Art Festivals, Graded Papers, and a Search for the Balance of Idea and Image

8 x 10" watercolor created during a festival

8 x 10″ watercolor created during a festival

As soon as we have the thing before

            our eyes, and in our hearts an ear

            for the word, thinking prospers.

Martin Heidegger, “The Thinker as Poet”

The artist is the origin of the work.   The work is the origin of the artist.  Neither is without the other.  Nevertheless, neither is the sole support of the other.  In themselves and in their interrelations artist and work are each of them by virtue of a third thing which is prior to both, namely that which also gives artist and work of art their names—art.

Martin Heidegger, “The Origin of the Work of Art”

Again, a lengthy hiatus has inserted itself between my blog posts.  I participated in a three-day art festival last weekend where there was no wi-fii available for posting on the blog, and the twelve-hour days left me wasted each night–too wasted to write and post to the blog.  I lost plenty of sleep, though the festival was a success.  And then . . . I was greeted by a week where the public school was ending its six-week grading session and the university was entering its first cycle of unit exams.  So, I was covered up by educational “wing-nut” details all week.  Now, with the weekend drawing near, my grading is (nearly) caught up and I have some leisure creative time.

I am drinking deeply from the Heidegger springs today.  I will be facing three consecutive weekends of art festivals and will find it difficult to paint (the art “business” certainly disrupts the art “making”) and perhaps even difficult to think, read and journal.  But I’ll work my hardest to preserve the balance, because these are the areas where I truly live.  The best part of my creative life flourishes when I am able to move back and forth between literature and art, between ideas and images, between writing and painting.  Both of these realms feed off of each other, and when both are nurtured, my personal life is at its best.  A real eudaimonia pulsates, and I am truly at my happiest.  This past week, it has been difficult recovering this.

At the time of this posting, I am about halfway through The Autobiography of William Carlos Williams.  I also find myself wishing I could have been part of that physician’s circle.  He was always finding his inspiration from daily encounters, and from the world of art: “What were we seeking?  No one knew consistently enough to formulate a ‘movement.’  We were restless and constrained, closely allied with the painters.  Impressionism, dadaism, surrealism applied to both painting and the poem.”  Today I find myself moved by my visual encounters of daily life and by the printed word.  I have wished for years that I could be part of a “circle” of creative spirits that fed off of ideas as well as images, literature as well as other paintings.  So far, it hasn’t happened.

One reason I draw so much inspiration from the work of Corey Aber ( is because I see in him that perfect contemporary blend of literature and art.  He is both an accomplished writer and painter, never satisfied with where he is, but always learning new things, always exploring new vistas, and exuding a felicity of life fed by these impulses.  I wish he lived in my neighborhood, but I’m grateful through the blog to be connected to his quest.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I  blog to remind myself that I am not alone.


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4 Responses to “Art Festivals, Graded Papers, and a Search for the Balance of Idea and Image”

  1. coreyaber Says:


    Thank you for the call out! I know the feeling and share the sentiment. As you know, I get a lot out of your blog. Thanks to blogging, we are forming our circle.

    Artistic community is such a motivator. It’s funny, I am very fortunate to have a mini community in my house, being married to a RISD grad and freelance designer, but then we long for a larger community.Then we realize my mom(a writer), and my dad (a designer), and all our friends from college, are a broader community. Then we all together wish for more of a community. It’s that sense if studio life we enjoyed in college– everyone working side by side late into the night (I was fortunate to tag along a lot and learned so much). Those days will never quite come back. Though, as if living out a nostalgic moment, we are off tonight to install one of her designs.That will bring back the old feeling for a little bit.

    Glad you posted again. I owe a post soon. Been focused on design work this week more than art, though. Some thoughts on that to come. Good luck with the shows.


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you, Corey. Your blogs are always a source of inspiration to me–both your writing and your watercolor endeavors. Keep it up, and best of luck in your quest. Thanks for including me in your circle.


  2. Linda Halcomb Says:

    This is a very thought provoking post. I see your paintings as being very literal. As being clean, straight and true (who does that remind you of?) Lovely painting and glad you broadened my horizon today. Stay healthy, stay rested, stay strong…


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