Afternoon Drybrush Study of Screen Door and Companion

Drybrush Watercolor Study of Pair of Doors

Drybrush Watercolor Study of Pair of Doors

I was confronted for the first time, I suppose, really with the thing that I did, whereas up until that moment I was able to remove myself from the act of painting, or from the painting itself.  The painting was something that I was making, whereas somehow for the first time with this painting, the painting itself had a life of its own in a way that I don’t think the others did, as much.

Barnett Newman, April 1965 Interview

Wow.  I am breathless right now.  This 8 x 10″ drybrush I began several days ago, having only about 45 minutes to begin it before I lost the light.  Today after school, being tired of the cafe piece I had been working on, I decided to set up the easel in front of my pair of doors and resume this, though the light was rather poor.  Didn’t matter–I decided to focus on the wood textures of the door on the right, and see if I could find a way to solve the screen door on the left.

I don’t know how to say this, except to say that I felt that this composition painted itself.  I felt that I put out very little effort, puzzled very little, hesitated almost not at all.  Next thing I knew, I was stopping.  I believe I worked on it only about an hour, certainly not any longer.  And suddenly, it looked “finished.”  Maybe tomorrow I’ll change my mind and push it further.  But I’m stopping for now and just looking at it.

I posted the Barnett Newman quote, because that is what I experienced this afternoon in the Man Cave.  It doesn’t come along very often.  I felt as though the picture was painting itself before my very eyes, and all I had to do was watch it happen.  Amazing.

I have so many Proustian memories of the screen door growing up–my grandparents’ houses, the country store I frequented when visiting grandparents.  How I loved the slap of the door slamming shut (it always angered my Dad when I let it “thwap” loudly like that). Perhaps later I’ll write more about those memories.

But for now, I’m pretty wiped out–the state-mandated testing at school today (with no relief break during the four hours, thank you very much), followed by regular classes in the afternoon, pretty much sucked the best out of me, and I’m surprised I had anything left to come home and paint today.  Glad I did.

And thank you for reading.

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6 Responses to “Afternoon Drybrush Study of Screen Door and Companion”

  1. Xraypics Says:

    Great to get into the zone – doesn;t happen often for me, but beautiful when it does. Tony


    • davidtripp Says:

      Boy, you nailed that one, Tony! I wish I could enter the zone with greater regularity. It seems lately that my job has so successfully cut up my daily life, that I’m lucky even to get into the studio at all.


      • Xraypics Says:

        Have you read ‘Drawing on the right side of the brain’ by Betty Edwards? I found it invaluable to explain what’s happening when in the zone. You might too. Cheers, Tony


      • davidtripp Says:

        Thanks for that tip, Tony. I know that book, and several of my artist friends swear by it. I need to check it out personally.


  2. niasunset Says:

    Reblogged this on photographyofnia.


  3. Keith C. Says:

    I think it looks quite good as it is. Like you said, you focused on the texture of the wood, and it shows. Sometimes, as the saying goes, “less is more”, and I think the negative space balances out the “roughness” of the painting.


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