Jeep Studio, March 27, 2010

Union Pacific Freight Approaching

Early yesterday evening, a plein air moment presented itself.  I took my wife Sandi to south Burleson to ride her horse.  Then I drove to my favorite part of the old town and backed my Jeep up to the railroad tracks where I’ve worked recently.  I have now begun another freight train composition, this one headed by a Union Pacific diesel.  As to the blue GATX freight composition posed last week, I’ve hit a snag.  I already like it as is–a fresh sketch approach–and cannot convince myself to finish out the composition.  I have had this internal debate for two decades now, when to stop.  I have to admit that many, many of my finished watercolors I like much better while they were in progress.  It seems that sometimes the finished work just sucks the life out of the painting.  Over the years, I have appreciated much more the dry brush studies of Andrew Wyeth, with all the surrounding unfinished white areas, than the watercolors filled with detail border-to-border, or even his egg tempera paintings that cover every square inch of surface.

At any rate, I have the idea of posting this painting-in-progress along with my GATX work for viewers to see, in the even that anyone wishes to “sound off” on this debate–spontaneous unfinished sketch vs. finished overall watercolor painting.

Thanks for reading.

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3 Responses to “Jeep Studio, March 27, 2010”

  1. Pierre Says:

    Have missed your postings lately though I understand the circumstances that have prevented you to do that. I am looking forward to seeing more work in progress postings of the Union Pacific approaching. You do such nice work. Best regards, Pierre


  2. lindahalcombfineart Says:

    I am glad to see your comment about leaving sections of white space. I love paintings that do this but have uncomfortable that people would like my work if I did that. Looking at your paintings this year has given me the incentive to leave the white. In many cases, I think they just look fresher that way.


  3. davidtripp Says:

    Thanks Pierre, for missing my posts. Glad to know someone notices when I go away for awhile. Please know that it is always my daily job that takes me out of this loop that I enjoy so much. Linda, thanks for the sentiments about the white space. I always struggle for words when I address this, but, yes, I agree with you that they do appear “fresher.” I think sometimes I suck the life out of a painting when I do the finish work, and carry the colors and details to all four corners. I’ve always enjoyed illustrations in art books because of the empty spaces, and have really liked that trait of the Andrew Wyeth works. I just cannot get away from that, though I have gone many consecutive years without leaving any blanks.


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