What are the Ideas that Lie behind these Things? Musings for the New Year 2013

Still Life on New Year's Day

Still Life on New Year’s Day

“People who don’t look at my work think I’m a painter of old oaken buckets.  I’m anything but that!”

Andrew Wyeth, interview with Richard Meryman, First Impressions: Andrew Wyeth

I got a late start in the studio today, January 1, 2013.  No regrets–I got to spend the best part of this day engaged in meaningful conversation with a kindred spirit.  There seems to be not enough of that in my life these days, and good conversation is a gift.  Now I find myself conflicted between painting and reading (that is nothing new).

I did find enough energy to work on the lettering at the top of the Mobilgas sign, and then painted in the Pegasus, then finally scarred up the sign itself, to depict decades of weathering and abuse.  I also devoted considerable attention to working on the shadows and deeper colors falling across the Maxwell House tin at the lower right.  I have the desire to work on other parts of the composition, but the night has arrived and the daylight that I depend on, coming through the garage door windows, has vanished.  The lighting on the still life itself is inadequate for me to proceed, so I suppose I’ll let this one compost for another night.  I have been moving it to a bedroom easel so I can spend evenings looking up at it, from a good book.  Andrew Wyeth always preferred to put his work in progress up on a wall somewhere in his home, where he could glance up at it occasionaly and get a “glimpse” of it “out of the corner of the eye.”  He was convinced that those fleeting impressions of a work told him more than hours of staring all over the composition.  I tend to agree.

I’m grateful for such an affirming start to 2013, and hope all of you have had a wonderful first day as well.  That first movement, that first revolution of the wheel, I believe, is significant.  It sets the tone for what follows.

Thanks for reading.


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6 Responses to “What are the Ideas that Lie behind these Things? Musings for the New Year 2013”

  1. BJR Says:

    I’m enjoying the progress on your still life. Each time I check it’s a pleasure to see what you’ve done!! I also enjoyed the account about your “experience” with the kerosene lamp in Art 1. (I always wanted to take art classes!…but taught myself instead.) Your art and writing is a treat! Have a good year…full of blessings and the joy of creating!


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you, BJR! I got a late start today, and did not get to work very long because I lost the light. Nevertheless I got in a little, and I suppose that’s better than nothing at all. Thank you for encouraging me the way you do. I hope your art is giving you great pleasure as well. What would we do without it?


  2. mrscarmichael Says:

    Many years ago I had a love affair that was surrounded by Andrew Wyeth. His painting always draws a visceral response from me, therefore.


    • davidtripp Says:

      That doesn’t sound good. I’m sorry. My connection began because I spent summers as a child on my grandparents’ farm which resembled Kuerner’s in a lot of ways. I always thought their ambiance was attractive, though I knew it was ugly by the modern standards of my day. When I saw Wyeth’s work, I realized that beauty could reside in the things that conventional wisdom regarded as ugly. I have been attracted ever since.


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