A Place Remembered

Old Watercolor Sketch of my Grandparents' Home

Old Watercolor Sketch of my Grandparents’ Home

Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight, 
Make me a child again just for to-night! 

Elizabeth Akers Allen

Another day opens, I am back in school, but my mind and tender sentiments keep returning to yesterday and time spent in front of the shuttered Ferris, Texas lumberyard.  I posted in last night’s blog that the structure reminded me of my grandparents’ home in rural Jackson, Missouri.  So, this morning I am posting above a watercolor sketch I completed around 1988.  It shows something that I had then, but cannot seem to call up now.  It was in that day that I used much less watercolor, allowing the pencil and paper surface to do its work.  For some reason, I tend to overwork my compositions now.   But I have not lost hope; I will try and find a way to return to this earlier technique and rely more on paper and graphite, letting the watercolor pigment support the composition, not overpower it.

I could call yesterday’s painting session out in the field a Wordsworthian experience:

I HEARD a thousand blended notes,

          While in a grove I sate reclined,

          In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts

          Bring sad thoughts to the mind.


          To her fair works did Nature link

          The human soul that through me ran;

          And much it grieved my heart to think

          What man has made of man.

The co-mingled sentiments of contentment and melancholy do tend to reside in me when I am out alone in the field, watercoloring en plein air, and letting my thoughts drift over a thousand memories and anticipations.  And there is always something in an abandoned residence standing mute before me that helps call up these sentiments.  I wouldn’t have traded yesterday’s experiences for anything, and a part of me is ready to go back to those places remembered (as soon as I finish my job for the day).

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am never alone.




4 Responses to “A Place Remembered”

  1. coreyaber Says:

    Interesting observation about your style change. In looking at your 88 piece compared to your two recent pieces, it’s the surroundings that jump out about the new. You have more and richer foliage and you define the sky. Did you have a different pigment preference back then as well?


    • davidtripp Says:

      Hi Corey, The palette I use now has only been in place the last couple of years. When I did the ’88 piece, I was terrified and unsure about how to render foliage. And I relied on colors including sepia, burnt sienna and yellow ochre. I don’t use those colors now. What perplexes me is that I now feel more competent in drawing and painting, and inadvertently cover up the paper instead of letting it play a more prominent role in the body of the watercolor composition. I really would like to get back to that–I like this ’88 painting much more than I do my current work.


  2. Deanna Masterson Says:

    What is it about a curtain in a window that’s tugs our hearts & minds? You’ve rendered it beautifully.


    • davidtripp Says:

      I so appreciate that comment. I’ve always hoped that paintings of mine could evoke emotions rather than compliments about how “talented” I might be.


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