Holiday Solitude in the Studio

November 20, 2017

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While you are alone you are entirely your own master.

Leonardo da Vinci

Waking up around 5 this morning, I realized with gladness that I don’t have a class to teach for a solid week. I knew that last Friday when our university dismissed for Thanksgiving, but truly felt it this morning. My Monday-Wednesday-Friday classes begin at 9, and always on Monday I awake around 5, thinking about what I’m going to say in four hours. Instead, today I went straight to the drafting table and resumed work on this #300 steam engine from the Texas State Railroad that I abandoned until this past weekend. I’m starting to feel the momentum return, much the way the steam locomotives did when they resumed a journey after a lengthy layover.

I also hope to complete my reading of the Walter Isaacson biography on Leonardo da Vinci. I’m 229 pages into the piece, and have loved every page, as the author chooses to explore this amazing man through his notebooks. This morning is a good time to be alone and think about the work I’m pursuing these days.

The weekend at The Gallery at Redlands was sublime as always, and it was capped by a surprise visit from my dear friends, the Darrs. Yesterday we got to spend several hours visiting in the gallery.

I will not return to the Gallery for the next two weekends. I assume the Thanksgiving weekend would be quiet for business, and I am privileged to take part in the Randy Brodnax and Friends Christmas Show in Dallas December 1-3. I’ll return to Palestine the two weekends following and close out my railroad exhibit.

For anyone interested, I have the following originals on display, along with limited editions for $70, 11 x 14″ matted prints for $25, 8 x 10″matted ones for $15, and box sets of 6 cards for $25. I also have a pair of coffee mugs designed featuring my watercolor trains.

Thanks for reading.

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Night Train Violet

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Night Train Blue

Blue & Red diesel

Chevron Diesel

Orange diesel

Blog Wed 2

Dreams of Yesterday

grapevine train

durango-silverton

turvey

eureka springs

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Return to Painting with a Surge

November 19, 2017

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Leaving the university Friday morning, with a one-week Thanksgiving vacation in front of me put a considerable wind at my back. I arrived at The Gallery at Redlands in Palestine (my home away from home) in time to give a two-hour watercolor lesson to an artist with considerable experience and talent already. Watching her work was a real inspiration for me, and as soon as the lesson was accomplished, I was ready to return to painting after a short hiatus. The painting above of one of the Texas State Railroad locomotives I resumed after laying it aside for a few weeks. I worked on it till late Saturday night, while the Gallery was quiet.

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Rising shortly after 5 this morning, I was ready to resume work on the Chamber of Commerce building as seen outside the Gallery window. I began work on it Saturday morning before the Gallery traffic began picking up. Today the morning sun was bright on the side of the building and I managed to get quite a bit accomplished.

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Saturday morning, early, I got a good look at Shelton Hall in Old Town Palestine while enjoying my morning coffee at the newly-opened Cream & Coffee establishment. While sitting outside, I sketched the roof of the old building in my journal with a ballpoint pen and decided once I returned to the gallery to get a start on this one as well.

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It is now Sunday evening and nearly time to close the Gallery and head back to Arlington (a two-hour drive). The painting time has been luxurious, and my reading of Isaacson’s new biography on Leonardo da Vinci over the weekend has also been a delicious change of pace from what I’ve had to do the past few weeks getting ready for this train show.

My Gallery show will continue to run until December 16, and I’m grateful already for the patrons who have drifted in to peruse my work and make purchases.

And thanks to all of you for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Finally Ready for Show Time

November 11, 2017

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Around Midnight, ready for the Opening

Finally, the last piece is in place and I should be able to sleep tonight. I will be able to open the gallery at ten in the morning, ready to welcome anyone who crosses the threshold. We are in Room 109 of The Redlands Hotel, 400 N. Queen St., Palestine, Texas. Our Gallery at Redlands has been in business since March and we’re all proud to be in this historic space.

The show is titled “The American Railroad Odyssey.” I have new watercolors of historic trains, mostly the ones located in Palestine’s history. For the show I have also brought out ninety signed & numbered prints, as well as open prints in 8 x 10 and 5 x 7″ sizes. I have greeting cards with my railroad watercolor images on the front and a text on the back (blank inside). I sell these at $5 each or $25 for six in a boxed set. Coffee mugs have also been created that sell for $15. This will be the first Christmas season that I have such a full inventory. Hopefully, I can offer something for everyone.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy your weekend.

Distractions

November 10, 2017

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Finally, at 9:30 p.m., I’m settling into The Gallery at Redlands for a quiet night of finishing the show details. Even though the show official opens tomorrow, I don’t feel the time pressure, because I’ve completed all the ground work and now just have to complete the unpacking and setting up. The Red Fire Grille across the hall has closed for the night, so there are no longer people coming in and out of the gallery. The conversations have been wonderful, and I’m excited about having met some new friends.

