“Willis Crossing” January 7, 2010

Grandpa's Cabin

This remains the only watercolor I executed on a full-size page of D’Arches 300# rough paper.  I worked on it for weeks, having no idea how much surface there was to cover!  (Lots of dybrushin’!).  I was happy with the results, but never again enthused to work on such a large scale.  The majority of my works are done on a half page or even a quarter.  This was the cabin my grandfather converted from a hen house and stayed in at nights (I posted these details on an earlier post of a front view of this same building).  He dwelt about 50 feet from the main house where my grandmother stayed.  Surgeries had disrupted his ability to sleep well at nights, so he chose to spend his evenings in this “man cave” with his TV, cardtable and bed.  He continued to spend his days at the main house and took all his meals there.   The overall technique of this painting of course was influenced by the drybrush sketches by Andrew Wyeth at Kuerner’s Farm.  The only difference was that I chose to lean heavilyy on the lavendars for shading, rather than neutrals.

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6 Responses to ““Willis Crossing” January 7, 2010”

  1. lesliepaints Says:

    I’m in agreement with you, David. 22×30 is so much space to fill! I love the story about your Grandfather. I like how you featured the window in this one and the view beyond. I can imagine your Grandfather opening that windo and poking his head out.


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thanks for the supportive word, Leslie. I’m glad someone else out there knows the “abyss” of a 22 x 30 page! I’m wondering if I’ll ever try that again–it’s been since 1991! You and a former student of mine have called my attention to the window of that painting, and have me feeling that perhaps I ought to consider some more studies of old window frames and reflections. Thanks again for looking and posting.


  2. asmalltowndad Says:

    Terrific painting,
    I spent many deer season weekends in a cabin similar to this, so it brings back a lot of memories. Love the style and light.


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thanks for the positive comment. I enjoy talking about Proust and how he reminds us of the “glimpses” of things that take us back to warm memories worth retaining. I’ll always be grateful that Grandpa let me come into his “cave” and explore. He loved playing cards, watching TV, and eating those Spanish peanuts in the skins that he always carried around in white paper bags. I just went to you blog, and I’m crazy about that gate in Orpington. Are you splattering opaque watercolor to get the blowing snow or using masking fluid? I always loved that effect in the Wyeth drybrush sketches and mine just don’t seem to “work”–not yet anyway.


  3. Alex Zonis Says:

    Old wood textures are wonderful, and I love the how you use white. Interesting story about your grandfather, makes the painting personal. I have not tried anything this large, mainly I don’t think I’d be able to finish it. I admire you for tackling this size and completing it – certainly an achievement.


  4. davidtripp Says:

    Thanks Alex. I haven’t gone back to this size. I got pretty burned out on it, and I was stuck with the painting for years before a buyer finally picked it up (and he bought the whole portfolio, so who knows, the dealer might have thrown in this one for free!). I paint with transparent watercolor, so the white you see is the paper–and again, with the size of this thing, I gave up trying to cover it all with pigment! I do like going back to it and viewing this image, and may someday try for a repeat–a smaller size of course. Nice meeting you.


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