Semester Break, Quality Time in the Studio, January 14, 2011

Historic Eureka Springs, Arkansas

What a delicious space of time!  Today we finished our “Fall Semester” in Texas Public Schools, and the “Spring Semester” does not begin until next Wednesday–a four day weekend, so close to the Christmas holiday break!  After quality time in a cafe this afternoon with another artistic spirit, I felt “juiced” to resume painting over this long weekend.  So . . . after a late-afternoon “refresher nap” (my brain is fried from finishing up a high school term today, while just last night beginning my first Spring Semester university class), I was ready to re-enter the studio and resume this piece.

This is a full-size sheet of watercolor paper, 300-pound rough.  Finally I am escaping the feeling of “lostness” with such a large expanse of space in which to operate.  Time this evening has indeed evaporated, as I began working on it shortly after 7 p.m. and now it’s 12:38 a.m.  I feel like I’ve only been fiddling with it an hour or so!  That’s always a great feeling to me, getting totally immersed in a watercolor.  While working, I’m listening to The Teaching Company’s series, “An Introduction to Greek Philosophy.”  I have gotten through the Pre-Socratics, the Sophists, Socrates, and now am listening to lectures on Plato’s Dialogues.  The lecturer is really engaging, and I’m surprised at how much I’m absorbing from his subjects while focusing on this painting and solving various problems.  Tonight I worked on the colorful umbrellas, finished all the windows and door on the larger building, and continued refining the ghost sign with all the lettering, coloration and brick textures.  I’m getting ready to dive into the front awnings, main restaurant sign, and display windows on the front of this business.  Perhaps tomorrow I’ll finally get to the people seated beneath the umbrellas (the part I’ve dreaded most in this entire work–those of you who follow my blog know that I don’t “do” people very much in my paintings!).

It suddenly dawned on me, while writing this post, and looking to my right at this painting, that I could conceivably finish this large piece over the long weekend.  That thought had never occurred to me until tonight.  It would be great to get it behind me, because I already have two more compositions waiting in the wings.

This may be my first mention of this–I’ve been offered a show in September, my first.  I’ve been in a good number of group showings, but never one of my own.  It has always been a dream of mine, and now that the time is finally on the horizon, I’m excited about pursuing new work, and plenty of it.  O. K. time to get back to this Eureka Springs painting.  I’ve been offered a class again this summer at the Eureka Springs School of the Arts, teaching plein air watercolor.  I really hope the class makes–teaching it last summer for the first time remains one of the highlights of my entire artistic journey.  The town is beyond belief for anyone who wishes to capture it en plein air.

Thanks for reading.

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2 Responses to “Semester Break, Quality Time in the Studio, January 14, 2011”

  1. lindahalcombfineart Says:

    I love the Teaching Comnpany courses. I have the audio couse on History of Philosophy and probably 10 or more courses…love them all! You are making wonderful progress on this painting. The bright palette really makes a viewer feel the sunny day.


  2. davidtripp Says:

    Thank you, Linda. I’m a little gun-shy about this bright palette, but guess I’ll leave it awhile longer (maybe forever!). I’m not used to painting bright!

    Yes, The Teaching Company! Is that Professor Robinson’s series you mentioned? I have it, along with the Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition (and about 10 more as well!). I’ve found that they are splendid company when I’m spending hours on end in the studio. I love letting my mind drift in and out of the discussion and it certainly doesn’t seem to blunt my focus on the art work.


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