On the way to dinner tonight, I picked up the local paper, The Palestine Herald-Press. I had already read the article they published online last night, but I wanted a hard copy. Reading it over dinner was gratifying. I laugh at stories of Andy Warhol combing the New York papers every single day, looking for some mention of him. It was said that if he wasn’t mentioned, he was depressed for the day!

I really like the feel of this, though. Palestine is a town of 18,000, and its citizens read the newspaper. I was featured in the paper last March when my One-Man-Show opened this gallery, and a number of patrons coming in the day after said that they came to check out the gallery because they had read about it in the papers.

A number of friends in this town have gone the extra mile to broadcast this show. The Vistiors Center reached out to me yesterday asking for details, having received an announcement through social media. They now have a box of my assorted greeting cards in their store, advertising and telling patrons about our show.

Well, I guess I have procrastinated my job long enough–time to finish out this display. Thanks always for reading.

Somewhere Beneath this Pile Exists an Art Gallery

November 10, 2017

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Working Overtime Tonight in The Gallery at Redlands

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Four hours’ worth of sleep won’t generally work for me. Last night I stayed up late due to some issues with my printer and the labels for ninety new limited edition prints as well as the framed paintings recently hung in our gallery. Around midnight, the printer stopped working and I threw in the towel and went to bed. I was awakened at 1 o’clock by the printer suddenly “waking up” and printing again. At 5, a decided to rise and finish the job before going to my 9 and 10 o’clock classes. Following classes, I drove the two hours to The Gallery at Redlands, and with abundant help from Mike, moved a large quantity of framed paintings out of the gallery and into storage several floors upstairs. By then, I was too dumb with sleep deprivation to spell my own name,  so I went to my hotel room upstairs (The Historic Inn at Redlands is indeed the greatest place I’ve ever experienced for overnight stays and even general living!) and crashed into a nap. Now, after 7 o’clock, it’s gotten dark outside, and the gallery still looks as it did when I hauled all the freight in yesterday and today. My “American Railroad Odyssey” show opens in the morning, and I know we will be ready.

I am indeed looking forward to this quiet evening working in The Gallery at Redlands, after I dash out for a quick supper. I have no other commitments, its Friday night, and the only thing I need to do now is affix labels to about one hundred fifty limited edition prints, arrange them in the bin, and then put the labels and placards up with all the new paintings that were hung yesterday. Then I need to carry out boxes and boxes and boxes to my Jeep. I know that from underneath all this debris a gallery will emerge once again and I’ll be sitting in the midst of it, living the dream.

I could never sufficiently thank Wade, Gail, Jean and Mike for all they’ve done to make this gallery a reality. I can’t recall a time in my life when I have felt more fulfilled. This is a beautiful space.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Shaping the Gallery for the Show

November 10, 2017

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Display Window at The Gallery at Redlands

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Setting Up Some of the New Merchandise

Today we reaped the whirlwind Wade and Gail Thomas met me this morning at The Gallery at Redlands in Palestine and immediately we set to work, each of us on a different track and working quickly–taking down old paintings, hanging new ones, decorating windows on both ends of the gallery, rearranging furniture. Several times I nearly laughed out loud because I felt that we were in Andy Warhol’s Factory, there was so much going on.

Penny Webb, editor of the Palestine Herald-Press newspaper, arrived in the afternoon and interviewed me. I found her to be so personable and attentive to detail. She made it so easy to visit about the work and share ideas concerning the upcoming show.  Already the article is posted for the Friday edition of the paper:

http://www.palestineherald.com/community/your-life-david-tripp-s-american-railroad-odyssey/article_8551b23c-c5cc-11e7-8da0-b79faf2304d4.html

Tomorrow (Friday) is my last day to get the final details in place. Paintings are hung. Limited edition signed & numbered prints arrive tomorrow. Saturday, ready or not, the show must go on.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Rolling Out New Products for the Train Show

November 8, 2017

new products

After days of preparation, I’m at the point where I can barely keep my eyes open. But before retiring to bed, I thought I would share my latest new products. The coffee mugs I’m selling for $15 and I am now boxing my cards into collections of six. Individually, the cards are still priced at $5, but a boxed set of six will now be priced at $25. The series pictured above features six of our Palestine locomotives.

More tomorrow . . . the day has been long. Thanks always for reading.

A Grinding Day, Yet Rewarding

November 7, 2017

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“I work. I slave. I drive myself like a locomotive.”

