Ghosts of Summers Past–Eureka Springs Watercolor Delight

Ghosts of Summers Past--Eureka Springs

I’m glad to return to the garage studio.  For any of you following my blog, I haven’t posted since the passing of Zeb Cash-Lane, simply because I haven’t painted since then.  I needed a little time after his passing to sort some things out.  Then my school district dropped its bomb.  I have been in training for over a year to begin teaching in the International Baccalaureate Diploma program.  You may have noted my watercolor blog posts from Lake Tahoe and Los Angeles while I was studying and attending classes in IB.  Last week the district canceled the program.  Texas public schools face a funding crisis, which has been the general law since 2005 (earlier than that, actually).  The decision left me in a state of rage, that I’ve had trouble laying aside.

Finally, I decided to pick up the brush again, and push the public school finance and politics behind me.  The more I painted yesterday and today, the further school receded from my thoughts.  The way I figure it, I only need another day or two to paint like nothing else happened.

This composition has burned in my retina since I spent a week in Eureka Springs, Arkansas last June.  I sincerely hope to return again this year.  The Victorian town is absolutely breathtaking in the summer sun, and I took dozens of photos similar to this.  I have a real compulsion now to work on some downtown scenes, particularly ones I can find with turn-of-the-century commercial buildings and their fading ghost signs towering above, muted against brightly-colored umbrella tables and modern signage below.  I still struggle with my rendering of people in watercolor, but I’ll never “get it” until I do it more.  So . . . there will be people in this one.  Right now I’m working on a ceramic chef standing outside the restaurant.  Hopefully I can get him to look right.  Then I’ll turn to the patrons at the bottom of the composition.

It’s good to be back in the garage studio.  The weather yesterday and today was heavenly, with bright sunshine and cool breezes blowing.  I was in the mood to push this painting for another hour or two, but heavy cloud cover has turned my outside world dark and gray.   I really hate to work with studio lights indoors, but I just may have to this evening.

Thanks for reading.  I’ll see if I can make enough progress to blog further tomorrow.  I’m getting excited about the possibilities of this painting, possibly the largest I’ve attempted so far–about 30 x 22″.


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6 Responses to “Ghosts of Summers Past–Eureka Springs Watercolor Delight”

  1. lesliepaints Says:

    I am so sorry to hear of the cancellation of the program you were training for, David. We have had huge cutbacks in education, here in my city. Schools have been closed, custodial services hired out to a company and teachers losing jobs each year. They say there will be furthur cutbacks this year.
    I have never painted a 22 by 30 so this is a masterpiece in my opinion. Perhaps staring at the warmth of it will seep into your body and have a positive effect as you recover from some pretty hefty losses. It is truly beautiful!


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you, Leslie, for your sentiments. I’m still working through all that. Hopefully I can fight my way out of the depression by putting in quality studio time–it’s certainly hard to keep spirits up around this place (my school). Thanks most of all for your encouragement–I’m not so “scared” of this large surface, now that I have most of it covered in paint! Hopefully I will remember that and go after another large composition–I hate feeling so timid when I look at a large white rectangle.


  2. Kent Brewer Says:

    Hi David. You have inspired me to start my own blog. I enjoy your posts.

    Hope to see you at the Waxahachie Paint Out.



    • davidtripp Says:

      Hello Kent! Great to hear from you. Is your blog up yet? I would love to see it. Congratulations on starting this up–I think you’re going to have a blast with it. Blogging keeps feeding my fire to create more art–people like you are always so encouraging. Hopefully I can return the favor. I haven’t been to Waxahachie since I painted the field across the street from Zula’s Coffee Shop (and posted on the blog). I miss that town and hope to return soon.


  3. Kent Brewer Says:

    I’ve just recently started painting again en plein aire around town. My blog is

    I guess you heard about the fire we had. One of your subjects (the restaurant on the Square) was destroyed.


    • davidtripp Says:

      How on earth did I miss the fire?! I’m so sorry. I loved dining there. Can’t wait to check out your blog. Incidentally, you peaked my interest in re-entering Waxahachie–my wife and I are waiting for a table @ Catfish Plantation!
      Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


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