Relaxing and Rethinking

Every artist has a central story to tell, and the difficulty, the impossible task, is trying to present that story in pictures.

Gregory Crewdson

Approaching Real Life DFW Talk Radio Station

Approaching Real Life DFW Talk Radio Station

Talk Radio Host Heidi Valdez Hardy

Talk Radio Host Heidi Valdez Hardy

The Broadcast Booth

The Broadcast Booth

I can think of few occasions more delicious than an evening to relax and reflect over a satisfying day. I am exhausted to the bone, but after a few days of tension building up to this afternoon’s two-hour radio interview, I am serene and thankful that all went well. From the moment I entered the broadcast booth with host Heidi Valdez Hardy, I knew things would go smoothly. She is a confident broadcaster, with a pleasing demeanor and enthusiastic wit.

The afternoon had its points of humor. Fifteen minutes before going live, Heidi asked me if I would mind being the co-host of the program. I had no clue what that meant. Did I know how to navigate facebook? Yes. Then would I mind posting information on her facebook timeline as the show progressed? And would I mind answering the phone when the screen lit up with an incoming call? At first I thought this would unravel me, but as it turned out, I was multi-tasking, and it took my mind off the nervousness I had been feeling about speaking over the air. So . . . I got to be the interviewee, social media secretary, and call screener all rolled into one, and it was wonderful. I had no time to feel nervous or uptight. Quite frankly, it reminded me of days when I worked in the Office of Communications of the Fort Worth Police Department long ago–I just didn’t have to take any 9-1-1 calls today.

The very first call into the program came from Cedar Hill, Missouri, from a friend with whom I had graduated high school forty-three years ago. Heidi could not believe that this was a caller from outside the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. The man had the most gracious words of praise to offer, and started the program on a highly affirming note. Thanks, Mark. I really needed that boost.

The two hours rolled by, feeling like twenty minutes. When it was over, I just heaved a sigh of relief and genuine thanks. What a rush of good will. I could reproduce pages of handwritten journal memories from these two hours, and I’m very satisfied that we got to talk in earnest and at great length about the experiences of the Artist in Residence program at the Texas Laguna Madre. A podcast will be posted in the future of today’s show, and anyone wishing to access may listen to it.

There were two questions posed that moved me deeply, and I want to address those. First,which artist would I bring back to life with whom to have a conversation, if that were possible? I feel that I had waited all my life to answer that, and I was stirred up, just thinking about it. I would start with Andrew Wyeth. I have always been fascinated wtih his eye for the environment, and his way of rendering the details with exacting precision, while at the same time allowing some of the watercolor wash and splatter to spin out of control. I love his balance of control and freedom in the compositions. I feel that his still waters ran very deeply and wish I could have had private moments to talk quietly with him. Edward Hopper is also on my list. That quiet man had such a profound philosophi and poetic mind, with his love of literature and the American scene. I see the profound loneliness and isolation in his urban and small town settings, and wish that I could unlock the secret to instilling that kind of mood into my own compositions. And finally, Robert Motherwell. That brilliant scholar lectured on twenty-seven university faculties, wrote and published essays, edited for scholarly journals, devoured literature and philosophy, and still had time to create a vast inventory of paintings, a huge body of work. How rare to see the scholar and creative artist occupying the same body. And he made no apology for loving both worlds, perhaps because it was all one to him. That is what I want to embody as well. He is my role model.

The second question concerned my ultimate dream or desire. This answer would surprise some, because most would expect me to wish for broader exposure or sales. Of course, those things are important, but there is something more: I love painting more than selling or displaying my work. But I make my art in solitude, and don’t complain about that. What I do covet though, is the Parisian Cafe. Never in my life have I known a gathering place for creative spirits to meet at least once a week. The French Impressionists had their Cafe Gerbois. The Lost Generation met at Gertrude Stein’s. The Abstract Expressionists had the Cedar Bar. The Ash Can School met at 806 Walnut Street in Philadelphia. But I have never had a cafe where I could meet consistently with other creative minds eager to talk of ideas, philosophy, literature, art, music, or any creative endeavor. That I have always craved. That I still seek. When I sit and read a lengthy email from fellow WordPress blogger Corey Aber, I feel that I am sitting in a Parisian Cafe, listening to another creative, eager spirit. I just wish I could physically sit in the presence of a circle of those men and women, and hear their dreams, share in the joy of their explorations, and talk of ways that we can make this world better by living more artful lives.

It is bedtime. But I wanted to put some thoughts onto the blog before retiring. I didn’t think it possible to feel even better than I did before I started writing this, but it happened. It’s been a day worth recounting.

Thank you again 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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6 Responses to “Relaxing and Rethinking”

  1. Carissa Says:

    David, I listened to the whole two hours, and really enjoyed it. I wish I had called in to ask you a question myself. I wanted to ask where an adult can take watercolor lessons. I have a 8 to 5 job, so I can’t go anywhere during the workweek. But I really would love to learn how to improve my paintings.
    The only thing during the broadcast that was odd, was the sudden musical interludes. Going from talking watercolor painting to listening to a song from Grease or Don Henley was pretty weird.
    But sure loved listening to you talk about your passion!


    • davidtripp Says:

      Carissa, thank you so much for listening to the broadcast, and for writing me your opinions! You have no idea how good that makes me feel about what I do. There are a number of avenues for taking watercolor lessons. Most artists will give lessons by the hour on whatever schedule you have available. As for myself, I only need 2 hours to get an artist well on his/her way. I usually charge $40 for those 2 hours. Most students are satisfied with what they’ve learned and will often return for critique of what they’re doing (which is free and enjoyable to me) or even to order up another hour or two of instruction. Don’t hesitate to ask any watercolorist if s/he gives private lessons–most do, gladly. Workshops are also available all the time. You can consult artist guilds or professional clubs in your area for that information. Youtube has great demonstrations that you could watch nonstop for weeks. And there are excellent watercolor magazines on the shelves of good bookstores like Barnes & Noble. I highly recommend a British publication called “The Art of Watercolour”. I’ve also answered countless questions on email and on this blog, and love doing it. I will be teaching a few watercolor workshops in the future in Kerrville and Corpus Christi, Texas and Eureka Springs, Arkansas. I’m always available for workshops when the invitation comes. As to the musical selections, the radio program had solicited requests on its facebook page of favorite summer songs to play during station breaks. She received dozens and dozens of requests and could only play that limited number. Thank you again for listening in, and for writing me. Write anytime–I’ll answer!


  2. Skeeter Murley Says:

    I wanted to let you know I listened to your broadcast last week and thought it was great! I’m always interested in the process artists go through to create their works. Thanks for letting us know about this so we could listen.


    • davidtripp Says:

      Skeeter, thanks a million! I had a great time on the show (so scared before we started) and Heidi has become a great friend. We just had lunch together today. She is editing the show into a one-hour podcast and will post it on her website and will allow me to post it on mine as well. I have appreciated all of you who let me know you tuned in. Thanks so much for your support. I hope to see you again, soon.


  3. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Thanks so much for the like David. I’m enjoying browsing through your site too. Stop by again I’ll put the kettle on.


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