Rebuilding My House Afresh

A Walk in the Cool of the Evening

A Walk in the Cool of the Evening around Stovall Park

 . . . put no trust in any thought that is not born in the open . . . 

Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo

Reader beware: With this blog entry, I’m filling in the gaping chasm of the past couple of weeks.

The past two weeks have kept me, for the most part, on the road and out of my house. Hence, the blog hiatus. But now I’m clawing my way back to the life that eluded me. Most of the past two weeks have been good, indeed sublime. But I have missed the sweetness of solitude and stillness. This evening the weather was so delicious that I dropped all my school work, pulled on my walking shoes and drove to the nearest park for a leisurely two-mile stroll. Nietzsche certainly called this one right: there is indeed an invigorating pulse to the kinds of thoughts we produce when we are ambulatory and feeling physically stretched. As I breathed the clean air, thought better thoughts, and considered the possibility of working this exercise into a disciplined routine, I remembered, “Oh yeah, the Blog.”

When spring break commenced two weeks ago, a high school friend whom I last saw in 1972 contacted me, purchasing one of my watercolors.The timing could not have been better. I chose to drive the painting to St. Louis to deliver to him personally, and visit my parents for the first time since Christmas. The windshield time from Fort Worth to St. Louis was soothing to a great degree, as I chose to drive through the cool moist night, arriving about 8:00 in the morning. Visiting with my family and then seeing my high school comrade for the first time in over forty years was unspeakably wholesome. I wish I could have chatted with him for a week, as age had not subtracted from him one iota of his mental quickness and interest in the same matters of life that keep my attention.

Cedar Two

Cedar Two

Cedar One

Cedar One

While in St. Louis, I attempted a pair of plein air watercolors of a cedar growing adjacent to my parents’ driveway. It had been awhile since I had done this kind of watercolor sketching, and the time spent working on these gave me a deep-seated sense of satisfaction.

Bowman Gallery

Bowman Gallery

Driving back to Texas, I allowed myself one day of rest before hitting the road again, this time south to the Gulf. The small town of Portland, just east of Corpus Christi, is where the Dinah Bowman gallery is that carries some of my work and invites me on occasion to do a watercolor workshop. Nine enthusiastic students were awaiting my arrival and we spent two days together in perpetual wonder. I am still moved by what I saw of their creations.

Watercolor Workshop

Watercolor Workshop

The two days were splendid, as we worked together, exploring watercolor and talking of its possibilities. My former student Mike Catlin now manages the gallery and is the one who brought me into their fold. Dinah is a very well-connected artist in the artist and university circles in south Texas and her energy and ideas kept my head spinning. I was sorry to have only two days to invest in that territory, as so many artistic possibilities thrive there.

Returning to Arlington, I resumed high school and college duties, and devoted every hour of the evening till midnight, getting ready for a major festival: Art on the Greene, held at Richard Greene Linear Park in north Arlington.

My Booth at Art on the Greene

My Booth at Art on the Greene

The weather for this Friday-through-Sunday festival sucked beyond all description, with heavy rains and cold weather soaking the park Friday and Saturday, successfully driving away nearly all the potential patrons. Sunday was a better day, weather-wise and patron-wise, but not enough to make up for the dreary pair of days preceding. I did manage a pair of plein air watercolor sketches of winter trees as I sat outside my booth with nothing better to do.

First Plein-Air Watercolor Sketch

First Plein-Air Watercolor Sketch

2nd Plein Air Watercolor Sketch

Second Plein Air Watercolor Sketch

Watercoloring never ceases to bring me abundant pleasure, and I never tired of focusing on the trees towering above me, thinking of all those splendid Andrew Wyeth drybrush studies that have always peaked my enthusiasm.

A new week has commenced today, and with it another series of grading deadlines, meetings, and professional development requirements. Tomorrow will be a strenuous day with two meetings added on to the normal teaching schedule. Scheduling disasters such as that leave me in a grouchy mood, but I figure if I get enough sleep tonight, having exercised pleasantly with the evening walk, that I may perhaps be sufficient for tomorrow’s demands.

Closing Out a Beautiful Night in my Favorite Spot

Closing Out a Beautiful Night in my Favorite Spot

Thanks for reading. I anticipate that I’ll be more consistent in blogging this week.

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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16 Responses to “Rebuilding My House Afresh”

  1. anna warren portfolio Says:

    Your plein air trees are so beautiful. The minimalism of them makes them very special.

    Like

  2. createarteveryday Says:

    Beautiful post, as always. I’m really glad you got to see your friend and your parents, and that your artwork sustains you so well. It’s certainly beautiful. Have a great week.

    Like

  3. Xraypics Says:

    David, your blog is like a personal letter from a friend, and I did enjoy reading about your trip to St Louis, the gallery, and your thoughts thereupon. Isn’t it wonderful to catch up with friends from way back? I am always amazed how we can start up again almost from where we left off. The kindred spirit is there still. How good too that your student could introduce you to the gallery – that kind of appreciation is so rewarding. I wish you the best of luck with the arduous task of the new term, I’m sure you will make the best of it. Cheerio, Tony

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    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you so much for that, Tony. It’s been a whirlwind down here lately, but hopefully I can now catch my breath. I vote you’re still finding the richest satisfaction in retirement and creative exploits.

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      • Xraypics Says:

        Trying to build a table for my son at present. Lots of challenges since I’m using reclaimed irregular wood full of flaws weathering and rusted nail holes. But it’s fun. Keep up the good work mate. I love reading your blogs. Tony

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      • davidtripp Says:

        Would love to see a photo of that rustic, artistic table, Tony! Thanks for your friendship and all the encouragement.

        Like

  4. Xraypics Says:

    All in good time – progress is slow. Cheers.

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  5. Deanna Tennent Masterson Says:

    Your brushwork is delicate & beautiful in the first Plein-Air watercolor sketch of the tree. May I purchase it?
    I don’t see it on your website.

    Like

    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you for asking. I’m offering any of these 4 trees for $75 with a white mat and wooden frame & glass. If you’re interested, please let me know for sure which one.

      Like

  6. Deanna Tennent Masterson Says:

    It’s the third tree of yours you posted……the one after the cedar trees….called first Plein-Air sketch. I live in Florida so would it be easier without glass & frame to post? Please let me know how to complete the transaction. Thank you!

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    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you again for your interest, Deanna. I have shipped frame and glass of this size before, without breakage, so I’m not worried. You may mail a personal check to 4415 Rain Forest Dr., Arlington, TX 76017, or you could phone my cell at 817-821-8702 if you wish to do a credit card transaction over the phone. It doesn’t matter to me. I’ll gladly pay any shipping charges. I also back the sales tax out of the price of the art, so the cost would be $75.

      Like

  7. Deanna Tennent Masterson Says:

    PS the one with 3 trees!

    Like

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