A Return to Grandmother’s House, January 6, 2010

The McNeely Farm

As I posted yesterday, I have a desire to put a blues musician on a sagging porch in front of this house.  The house I have painted several times since around 1990, and I was fortunate to sell one of these (“Abandoned”–posted on my website) last year to one of my high school acquaintances.  Several years back, while reading the Foreword to a biography of Muddy Waters (Can’t Be Satisfied), I got this vision in my mind’s eye to paint a blues guitarist in a setting much like this painting.  I have lost track of the original painting posted above.  To this day, I honestly do not know what became of it–I don’t recall selling it, and haven’t seen it among my own holdings.  I am quite certain that it was rendered around 1990 or shortly thereafter.  I’m not sure I ever even signed it.  Nevertheless, I’m happy to have an image of it, and would like to pursue again a blend of drybrush and deeper colors.

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5 Responses to “A Return to Grandmother’s House, January 6, 2010”

  1. lesliepaints Says:

    I definitely like how much white you leave in your paintings. Other than giving an effect of light, you leave the remainder of the scene up to my (the viewer’s imagination). Beautiful.


  2. David Tripp Says:

    Thank you for that response. I’ve been leaving considerable blank areas since my infatuation with Wyeth back in the 70’s. For awhile I got away from that and filled my compositions to the borders. But now I’m coming back to it, for the very reason you mentioned–to leave space for the viewer’s imagination and interpretation. Wyeth always liked to say the strength of a composition lay not in what you put into it, but what you could omit. I’ve tried to stay with that. One thing that I’ve always considered, but haven’t succeeded in doing, is to focus minute detail on one small focal point of a composition, and allow all the rest of it to go out-of-focus in wet-on-wet wash and eventually white. Maybe I’ll get it this year. Thanks again.


    • lesliepaints Says:

      I tried to follow John Lovett’s technique of swirling color and gesso into the edges of a composition a couple of times. That is one of his ways of fading out to the edges. I have tried to do what you do, but have only achieved a couple vignettes from that. I think what you are doing might be a way that you see that is special to you. I will have to share your blog site with my younger sister who is a Wyeth fan. I see his influence in your work.


  3. Alex Zonis Says:

    I absolutely love this painting. I have just found your blog having followed Leslie’s link. You do wonderful work, I am very impressed the way you use white in your composition.

    I am from Chicago, love watercolor and blues, so it sounds that I will be visiting often. Thank you for sharing your work!


  4. davidtripp Says:

    Thanks for your affirming comments, Alex. I love Chicago and wish I lived there. I would love to paint some more of the blues haunts besides Buddy Guy’s Legends. I’m going to have to find a way to send traffic to Leslie’s link (I’m not very smart about this blog technology), because I’m certainly getting looks from people who visit her wonderful site. Thanks again.


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