Archive for October, 2017

Weekend of Leisure

October 30, 2017

300 in progress

Taking my Time on this New One

It seemed to him that the hand was not able to attain to the perfection of art in carrying out the things which he imagined.

Vasari’s account of Leonardo da Vinci

A weekend of rest was so welcome to my weary soul. Walter Isaacson’s Leonardo da Vinci, after eighty-some pages, is a veritable literary feast. I have always been fascinated with the curiosity and endless journaling of this Renaissance Mind, and after reading several biographies already, am so thrilled at Isaacson’s way of bringing in new material on Leonardo’s life that I had not encountered before.

I posted the quote above because it fits what I’m wrestling with as I work on my latest watercolor. I had this notion of what I wanted to accomplish, and so far it is not happening. I’m not giving up, but rather, slowing down and spending more time looking at it, puzzling over it, than actually working on it. My November 11 show already has around twenty or so framed original watercolors of trains and doesn’t need this one to be completed. And, as a good friend said recently, it wouldn’t hurt for me to have this “in progress” painting in the gallery during show time. At any rate, I’m not under a deadline to complete it. I like that feeling: letting a painting emerge under its own time.

As to the Leonardo quote above, I’m reminded of a story I read several years ago about a guitar student frustrated while doing his lesson. When the guitar master asked him what was wrong, the student replied that he could always hear the music much better than he was able to play it. To this the master replied: “And why do you think that is  ever going to change?” That quote remains at the heart of my art work. I never complete a painting with the “look” that I was striving to achieve. Nevertheless, I love the process, and try not to let the end result frustrate me. Art is a gift. Art is life. And the thrill and leisure of making it successfully marks the time in my life as quality time.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to understand.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.



Working on an Artist’s Bio

October 29, 2017

With my gallery show opening in less than two weeks, I’ve retreated from my home and business life in order to recharge my batteries and get ready for festivals and shows running through the next month-and-a-half. On November 4, I’ll be showing at the Genny Wood Art Show and Sale in Bullard, Texas. November 11 will feature the opening of my “American Railroad Odyssey” show at The Gallery at Redlands in Palestine, Texas. That show will run until December 16. I will also spend three days at the Randy Brodnax and Friends Christmas Show in Dallas at the Sons of Hermann Hall December 1-3.  All of this information may be found on my website

I’m working on a number of promotional items, including revision of my Artist’s Bio. Below is my latest version as it currently stands:

Gallery at redlands redo

David Tripp at The Gallery at Redlands (photo by Dave Shultz)

The Gallery at Redlands in Palestine, Texas, nestled on the ground floor of The Redlands Historic Inn at 400 N. Queen Street, opened in March 2017 with a one-man-show of David Tripp’s watercolors. Once the show ended, David was invited to remain where he now enjoys creating and selling his art.

Retiring after three decades in a classroom, David currently enjoys his new role as Adjunct Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Texas Wesleyan University, and more time pursuing his passion in the art studio.  His watercolors feature small-town American sights fading from our landscape, but not our memories. In 2015 he discovered a new genre, the Texas Laguna Madre, and spent two weeks living alone on an island there, painting as Artist-in-Residence for Texas A&M University Corpus Christi.

David, a native Missourian, grew up in St. Louis and studied art in rural northeast Missouri while earning his Bachelor’s Degree from Truman State University.  Residing in Texas since 1977, he draws his watercolor subjects from a host of “recollections” involving cities, small towns and rural stretches throughout the Midwest and Southwest, particularly old Route 66.

David finds inspiration for his art from the life and works of Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper. Having earned his Masters and Ph.D., he seeks ways to blend his academic studies with his art creations, and particularly loves the writings of artists Robert Motherwell and Robert Henri, along with literary giants including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and Marcel Proust. The poetry of William Carlos Williams, Robert Frost and Walt Whitman also drive his imagination. These artistic and literary geniuses he regards as kindred spirits. They were frequently surprised by the revelatory powers of objects connecting them with primal memories from the past.  These objects, viewed on location, as well as in works of art, have a way of “drawing the viewer in.”  And we are usually grateful for that primal experience.

Since March of 2017, David has focused most of his artistic energies in pursuit of subjects from the Texas State Railroad in addition to the broader legacy of the American railroad.

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.

