Feelings Evoked from a 1903 Cabin in Arkansas

1903 Cabin in Cotter, Arkansas

I’m surprised at how quickly this composition is shaping up.  It measures 20 x 24″ and I began it yesterday evening with only about an hour of daylight remaining.  I took a reference photo of this 1903 cabin in Cotter, Arkansas when I was visiting there last May.  I actually did a plein air watercolor sketch of it during that visit, devoting about 90 minutes to the session.  I blogged it in an earlier post.  Though it’s taken over a month, I’ve had it on my mind to do a larger studio watercolor of this sketch, using the photo.  I love working from natural light so much that I choose not to work on it inside my house.  So, today, with temperatures soaring past 100 degrees again, I spent the morning and evening in my open garage working on it, ever so grateful for gusty winds (though at times they gave about as much relief as a hair dryer).

In order to work on this, I’ve spent considerable time poring over Andrew Wyeth drybrush studies of frame houses and barns.  I’ve also looked carefully at how he renders grasses in watercolor.  It surprises me that I’m moving so quickly through this piece, when I thought that I would be working slowly and methodically.  When it comes to the ongoing art historical debate between the Poussinistes and Rubenistes (drawing vs. painting/Nicholas Poussin followers vs. Peter Paul Rubens followers–sorry, just had to throw that one in!), I always came down on the side of Poussin, Wyeth, and all others who approach painting as an extension of drawing.  For decades, I’ve wanted my own watercolors to model fine draftsmanship.  But over the past couple of years, I’ve tilted more toward color exploration and quality, and have found myself moving away from drawing.  Drawing always slows down my work.  I guess I’m surprised that I’m not spending more time drawing in detail on this piece.  But . . . the painting is not yet finished.  Who knows–perhaps tomorrow I’ll return to drawing and slow my pace.  We’ll see.  The bottom line is that I’m having fun with it.

Thanks for reading.

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7 Responses to “Feelings Evoked from a 1903 Cabin in Arkansas”

  1. lindahalcombfineart Says:

    This painting is progressing well and it seems to have a touch of both drawing and painting in it. Can’t wait to see how you finished it!

    Like

    • davidtripp Says:

      Thanks Linda. I’m a little “hung up” on the work now, spending plenty of time staring at it and not taking action. So . . . I’ve started another of the same subject! Never did that before, but think it might take some of the edginess of this one. I hate it when I choke on a painting. Maybe starting another alongside it will loosen up my possibilities.

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  2. lesliepaints Says:

    What I really like about watching your progression of painting architecture is that each building seems to appear out of a ghost of themselves on the page. That takes a phenomenal vision in your mind, Ithink. This is good.

    Like

    • davidtripp Says:

      What a compliment, Leslie. I don’t think anyone has ever put it that way. What I love about watercolor is the way the wet surface shimmers, and the manner in which the “ghosts” slowly come into focus from that white void lying under our gaze. Thanks for what you wrote. I have a second one drawn out and ready for the first washes. I may get after it tomorrow, though I’ve planned a plein air excursion in a Victorian town. My gallery has just posted my fall solo show on its website and I feel the compulsion to start pushing out paintings more consistently.

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  3. sartenada Says:

    I am no art specialist, but I know when I like from something. This one I like very much. It is a joy for my eyes.

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  4. Website Says:

    website
    Feelings Evoked from a 1903 Cabin in Arkansas | Recollections 54 The Art of David Tripp

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