A Cleansing Interim in the Wilderness

Honorable Mention at Paint Historic Waxahachie

Honorable Mention at Paint Historic Waxahachie

I got to spend my Saturday in my classroom, fulfilling my teacher contract in making up for an inclement weather day.  The students went home yesterday, so teachers had the option today of taking a personal business day off, or spending the day in the classroom doing . . . what?  That was my day.  A day in an empty classroom.

But now school is really out (until summer school in about ten days).  I drove south to Waxahachie for the Awards Reception this evening.  I managed an Honorable Mention.  The competition was fierce indeed this year, and I was fortunate to achieve any level of recognition.  I’m proud to get the ribbon, and proud to be listed next to the winners, who were truly outstanding this year.  I’m glad I decided to do that last painting at deadline yesterday, as it was the one that took the ribbon.  I was tired then, and am tired tonight.

Now I have a little over a week to retreat to the wilderness for solitude, reflection, thoughts about what direction to take next in my art.  I will be listening attentively to the art masters that I have been reading recently (Henri, Hopper, Manet, Homer, Wyeth, Delacroix, Gauguin), as well as the philosophical thinkers (Emerson, Tillich, Heidegger).  And I plan to do plenty of writing.  I am ready for new ideas, new visions, new directions.  A few days ago I introduced brighter, more aggressive color into my compositions.  I intend to follow that thread for awhile, and see how I can weave it into the detailed work from my past.  I’m wondering where it is going to take me.

This interim space is a genuine gift for which I am boundlessly grateful.  My students this past year have been lovely beyond description.  But I am ready now for the quiet, ready to sit in a room alone with my thoughts with no deadlines.  There is so much to ponder now, and I need that time and space.   Only good things can come from the retreat.

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.


8 Responses to “A Cleansing Interim in the Wilderness”

  1. Playamart - Zeebra Designs Says:

    you have definitely earned a well-deserved break.  enjoy the solitude, and say hello to thoreau for me!




    • davidtripp Says:

      I told Thoreau “hello” on your behalf this very morning! I’m back into reading his Journals and absolutely love his thoughts expressed so early in life.


  2. coreyaber Says:

    Congratulations on the honorable mention. I think this is an interesting piece. You have a good reading list going. I am still slowly working through Henri with pleasure, and rereading Lawrence Durrell, but the time to sit calmly has been hard to come by.


    • davidtripp Says:

      Corey, you and I are on the same page. I could stop now for about a week, and am finding it very difficult to do so. Every time I sit quietly in a comfy chair, my mind races to things I think must be done NOW. I’ll find a way. I’m still working on my second Henri read, and am back to the Journals of Thoreau (14 vols.). I’m almost finished with volume 2. They are really fabulous. I cannot believe he thought and wrote this way at such a young age.


  3. Xraypics Says:

    Well done, mate. Have a really good rest, and I’m looking forward to seeing what turns out as you take a new direction. Tony


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you, Tony. I’m trying to adjust to life in this quiet seam between semesters. I prefer a quieter life, but really find it hard to stop and rest when I’ve been programmed to sprint on a daily basis. I’ll find a way to let it go . . .


      • Xraypics Says:

        I know exactly where you’re coming from. My retirement comes up at the end of this month and I’m still rushing around at work acting as though I am going to be there for another ten years – a bit crazy. This doesn’t bode well for so called plans to spend more time doing my art, etc. We’ll see what life brings. I did like the completion of your picture with the carriage, it has great movement, Tony


      • davidtripp Says:

        Wow, that’s great news, your retirement, congratulations! I’m confident that you will find that slow-down gear and relax into it. I’m so glad for you. I’m starting to slow down now and breathe a little easier. It just took a little adjustment.


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