Newest Greeting Card

October 29, 2017


Another great shout-out to photographer Dave Shultz for formatting my newest train greeting card. Next weekend, November 4, I’ll be at the Genny Wood Art Show in Bullard, Texas. The following week, November 11, my “American Railroad Odyssey” show opens at The Gallery at Redlands in Palestine, Texas.  I will be bringing out twenty framed watercolor originals of historic railroad scenes, mostly of the Palestine history. In addition to the originals, we will have signed and numbered limited edition prints, along with smaller prints of 8 x 10 and 5 x7″ available. The new greeting cards will also be in place, along with coffee mugs featuring my “Velvet Night” painting. I also have a pair of postcard designs I’ll be offering that night.

I hope you have space on your calendar to come out to the shows. Thanks always for reading.

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

New Greeting Cards Coming Out

October 28, 2017

Dave Shultz, professional photographer and my new friend residing for now in Palestine, has been formatting my latest train watercolors into 5×7″ greeting cards I’m selling for $5 each, 5 for $20. Here are the latest ones I’m offering.

A Weekend to Reset

October 27, 2017

gallery redlands

New Photo of Me Working in The Gallery at Redlands

This weekend, I’ve chosen to escape the whirlwind. I won’t bore you readers with all the details of the week, preparing for my Genny Wood Show in Bullard, Texas next weekend and then the opening of my “American Railroad Odyssey” show the following weekend in The Gallery at Redlands.

Dave Shultz is an amazing photographer, and was kind enough to come into the Gallery and shoot this photo yesterday. I have been an admirer of his work since March when I came into this Gallery, and only last week finally had the pleasure of meeting and visiting with him. I could spend a week in conversation with this Renaissance Man, and we’d never run out of material to discuss. He will be in Palestine for several months, but I already wish it were several years. I’m attaching the link to the page he attached to the website of The Redlands Historic Inn, featuring our new gallery:

I have chosen to take this weekend away from the Gallery and Palestine, needing some down time. I have a new train watercolor in progress and may work on it this weekend, but I haven’t yet decided. Right now, I’m cloistered in a Barnes & Noble Cafe, loving this new Leonardo da Vinci biography by Walter Isaacson and catching up on some journal time. If I go silent for the rest of the weekend, it only means I am enjoying the quiet, and promise to return when next week.

My shipment of coffee mugs arrived and I’m happy that ten of them sold on the first day. There are still plenty more in stock, and if they all sell, then I’ll just order more. I have priced these at $15 plus shipping.


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.

Predawn Portals of Possibility

October 25, 2017


. . . Yet did I never breathe its pure serene 
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold: 
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies 
When a new planet swims into his ken . . . 
John Keats, “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer”
For a month, I’ve waited for Walter Isaacson’s biography on Leonardo da Vinci to come out. I have been enriched by two of his earlier works on Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein. Finally, yesterday, I purchased this latest work and pored over its pages until I could stay awake no longer in the night. Retiring to bed early, I set an alarm and rose at 5 this morning so I could return to it. Throughout my life, I have known the exhilaration of Keats when he happened upon Chapman’s translation of Homer. Indeed, I feel the thrill of the astronomer discovering a new planet. A new portal opens before me, welcoming me to a broader, more enchanting world.
Isaacson has chosen to focus on Leonardo’s notebooks, and I’m finding that to be a refreshing point of departure. I have had the pleasure of reading a number of Leonardo biographies, and I’m fascinated with Isaacson’s emphasis on the curiosity of this Renaissance Man. I myself have journaled since 1985, and now have over 130 volumes on my shelf. Some of the pages are worth re-reading, many are not. Nevertheless, my mind has stayed fresh because of this habit of scribbling constantly the ideas fleeting across the screen of my consciousness. I believe that journaling has contributed to the energy necessary for writing and making art, and above all, believing. Journals, to me, are nets for organizing wonder.
I could never exhaust the list of creative spirits who have inspired me throughout my years, either through their scholarship, their creative writing or their visual art. The ones I find myself continually rethinking and re-examining include Paul Tillich, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, William Carlos Williams, Robert Henri, Edward Hopper, Andrew Wyeth, Robert Motherwell, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger . . . and the list continues to grow.
My interests, I admit, appear scattered. I make art. I read. I journal. I watch documentaries. I blog. I play my guitar. I get in my Jeep and drive. And I understand Leonardo’s attention deficit disorder that frequently left projects unfinished. But I take solace in Isaacson’s words: “Vision without execution is hallucination. . . . Skill without imagination is barren.”
The contemplative life has saved me repeatedly throughout the years. If finances go bad, relationships sour, employment stales, artistic momentum fades . . . I can always depend on this constellation of geniuses to inject new blood into my system. I am aware of the conventional wisdom urging us to maintain a broad network of friendships, and I believe my friendship network is rich. At the same time, I acknowledge that I am an introvert and many times find the need to draw my inspiration from the “dead heroes” who to me are not dead–they still reach out to me through the creative tracks they left behind.
Thanks for reading.
I make art in order to remember.
I journal when I feel alone.
I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Beginning a New Train Watercolor

October 24, 2017


The hour is drawing late, but I wanted to post this photo of a new train composition I began working on today. Time is running out for my November 11 train show, so this could possibly be the last painting completed before the show opens. I look forward to detailing the locomotive tomorrow.

