Caught Somewhere Between Pop and Imagism

Watercolor of antique Lucky Strike cigarette tin on antique table

Watercolor of antique Lucky Strike cigarette tin on antique table

Saturday night finds me relaxing outside the Barnes & Noble Store at University Park in Fort Worth, one of my favorite places to chill.  I am posting the finished watercolor that I signed this afternoon, having returned from the Tyler Museum of Art to admire the Wyeth exhibit.  I was inspired to finish some of my dangling watercolors, so I first wrapped this one up, deciding only to scuff up and scumble the left-hand side of the table top, which I thought was lacking in woodgrain texture.  I’ll never forget working on this composition.  The cigarette tin I painted earlier this summer, inspired by Andy Warhol’s Pop images.  I was afraid to paint a prosaic image such as this tin which I purchased many years ago in an antique store.  But I finally decided to give it a try, and enjoyed immensely the sensation of focusing on the damaged paint and rust on the tin, and most particularly the peeling adhesive stamp on the lower left corner.  I experimented with watercolor, colored pencil, watercolor pencil, graphite and salt texturing, finding all these techniques to be plenty of fun.  My recent doorknob paintings have given me the courage to attempt this table top as well.  I still have so much to learn when it comes to rendering wood surfaces.  I’m looking forward to more experiments here.

Thanks for reading.


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2 Responses to “Caught Somewhere Between Pop and Imagism”

  1. Sonya Edwards Says:

    When you say you were inspired to “finish some of my dangling watercolors”, do you know what triggered that inspiration. i sometimes find that my watercolors can sit unfinished for months and I have to force myself to finish them. Do you have any suggestions about how to get inspired to finish?


    • davidtripp Says:

      Hi Sonya. I’m not sure if my answer is going to be satisfactory.

      I experienced two profound “shifts” that got me to my “finishing” stage–I used to work on only one watercolor at a time, and that meant getting bogged down continually on one piece that could languish for months. And nothing else was happening. I finally decided to start a second watercolor, then a third, if necessary, so that if ever I got “blocked” on one, I could turn to another.

      The second shift occurred a couple of years ago when Jason Horejs of Xanadu Gallery addressed a group of us at a lecture, challenging us to be”prolific.” He said galleries would not be interested in carrying our work unless they knew that we were always pouring out a great body of work.

      At that point, I was completing about a dozen watercolors per year. Now, I complete over a hundred. I guess my short answer is that I try not to get attached to any one particular painting, as if everything depends on its success. I just keep many, many paintings going at once, and inspiration to finish one just comes as it comes. I don’t get discouraged as I used to (although this cattle drive has gotten under my skin–I want it finished and out of my sight!). I just try really hard to paint daily, either on the same one as the days before, or shift to another if I feel it getting dry. The finish work has come along much more satisfactorily. And, the real bonus is this–on any particular day, I could (sometimes do) finish 4 or 5 paintings, and then I say “Wow, I have 5 new paintings today!”

      I hope that helps, Sonya. Thanks for writing me.


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