A Late Night in the Studio

Tire Shop in Edom, Texas

Tire Shop in Edom, Texas

There are times when thought elbows her way through the underwood of words to the clear blue beyond.

Henry David Thoreau, Journal, December 12, 1837

Today was Henry David Thoreau day in my high school Philosophy class.  Years ago, I feigned myself a decent lecturer–in these later years I’m not so sure.  But one thing I do know–it’s hard to muck up a Thoreau lecture, although I seemed to try that several times this morning.  I’m not sure why I was “off”, but I certainly saw determination, eagerness and enthusiasm in my students to get us through the ninety-minute segment.  The result was one of the best classes I have ever experienced in my high school career.  When students are “on”, it’s difficult for a teacher to fail.

Among the many facets of discussion this morning, there was a particularly good moment when we examined the idea of a Word emerging, like an Oracle, from the morass of words that daily engulfs us.  In public education, hoards of figures, statistics, spread sheets, surveys, audits, and every possible collection of numbers imaginable are hurled at me.  I often feel that I need a raincoat to protect me from the stains of such garbage.  In addition to the numbers are pages and pages of goals, objectives, directives, assessments–on and on and on.  Reading the plea from Walden to “Simplify, simplify,” I thank the sublime that a mind such as Thoreau is still capable of reaching through the tempest and uttering the Word with power sufficient to improve our lives.  Thanks to Thoreau, and thanks to my Philosophy students, I captured a warm sentiment early this morning that managed to accompany me throughout the day, even through my 7:00 p.m. Logic class at the university.

The hour is drawing late, Texas temperatures are expected to reach down into the twenties tonight, I’ve managed to cover my outdoor faucets, finish my A. P. and regular Art History preparations for the morrow, and even find time to pick up the brush and push this 8 x 10″ watercolor of the tire shop in Edom, Texas toward its conclusion.  On November 30, I will spend the day in Edom for their Art Jam, setting up inside The Shed Cafe, and attempt to sell some paintings, greeting cards and prints of my small-town subjects.  This is my first Edom composition.  I plan to move on to a painting of The Shed next.

This has been a most affirming day, and I’m proud that I had the space to share it with you, thanks for reading me tonight.

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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3 Responses to “A Late Night in the Studio”

  1. Xraypics Says:

    That picture is shaping up really nicely. I do like the way the window frame fades towards the bottom, it really gives a sense of the age of the building. There is a creeper type plant growing under the front edge of the roof, it looks just right there, but I’m interested to know – how it gets up to that point ,there’s nothing leading up to it, so it must work it’s way across from the other side where all the greenery is. Fascinating. Glad you had a good day. Cheerio, Tony


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thanks for the observation, Tony. About the creeper plant–the stuff is only around the roof and rafters–my guess is bird poop with seeds made these things sprout–there is a lot of that going on in Texas and Arkansas–sometimes vegetation growing out of roofs 5 stories up.


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