A New Still Life Watercolor, with Thoughts of the Fireside Poets

Still Life Watercolor of Book of Poems and Cigarette Case

I must be half-nuts.  I have three or four watercolors still unfinished, and here I am, starting on something else.  Last night, I was reading selections from the Fireside Poets, and came across this 1881 volume of John Greenleaf Whittier.  As I thumbed through it, I thought, with great delight, that I was possessing a volume that was for sale on a book shelf while this poet was still living.  Many winters ago, when Texas had snow, I read “Snow-Bound” from this old volume, enjoying a fire and a cup of coffee.

So, last night, before I could talk myself out of it, I dug out my old Lucky Strike cigarette tin, laid this volume on top of it, and began sketching.  Once I had the composition blocked out, I was in the mood to paint, so I took out my Winsor & Newton field box (I recently replaced the pans with colors from the palette I adopted about six months ago).  I am finding a strange satisfaction, painting this small still life with a small paint box instead of the large palette and butcher tray I had grown accustomed to using in the studio.  I am also doing much more pencil work with this piece than is my usual custom.  I’m not sure where it is going to take me, but I’m enjoying this new twist.  This composition is probably not going to grow beyond 5 x 7″.  It is extremely rare for me to work so small.

I have nearly finished the Rollo May book begun over the weekend: My Quest for Beauty.  I will have plenty more to say about that, but wish to return to painting for now.  The man cave is providing an excellent environment, and I have the  “T. S. Eliot” documentary from Voices and Visions playing on my laptop.  This is a great moment.

Thanks for reading.

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3 Responses to “A New Still Life Watercolor, with Thoughts of the Fireside Poets”

  1. B. Ratzloff Says:

    old books…old postcards with their messages and postmarked stamps from the back are a delight of mine to draw and paint. i’m delighted to see you doing this! new things sometimes open “new doors”…and delight the soul. happy painting! bjr


    • davidtripp Says:

      You are an artist after my own heart. I have recently opened a whole sackful of old postmarked and stamped envelopes from the 1960’s. I’m looking at them now, trying to figure out what direction to take in my next experiment. I hope your discoveries are exciting as well.


  2. B. Ratzloff Says:

    Oh!…the envelopes! You can have FUN with those! I “inherited” a box of old letters with envelopes from past great-grandparent’s, all postmarked from the latter 1800’s to early 1900’s. Show part of the envelope, with stamp and postmark…part of the letter and add whatever else “speaks” to you…other old objects, etc…and you have about 1/3rd of the art I do. Ink., or ink/watercolor…or just watercolor. I love doing that sort of thing. BJR


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