A Walden Pond Remembrance–January 15, 2010

Dexter, Texas (Ghost Town)

It looks as though tomorrow I can pursue new work, and stop posting these old watercolors from my past.  This one is of a cabin in Dexter, Texas (now a desolate relic of a town–probably a ghost town).  From the time I photographed the cabin (around 1986), I was smitten at its resemblance of Henry David Thoreau’s cabin at Walden Pond.  I didn’t get to visit that historic site until the mid 1990’s, but the replica cabins I’ve seen at the Pond and at the Concord Historical Society match this as to size.  Only difference of course is Thoreau had only one door at the end, and a window on both sides.

A couple of year ago, I returned to the Dexter site, and was saddened to see only one wall still standing of this cabin, and completely overgrown with trees and underbrush.  It was not even approachable.  Nature always reclaims what isn’t overrun by people.

I was proud of the painting from the time I executed it.  Thrilled that the drybrush on the woodwork of the building “worked” as did the torn-up roofing.  I was pleased with the blistered wood around the door frame and window sash, and the way the horizon trees washed out in the distance.  These were several “firsts” for me, and though I do these kinds of techniques now without fear, I seem to lack the spontaneity that appears in this painting, and of course I no longer no the profound serendipitous delight of seeing something new emerge beneath my brush.  While I was in visiting family in St. Louis, I was surprised to receive a check in the mail from the Hillsboro Gallery with the notification that this painting had sold.  I called the love of my life (now my wife) and told her the great news over the phone.  Then when I returned home to Texas, and went to her place to visit, I was gratified to see this hanging over her fireplace–a secret sale!  Now it is in our home, belongs to her, and I’m still delighted that it is where I can see it any time, every day.

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6 Responses to “A Walden Pond Remembrance–January 15, 2010”

  1. lindahalcombfineart Says:

    David, I love this painting. I can feel the loneliness and see Andrew Wyeth guiding your brush. I can’t wait to see what you do today. Linda


  2. David Tripp Says:

    Thank you, Linda. I hope I have something worthy to post by the end of the day. I’m just now getting to it.


  3. Alex Zonis Says:

    A wonderful painting and a great story! I can see being proud of it, both at the time as well as now. Beautifully handled dry brush, something I aspire to, but cannot execute yet. I love the wistful feeling the image creates.


  4. David Tripp Says:

    Thank you, Alex. You and Linda both, with your affirmations, have given me the boost to stay with it in the studio today. Fatigue has set in a couple of times and I was about to walk away from my work (a detailed watercolor). But your comments popped up on my BlackBerry, and I read them with delight, and then picked up the brush and continued. Maybe I’ll have this one finished by day’s end. If so, I owe plenty to the two of you.


  5. Stacy Campbell Says:

    Love to keep up with your blogs and paintings. I am facinated by your use of light in the watercolors. Your talent is beyond amazing David. I will never tire of seeing your posts my friend.


  6. davidtripp Says:

    Thank you, Stacy. Your writing is an inspiration to me as well. I’m fortunate to have friends who are creators. Let’s keep encouraging each other in these endeavors.


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