A Frigid Day Warmed by Watercoloring, T. S. Eliot and Soulful Conversations

Still Life in Progress

Still Life in Progress

Subject matter, if the artist is even using it, is just an armature for the artist to engage his intensity of feeling.  It is the quality of your attention that influences how you see and how deeply you feel.

Ian Roberts, Creative Authenticity

Before painting this morning, I sat down to breakfast and played part of a taped lecture by the late Robert Solomon on Husserl, Heidegger and Phenomenology.  As he spoke of “intentionality” and the emphasis on one’s consciousness directed at a particular object, I came to the conviction that I had found another piece to my “Imagist” puzzle and my efforts to grasp William Carlos Williams’ “No ideas but in things” remarks.  Staring at this still life brings to my remembrance Uncle Lloyd, in his full beard, working in a Texaco filling station in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.  The Mobilgas sign stirs my earlier fancies in the Pegasus images I used to stare at as our car rolled past those stations in southeast Missouri.  The coffee pot reminds me of the predawn sounds and smells of coffee percolating as Mom prepared Dad’s breakfast before he left to work a full day at a filling station in south St. Louis.  I read somewhere that art helps us remember.  Perhaps I paint to remember.  I don’t know.

What I do know is that I am coming to the close of a very sublime day.  The 42-degree temperature outside has a “real feel” of 36, so The Weather Channel informs me.  And, despite the close proximity of this space heater, I am feeling a chill in my bones that I cannot seem to shrug off any longer.  So, I’m going to put this painting on my bedroom easel to look at tonight while I cozy into my bed and read T. S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets.”  I always appreciate the comments received from those who follow my blog.  And today, a kindred spirit has pointed me back to Eliot.  I am most grateful for that prompt as well as the many other rich ideas that have been born from fabulous chats throughout the day.  Thank you.

I am posting below a close up of the still life as it stands now.  I spent considerable time on the Texaco oil can, laboring over the letters and logo.

Sunday Night Still Life

Sunday Night Still Life

I have decided to lay this to rest for the night, not only because of the cold, but because of the inadequacy of light on the objects.  I posted yesterday that the frying pan is little more than a silhouette at night.  Likewise the lantern, which I really want to work on now, loses much of its highlights  and middle-tones in this darkened garage.  So, I suppose I’ll need to await the morning light.  I’m fatigued anyway, for now.  So I’ll say Good Night to you, and Hello to Eliot.

Thanks for reading.

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4 Responses to “A Frigid Day Warmed by Watercoloring, T. S. Eliot and Soulful Conversations”

  1. Karen Says:

    I am amazed at the frying pan. It seems to leap off the page. Very three demensional. Kind of a trivial note, but impressive to me. And reminds me of my childhood in a warm fuzzy kind of way. My grandmother showed a lot of “love” with a frying pan just like that. No “prepackaged” grave could ever match hers made in that pan!


    • davidtripp Says:

      Ha Ha! Thank you, Karen! That frying pan was one of the most important objects (to me) to go in this composition. I had so many plans for it, that included layering, texturing, scrubbing, penciling, crosshatching, scratching, salting. Well . . . I worked on it for about 5 minutes, putting several layers of wash on it, and there it was! I went on, working on other objects, intending to come back to the frying pan and really get up to my elbows in it, but it looks finished already! It kind of spoiled my fun, my plans–I had intended to work long and hard on it, and the thing just came together in an instant. Thank you for sharing your memories. I love the sight of a cast iron skillet and all the memories of my grandmother’s kitchen from my childhood as well.


  2. niasunset Says:

    how beautiful and how exciting… you are amazing. Thank you, love, nia


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