Henri’s Wisdom

The technique learned without a purpose is a formula which when used, knocks the life out of any ideas to which it is applied.

Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

The words of Henri, always an inspiration to his disciples, fuel my imagination this morning. The original Ash Can School would gather in his apartment at 806 Walnut Street in Philadelphia where he would read to them from Whitman and Emerson. Later, at his school in New York, he would continue to lecture and inspire, and his writings are now collected in The Art Spirit.

At my age, I’m still learning technique, but still wonder what exactly it is, to select a subject and assemble a composition that creates a work that will inspire. Perhaps artists, writers and musicians never really know the secret to this big picture.

Thanks for reading. I’m getting close to finishing this passenger rail car relic (I think).


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6 Responses to “Henri’s Wisdom”

  1. Carissa Says:

    I’m pretty new to watercolor, but love your style. I’d like to ask how you created the grass in front of the rail car. Are you putting down masking fluid to create those fine lines?


    • davidtripp Says:

      Yes, Carissa, I am using a Fine Line Masque Pen for those grasses. I usually lay down a sea green wash, let it dry, then draw grasses with the Pen, let it dry, then dry brush over it all with various colors. Once I strip off the masquing, I usually have to tweak the area with more brushwork and pencil. I haven’t gotten to that final stage yet. Thank you for your interest.


      • Carissa Says:

        Thanks for your I want to learn more techniques in watercolor, but don’t really know where to find it. I live in Tarrant County, and would love to find somewhere to take lessons. Are you aware of anyplace that teaches watercolor?


      • davidtripp Says:

        You could check TCCC as well as the surrounding university catalogues. I personally charge $40 an hour and in 2 hrs. I can show an artist all s/he needs to know to get going. I live in Arlington. I’m glad you’re pursuing watercolor. I think there’s nothing like it.


  2. periwinkleblur Says:

    Lovely sentiment and interesting technique! Looking forward to seeing the finished painting.


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