Posts Tagged ‘Whitesboro’

Watching the Changing Atmosphere throughout the Day

June 20, 2014
Changing the Atmosphere Surrounding the House

Changing the Atmosphere Surrounding the House

I read history as little critically as I consider the landscape, and am more interested in the atmospheric tints and various lights and shades which the intervening spaces create than in its groundwork and composition.  It is the morning now turned evening and seen in the west,–the same sun, but a new light and atmosphere.

Henry David Thoreau, Journal, August 7, 1841

I spent most of this day dividing my time between the writings of Thoreau and this emerging watercolor.  I love Thoreau’s analogy of regarding history as one does a changing landscape, with the focus on atmosphere, change, progression, etc.  As I watched this painting emerging from my brush throughout the day, I began to consider atmospheric changes in the surrounding landscape, and worked to create that effect. I altered the colors and textures in the distant trees, and tried to remove most of the highlights from the weedpatch in the foreground.   I’m nearly finished, I believe.  It is time to set this aside and look at it across the room for a few hours or even a few days.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to keep from feeling quite alone.

The Sweetness that Comes with the Dawn

June 20, 2014
Mornings Spent with Thoreau and Watercolor

Mornings Spent with Thoreau and Watercolor

The Vedas say “All intelligences awake with the morning.”  Poetry and art, and the fairest and most memorable of the actions of men, date from such an hour. . . . Morning is when I am awake and there is a dawn in me.  Moral reform is the effort to throw off sleep.

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

I could not have asked for a better morning.  Mine began, without an alarm, at 5:40.  Since then, aside from the necessities of showering and making breakfast, I have had the luxury of reading from the pages of Thoreau and working on this watercolor, back and forth.  I am finding just as much splendor in staring into these greens and trying to capture the essence of this rural Whitesboro land as I derive from the written words of the Sage, Henry David Thoreau.  The morning has brought to me his Journals, his Walden, and his Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers.  The power of his thought is sending me to other worlds.  I could not be more pleased.  I found it necessary to pause from these indulgences and send out another blog.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I am alone.

I blog to keep from feeling totally alone.

 

Transplanting Myself

June 20, 2014
An Early Morning Attempt at Watercolor

An Early Morning Attempt at Watercolor

[In Paris] I was writing about up in Michigan and since it was a wild, cold, blowing day it was that sort of day in the story.  I had already seen the end of fall come through boyhood, youth and young manhood, and in one place you could wite about it better than in another.  That was called transplanting yourself, I thought, and it could be as necessary with people as with other sorts of growing things . . .  .

Maybe away from Paris I could write about Paris as in Paris I could write about Michigan.

Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

Later, I will probably post about the kind of morning I’ve had, beginning at 5:40–it has been sublime.  A significant part of the morning has been this watercolor I began last night, that takes me back to a time in my life between 1986-87.  Throughout the time that I lived in rural Whitesboro, I felt that I was sucking the marrow out of the environment, though I only knew Thoreau by reputation–I was not yet reading his works.  I was not painting in those days, but rather completing my dissertation for the Ph.D.  However, I wanted to paint and write about this land, this house where I was living.  And I felt that I could not.  All I did was take many photographs and record observations in my inaugural journal pages.

Now, twenty-eight years later, I am painting it, and remembering, much (I suppose) the way Hemingway was able to write about his significant chapters in life only after geographically and chronologically transplanting himself.  As I pore over my photographs of the textures and colors of this land and house, I remember, and am glad to remember the good things.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to keep from being entirely alone.

Pausing and Waiting for the New Dawn

June 19, 2014
Beginning of an Abandoned House in Rural Whitesboro, Texas

Beginning of an Abandoned House in Rural Whitesboro, Texas

“They were miserable men who were granted a few moments of transcendence and they had the talent and foresight to grab pen and paper and write it down.”

Line from the motion picture “Liberal Arts”–Dr. Fairfield, Professor of Romantics, assessing the British Romantic poets.

I am thrilled to begin my first three-day weekend of the summer school stretch.  Finishing at 12:45 today, I went home, slumped in a chair, and suddenly had no intiative–why is it that I want to be most creative when I have a demanding schedule to keep?!  I don’t answer the bell till next Monday morning, yet here I sat, in my chair, feeling inert.  Turning to a TV recording of a motion picture I captured last week (and I absolutely love it!), I laughed at the line posted above, realizing how much truth rings in it.  I then re-opened my volume of Thoreau’s Journal to my bookmark and resumed reading where I had left off early this morning:

When my imagination travels eastward and backward to those remote years of the gods, I seem to draw near to the habitation of the morning, and the dawn at length has a place.  I remember the book as an hour before sunrise.

There it was: the dawn.  I recalled all the wonderful things I had read from Thoreau’s Walden about the dawn as a metaphor for that moment of the day when he was most (creatively) awake.  It was time for me to wake up to the dawn.  So . . . I returned to the studio and began this piece posted above.  This is the house I lived in during a 9-month span of 1984-85.  It is sadly abandoned now and ready to collapse.  I returned there a few years ago and took more than a dozen reference photos for potential watercolor studies.  Finally I am getting down to one (actually, I did paint it immediately after the photo shoot, and promptly sold the painting; and now wish I still had it).  So far the piece is moving along pretty quickly.  I don’t plan to spend too many days on it.  There are some technique and compositional matters I want to pursue, so here is an excuse.

Thanks for reading.  It’s a good feeling, being “awake” again.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.