The Opening Measures of a New Symphony

Opening Moves on a Small Flatiron watercolor

Opening Moves on a Small Flatiron watercolor

The patches of color on the canvas tend to become out of gear with one another as more colors are added during the process of painting: “every brush stroke diminishes the importance of the preceding one.”  Revisions, increases of amount are necessary to recover the original structure.  “To do this I must organize my ideas; the relation between the hues must be so established that they will sustain one another.”

Robert Motherwell

After  a considerable amount of energy expended on preliminary sketches, I finally settle into a 9 x 12″ watercolor of the top portion of Fort Worth’s historic flatiron building, on the south side of downtown, Houston @ W. 9th Street.  I spent a chilly, windy morning working on it today, and felt a rush of excitement while on site.  I also did some preliminary sketching of the north portal of Saint Andrews Episcopal Church located on W. 10th Street @ Lamar.  Coming home, I carefully prepared 9 x 12″ compositions of both studies.  After digressing a few hours to complete my assignments for tomorrow’s A. P. Art History, I returned to the flatiron and began painting.  The sky, of course, laid in quickly, but was so wet that it took quite awhile to dry out (I really do not like using hair dryers to speed up the drying process).  Once it was absolutely bone-dry, I went to work on the corbels and upper regions of the cornice and immediately found myself facing dilemmas.  As I stared at the iron work this morning, it didn’t take long to get past the “blackness” of its overall appearance.  The blue-green patina streaks are posing a problem, but I’m determined to keep working on them.  I’m also finding some interesting combinations of Winsor Violet and Transparent Yellow to work on the “bronzy” looking portions.  I find myself drawing, drawing, and drawing some more as I work on this upper portion, and so far I’m enjoying all of it, though it is coming along very, very slowly.  I just hope I’ll have the patience to stay with it and not try to speed up the experiment.

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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3 Responses to “The Opening Measures of a New Symphony”

  1. aripitstop Says:


  2. Suzy Says:

    I’m really liking your new series. As an architecture buff, I can’t wait to see how this painting progresses!


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you so much. I really wish I had gotten training in architectural rendering. I absolutely love doing it, but am definitely learning on the fly. I’m getting better, but how I love looking at drawings and watercolor sketches of those who’ve been trained in this fine art.


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