I've been working on finishing up paintings and drawings for a show in September. This last one has been sitting on my easel waiting for me to decide if it is finished or not. I had the idea of overlaying a net of ochre circles over the top of it, so I made the "sketch" you see above. I decided I will not add the ochre. Not sure, but I like the purity of this painting without any more detail. I've been getting into very painstaking work, too, like the top drawing. Very meditative. There is a dialogue going on in my head the whole time about what to do next, but then the answer comes after awhile, and I think it's working here. That's the pull of making art...I don't know what to do next, but I have to keep asking and experimenting with the answers I get. I don't have the satisfaction that comes with knowing how to do my job, but I do have the thrill of the challenge.
I read his journal almost every day. I find comfort, grounding and refreshment in his writing. I am in awe of this gift he left the world. The way he savored nature is a north star to me. He writes of sitting under a bridge in his rowboat looking at a moth; of ice skating on the river at 10 o'clock on a February night; of eating watermelon while huckleberrying with friends; of finding a stray kitten; of his neighbor who gets pleasure out of each task he does around his farm. I like the way he is never sentimental, but yet writes of deeply moving experiences. He was so true to himself. I get the feeling that others took him to be "difficult". Each entry in his journal, even from the very beginning when he was 20 years old, is so rich with insight and careful observation. If I could be one tenth as engaged in life as he was, I would count my life a success.