This subject is the old #300 of the Texas State Railroad.  It is a Baldwin 2-8-2 Mikado steam locomotive that is one hundred years old this year. The number has been changed to 30 now, and the paint scheme is also different. From pictures of the past, I’ve learned that this train was trimmed in red and yellow. I look forward to seeing how this different color scheme will play out beneath the night sky.

Thanks for reading.

A Second Prototype for Greeting Cards

October 24, 2017

30Large cropped

All Aboard! 

Heads turn and hearts stir every time the whistle blasts from this Palestine-to-Rusk excursion train. The Texas State Railroad #30 is a Baldwin 2-8-2 that celebrated its birthday in October 2017, looking just as fresh and new as it did the first time it pulled onto the tracks. The wheel arrangement is called Mikado, named after a group of Japanese locomotives designed by Baldwin for the Nippon Railway in 1897. The four-hour round trip odyssey through the east Texas piney woods makes this train a popular favorite among rail fans and excited children.

 David M. Tripp                                 (817) 821-8702                                 

The morning started out with a bang.  Dave Shultz, a remarkable photographer whom I recently met, is residing at the Historic Redlands Inn and spent time with me in the gallery over the weekend. I’ve known of his work for months, and admired what he’s done for the Redlands website as well as his photographs of sites he visits as he travels the world. I awoke at 6:00 and found the greeting card I posted on this blog last night, formatted and ready for the printer. Before 8:00, he also formatted the card that I’m posting above and prepared another of my train watercolors for limited edition prints.  And then . . . I suddenly received orders for three more coffee mugs (I’m selling them for $15).


When I dropped off my cleaning at Boss Cleaners, the proprietor offered to sell my greeting cards from her counter as well. I’ve been selling these cards, printed on Hallmark Card stock with envelopes in a plastic sleeve, for $5 each or 5 for $20. I’m out of breath at all these new developments, and it isn’t even 9 a.m. yet!

I’ll be selling my work next at the Genny Wood Show in Bullard, Texas on Saturday November 4.

When you get the chance, check out these amazing photographs by Dave Shultz. His work takes my breath away.

Dave has recently added The Gallery at Redlands to the website of the Redlands Historic Inn.

Thank you, Dave, for your friendship and inspiration.

And thanks all of you for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Prototype for a New Greeting Card

October 23, 2017

polar first

Palestine Christmas Express

Visions of the historic Texas & Pacific #610 cutting through the snow beneath a star-littered night sky should fill every soul with the warm sentiments of Christmas. This majestic 2-10-4 steam locomotive, created in 1927 by Lima Locomotive Works, pulled trains between Shreveport, Louisiana and El Paso, Texas until it was retired in 1950. In February and March 1976, it pulled the bicentennial “Freedom Train” across Texas. This magnificent locomotive today rests in a dark and quiet train shed in Palestine, Texas, but stories of its journeys live on in the American imagination.

As time draws nearer my November show of train watercolors, I am now making greeting cards of every new train painted this year. The above is my first draft of the most recent painting. I suppose I need to find another gear, because there are eleven other paintings needing texts for cards. We are planning to show the original paintings along with limited edition signed & numbered prints, postcards and greeting cards of the entire collection. To date, there are about twenty framed paintings selected for the show. I have started a new one this evening of the historic #300 that has been used in the excursion train that runs between Palestine and Rusk. The locomotive, one hundred years old this year, has been re-numbered as #30 and featured in one of my recent works. In prior years, as the #300, the engine featured bright red and yellow colors. I plan to contrast these beneath another starry night sky.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Laying the Groundwork for the Next Show

October 22, 2017


“The American Railroad Odyssey” is the title of my next show at The Gallery at Redlands, opening November 11 and extending till December 16. I was delighted when I visited Palestine this past weekend to discover that their local frame shop had completed work on eleven of my twelve watercolors to hang in the show.  I believe I will have at least twenty framed originals to hang when the show opens, accompanied by signed and numbered limited edition prints and greeting cards.

I finally reached home tonight after a grinding weekend at the Hot Pepper Festival, but wanted to toss out this blog before saying Good Night to all of you.

Thanks for reading.