Sketching around a Full Schedule

Sketching a Hopper Composition

Sketching a Hopper Composition

Architectural Thumbnail Sketches

Architectural Thumbnail Sketches

Descartes Collage

Descartes Collage

The third characteristic of a symbol is that it opens up levels of reality which otherwise are closed for us.  All arts create symbols for a level of reality which cannot be reached in any other way.  A picture and a poem reveal elements of reality which cannot be approached scientifically.  In the creative work of art we encounter reality in a dimension which is closed for us without such works.

Paul Tillich, Dynamics of Faith

The hour is very late.  I’ve spent an entire Saturday in social contexts that provided no space for art, but now am enjoying a quiet sanctuary environment, looking over recent sketches and designs I have scribbled out while musing over the past week’s subjects covered.  I posted yesterday evening the afterglow of students discussing poetry in my classroom over the lunch hour.  I haven’t yet gotten around to talking about my past week’s classes in Philosophy and Art History.  In A. P. Art History, we’ve looked at Romanesque and Gothic architecture, discussing the symbols of that era, and about architectural aesthetics in general.  In Regular Art History, we are in High Renaissance, and devoted the entire week looking at the remarkable creations of Leonardo da Vinci.  In Philosophy, we’ve discussed theories of knowledge, focussing mostly on  Socrates and Plato, while preparing a foundation for Descartes.

Three personalities who have occupied my attention the most in recent days are Leonardo da Vinci, Edward Hopper and Robert Motherwell.  Da Vinci, to me, is the quintessential sketchbook/journal artist–the only artist I think of immediately who balanced writing with drawing.  For over a decade I have chafed at my own practices, knowing that I scribble in journals almost daily, and paint almost daily, but never on the same page.  My journals are 100% written and my sketchbooks are 100% drawn. I have recorded in earlier posts that I have a set of twins in my A. P. Art History classes who faithfully sketch and record observations in their Moleskine journals.  They say that the practice helps them concentrate on their subjects better, and that is what I have believed to be true for years, yet I cannot seem to stay with the practice.

So.  After spending time lingering over the Hopper/Drawing exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art yesterday afternoon, I began sketching and writing in my own Moleskine, and began reworking some collage ideas on Rene Descartes.  I have a strong notion to begin a watercolor sketch of the historic Fort Worth Flatiron building from a different angle than the one depicted in the watercolor I sold recently.  My intention is to study the details better, and become better versed in the technical names for the architectural elements peculiar to this building.

I am going to add this to my growing list of New Year Resolutions: draw more, sketch more, and find a balance between writing and sketching in the same journal.

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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9 Responses to “Sketching around a Full Schedule”

  1. aripitstop Says:

    allright
    http://aripitstop.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/scorpio-z-edisi-perpisahan-sudah-beredartanda2-lahirnya-r25/

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  2. Xraypics Says:

    Your quote reminds me of the Francis Bacon quote “If you can say it in words, why paint it?” Cheers, Tony

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    • davidtripp Says:

      Ha! I like that! I’ve been reading more about Robert Motherwell lately (With Pen and Brush) and thinking about how text and image can feed off each other. My jury is still out. I really would like to find a way to do both.
      Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

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      • Xraypics Says:

        But in a journal such as yours the two forms complement each other. I’ve a ink/water-colour wash painting from the UK that has the artists comments scribbled on and around the picture. The two go together very well, the writing becomes part of the design. Tony

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      • davidtripp Says:

        I really like the sound of that. And that is exactlyl what I’m after. Thanks for the compliment. I don’t really see it happening yet in my work, but I’m trying to go in that direction.

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  3. lindahalcombfineart Says:

    Ditto! Now I just have to do it! Your sketch is indeed Hopperesque.

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  4. Bonnie Says:

    Sketchbook are my companions…always close by. Sketches and words. It’s a part of my life. (But then my life has a lot of time to utilize them, because of restrictions, etc. I think that plays a big part in keeping them up.) Seeing my children, grandchildren, and friends leaf through them, enjoying them, makes it all worthwhile. Through them, a bad day can still hold accomplishment in it. 😉

    But…we aren’t all the same. Your word journals can have the same worth to you, don’t you think? Sometimes I look at another’s art and say, “I wish…” but hubby keeps telling me we each have our own gift. 😉

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    • davidtripp Says:

      I loved reading this, thank you. Journals have been my mainstay since 1985, but sketchbooks have constantly lapsed under my watch. I just never showed the stick-to-it-iveness, and am trying really hard this New Year to develop a lifestyle of daily sketching. I think it’s very valuable, and want to know that I am in that zone. I’m happy that you have built up a reservoir of those volumes over the years. Mine is just beginning. 🙂

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