Weatherford Victorian Salute

Weatherford Victorian Salute (cropped)

Weatherford Victorian Salute (full painting)

It’s nice to sit in a Starbuck’s and relax with coffee as the Easter weekend draws to a close.  I feel the exhaustion of having painted the past three days in a row.  Yesterday was a plein air assault as I dashed to a secluded cemetery and pushed out a pair of watercolor sketches.  The rest of the weekend was spent in my garage/studio, staring at this enormous (by my standards–22 x 28″) watercolor that I began several weeks ago and abruptly abandoned, not knowing how to handle the lawn.  As stated in a prior blog, I photographed this Victorian home in January or February, while en route to the Brazos River in Possum Kingdom to fly fish for rainbow trout.  The winter sun captured my fancy as I saw it playing off this stately hilltop mansion in Weatherford, just west of the courthouse.  It so captivated me that I turned my Jeep around, and navigated the divided highway back around the estate’s property, found a storage facility where I could park my Jeep, and walked back to the property to photograph it with my digital camera.  I really liked the long sprawling hill filling the foreground, thinking of how Edward Hopper created his gorgeous watercolors of these settings in New England.

The house itself did not really create a problem for me–I just was not sure how to render all that winter grass, freshly mowed, but not yet emerald green, and not completely filled in either.  On Friday I pulled the painting back out, and as I listened to Muddy Waters on the turntable, I began chipping away at the lawn, and resumed work on the house which was only about 2/3 completed.  Any time the grass got too wet to paint, I just returned to work on the house, and when the house became sloppy and wet, I returned to the yard.  I have to admit, I got lost in the house, and totally enjoyed the immersion!  So many angles and details on a Victorian home, and all of them so attractive!

The funny thing is, I thought I would be working on this for at least another week, when suddenly, I stepped back from my work, took one more look, and decided to sign it and quit.  I think I did the right thing.  I have lost so many watercolors by overworking them until they collapsed.  I did not want to lose this one.

To ensure that I would not “diddle” further with the painting, I packed it in the portfolio and delivered it to the Weiler House Fine Art Gallery, which fortunately for me was open today.    (  The painting is now being framed and will stay at the Weiler.  I’m pleased that another piece of work has been added to my one-man-show to open in September.

Thanks for reading.

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5 Responses to “Weatherford Victorian Salute”

  1. lesliepaints Says:

    Did you crop and sign it, David, or leave the expanse of lawn? I like both. The extended version because of the strong contrasts and the story of the walk to see the glorious house in the background,; the cropped for your exquisite detail.


  2. davidtripp Says:

    Good evening, Leslie. I left the entire painting intact, lawn and all. The “cropped” was my own Photoshop crop so viewers could see the actual house in detail. I always had in my mind taking the painting to the paper cutter if I was unhappy with how I handled the lawn. I decided to keep it all, however, and now have it at the framer’s. Thank you for looking. I like zooming in on the house, but am glad to have that huge piece of real estate sprawled below–this is what I always liked about the Edward Hopper watercolors, but I myself was always afraid to try it.


    • lesliepaints Says:

      Well, I really like it and am glad you left it with the expanse of lawn. The texture in the lower right hand corner keeps my eye in on the page and how you handled that wonderfulstrip of blues and yellows and greens that woosh! me up the hill is awesome.


  3. Dottie Best Says:

    Hello, David,
    I stumbled upon your blog this morning. Love this painting, especially the Hopperesque view with the large expanse of grass! The scene reminds me of houses in the Humboldt/Arcata area in northern California.

    I lived in a house similar to this one when I was a kid in Cadillac, Michigan. It was over a hundred years old at that time, built by a lumber baron when forests were abundant. Unfortunately our house had a fake tower and turret. I was so disappointed to discover that I was not going to have a round bedroom after all.

    Beautiful painting, David.


  4. davidtripp Says:

    Thank you, Dottie, for looking at my blog, and most of all, for your story, your posted memories. Those mean a great deal to me. I have always wished I could live in a Victorian house. One of many negatives to having no carpentry skills is that I could never consider purchasing one in disrepair and fixing it up, the way many of my artist/friends have done throughout my life. I love the sight of them, and always wish myself that I could live in the turret! I was always too timid to paint a Victorian house until about two years ago. I love the challenge now.

    Thank you again.


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