I Am Still Here

Practice Drawings from an All-Day Workshop during Teacher Inservice

Practice Drawings from an All-Day Workshop during Teacher Inservice

He is the rich man and enjoys the fruits of riches, who, summer and winter forever, can find delight in the contemplation of his soul.

Henry David Thoreau, Journal, December 26, 1841

In the quiet of this night I finally reach out to my WordPress, Twitter and facebook friends.  My last post was over two weeks ago, as I was preparing to leave on a two-week vacation, not wishing to advertise that my residence was uninhabited. During that space, I have drafted a number of blog posts, but am still editing them, not wishing to publish a pile of crude first drafts. I cannot express my deepfelt gratitude for the two-week sojourn in Missouri and the visits with family and friends from long ago. The relaxation and repose were qualitatively unexplainable–no deadlines, no appointments, no alarm clocks, just rest. My whole world slowed down considerably.

As I write this, I am nearly halfway through a week of mandatory Inservice meetings provided by my school district.  I wish I could write that they have presented quality instruction and inspiration, but I try to keep my blog honest.  But I will say, without reservation, that today’s all-day workshop in colored-pencil drawing was one of the finest I have ever attended, and I cannot sufficiently praise the high school instructor who led this–Ryan Willingham of Arlington High School.  This man is a master draftsman and even better communicator and demonstrator.  His work throughout the day made me want to quit my job and spend entire days, weeks, months in the studio, attempting to get better in drawing skills.  In this, I do not exaggerate. Above, I posted my own attempts, and though I obtained permission to photograph his work, I didn’t think to ask permission to publish his, so I will not.  But if I did, my work in the photo above would certainly diminish.  I have spent hours this evening, poring over the photos I took of his demonstration drawings created this day before our delighted eyes.  Wow. What a day, and what an artist!

Tomorrow begins the first day of the semester at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, and with it, the launch of my first ever online course in Logic.  Naturally, I feel jitters waiting to see how this is going to play out.  And then Monday begins the first day of high school, with my courses in Advanced Placement and Regular Art History, Philosophy and AVID.  AVID will be a new experience for me, as will the college online arena.  I only hope to retain sanity and a measure of success in those new endeavors.

More art will be posted in the future.  I did engage in some plein air watercolor activity during my vacation, dashing out two small studies, and I have nearly finished that large Fort Worth Scat Jazz Lounge watercolor as well.  Oh–and I finished reading Moby Dick–WOW!!!! More on that later as well.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone (and did a ton of that over the past weeks)

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

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10 Responses to “I Am Still Here”

  1. Barbara Tyler Says:

    Good to see your blog entries again, Dr. Tripp. I missed your artist process and perspective!


    • davidtripp Says:

      Wow, thank you, Barbara. I know it has to be a busy time for you now, with the twins getting into college. I think about your family all the time. Thank you for staying in touch. I hope you’re experiencing great things with your art now.


  2. BJR, Says:

    I missed your posts, but so glad you had a wonderful, relaxing time. I have not forgotten about the print, but we, too, have been out of state for 2 weeks…actually in Texas!…visiting family. Drawing is so enjoyable! I can “lose myself” in it…even the pain recedes! Ahh!…wonderful therapy. Sounds like you had an inspiring day! Those are a treasure to look back on. Good luck with the classes.


    • davidtripp Says:

      So great to hear from you, BJR! I’m really trying to draw more now because of what it does for me emotionally and spiritually. Where in Texas were you? I just got back last week, but am neck-deep in school now as I write. I hope you are enjoying what you are creating now. I had a good rest but am ready to return to the task . . .


      • BJR, Says:

        We were at the little town of Farwell…hubby’s family lives there. It’s very near the N. Mex. border…(90 miles SW of Amarillo)…15 miles from Clovis, N.Mex. Trips wipe me out, but I’m about ready to go back to drawing. 😉


      • davidtripp Says:

        I love that part of Texas and see it too seldom. I’m trying to get back to drawing today, but there are too many school tasks that keep getting laid in my lap!


  3. Heidi Russell Says:

    Glad you are back!


  4. Carissa Says:

    I was beginning to worry about you. Glad you had a good time. Good to see you back!


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