Vincent Van Gogh (from Akira Kurosawa’s film Dreams)

Throughout this day, the words above have surged through my consciousness. I breathed a sigh of relief yesterday afternoon when I realized that I had no appointments between then and tonight when I meet with my circle of artist friends. Rising at 6:00 this morning, I thought I would enjoy a day of relative leisure, tweaking details for Saturday’s show. Instead I spent every hour either at the computer or at the workbench packaging my inventory–greeting cards, limited edition prints, postcards, details, details, details . . .

The call came from my printer friends that the limited editions were all ready for signing–all ninety of them.  This is the first time I have signed and numbered so many editions.

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At least I am not behind the curve this week; the show will go on as scheduled, and I don’t anticipate feelings of being harried the day before. I could not have asked for better cooperation from all the friends and agencies that have worked together with me in this endeavor.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Six Days till Show Time

November 6, 2017

yes!

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The great artist has cast a glow of romance over the cafe and Bohemia. It is not that he has spent much time there. He was always too busy with his work for that. It is because when he did go for relaxation he put his wit, his humor, his vitality and all himself into it. He made things hum, turned the sordid into romance, then disappeared back to his work leaving a memory in Bohemia.

Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

I had to laugh when I read the passage posted above. After spending the entire afternoon and evening preparing inventory for my one-man-show opening Saturday, I finally slumped into a rocking chair to read and enjoy some down-time. I had considered going to a cafe to sit and write in my journal and “be” the artist persona. But frankly, I don’t have time for that with a show coming up that I’ve been working on since March.  I’ll be glad when opening day arrives, hoping I can slip my machine into neutral and just idle for a few days.

The framed paintings have arrived in The Gallery at Redlands and are ready to hang on the wall. I plan to meet with the gallery proprietors Thursday to do that, then spend Friday tweaking the presentation. On Thursday, the editor of the local newspaper has an appointment to meet so we can publish some of the news in the Friday edition. My second order of coffee mugs will arrive tomorrow and the limited edition signed & numbered prints will be ready for my signature Thursday or Friday. Everything is going like clockwork and I appreciate not feeling the anxieties that accompany getting started too late on a project. Fortunately for all of us, the show was discussed and decided on as soon as my March show closed.

The Gallery at Redlands is located at 400 N. Queen St. in Palestine, on the first floor of the Redlands Historic Inn. The space has been like a home to me since it opened in March and I am so thankful for the friendships of Jean and Mike at the hotel and Wade and Gail who had the vision to open the Gallery. Dave Shultz the photographer has moved into the hotel for the next several months, and his tireless work on photographing and formatting my newest paintings for prints and greeting cards has certainly put my presentation over the top. I would never have been able to experience a show such as this were it not for these gracious friends.

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I also want to send a special shout-out to my “Bohemian” art friends that meet every Tuesday night in a cafe to encourage one another and share ideas. Tomorrow night they will be my tower of strength, calming me down about the upcoming show. Thank you Elaine, Kelly and Pam.

And thanks to all of you for reading.

I make art in order to explore.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Thoughts of Andy Warhol’s Factory

November 2, 2017

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I suppose I have a really loose interpretation of ‘work’, because I think that just being alive is so much work at something you don’t always want to do. The machinery is always going. Even when you sleep.

Andy Warhol

For me, the “machinery” has been grinding for several days. I have the Genny Wood Art Show and Sale in Bullard, Texas this Saturday, and the opening of my new show “The American Railroad Odyssey” at The Gallery at Redlands in Palestine, Texas the following Saturday. The shows seem to be running into each other, as I find myself daily (and nightly) packaging and categorizing all the inventory to pack and load. On top of all this, I’m still writing lectures for my college course that runs three mornings a week. I’m starting to feel the burn.

I’m delighted that some of this inventory is already moving before show time. The greeting cards at the top feature my latest railroad watercolor images on the front, and appropriate texts I’ve composed for the back (they are blank inside). The cards measure 5 1/2 by 8 1/4″ and come with an envelope, enclosed in a plastic sleeve. I sell them at $5 each or 5 for $20. A special shout-out goes to Dave Shultz, professional photographer, for formatting the cards for me.

The mugs are going for $15. Already, they have been selling quite well, and I’m enthusiastic at the response.

I am recalling all the wild stories of Andy Warhol’s Factory as he got closer to show time, the only difference being that I’m alone rather than surrounded by party goers, drugs and rock and roll. I often wonder how he and his employees managed to get everything packed and organized with such chaos roaring around them. At least I can enjoy a quiet home for my studio.

I hope I’ll have some down time for quality blogging this weekend, after the Genny Wood show closes, as I spend Sunday in the Gallery organizing for the show next weekend. At the top of my priority list will be arranging the newly-framed watercolors of Palestine trains, a collection I began working on last March. I’m delighted that the date for opening is drawing near.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.