that encourage me to stay on this path.

Thanks always for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Living with a Longer Radius

July 25, 2015
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.