Archive for January, 2018

Taking Notes, on Paper

January 9, 2018

solo show

Take notes, on paper. Five hundred years later, Leonardo’s notebooks are around to astonish and inspire us. Fifty years from now, our own notebooks, if we work up the initiative to start writing them, will be around to astonish and inspire our grandchildren, unlike our tweets and Facebook posts.

Walter Isaacson, Leonardo Da Vinci

On Monday, I returned to the public library in Hillsboro to put the final touches on my solo watercolor exhibit which will hang till the end of February. Once the task was complete, I sank into a comfortable sofa at the end of the gallery and read for awhile, enjoying the perfect silence and rest. This marked a transition into my next enterprise–the Humanities curriculum for Texas Wesleyan University had just arrived via email, and I had only nine days till the start of the spring term. So . . . I sat in the soft light of the soothing gallery, surrounded by my art, and began reading and sketching out broad ideas in preparation for the new class.

That was yesterday. Today, Tuesday, I spent the entire day in my study, going over all my resources for the seventeenth-through-twentieth centuries of Philosophy, Art, Literature and Music. Once I laid out the scope and sequence of the spring semester and drafted a syllabus, I settled into writing an introduction to the seventeenth century, and then the reading of Francis Bacon’s Novum Organum, a treatise I had known about for decades but never actually read as a primary source. And as I read, I scribbled, in my journal, on index cards, on sheets of computer paper, sheets of legal paper and post-it notes. And the more I scribbled, the happier I felt, recalling the thrill of the search in college days and early days of teaching.

Humanities is a course I was privileged to develop for the public high schools way back in 1989, and then later was invited to teach at Texas Wesleyan University. But I haven’t taught the course for nearly ten years, and I am so enthused to return to the discipline. The history of ideas has always fueled my imagination, and now once again, I am granted access to these fine minds of history, with hopes of inciting interest in the young minds of our culture. A part of me is glad that I’m still a week away from the first day of school, as I’m still preparing, but another part of me wishes I could walk into that lecture room in the morning.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

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Opening of my New Solo Show

January 8, 2018

show3

Today I put the final pieces in place for my new solo show that just opened at the Hillsboro City Library on 118 S. Waco Street. Below is a copy of the flyers I’ve placed at the entrance to the show:

Proustian Moments

Watercolors by David Tripp

How many times have you looked upon a subject and felt suddenly “visited” by a warm, primal memory from your past, a memory worth holding in your heart? And then, just as suddenly, that sensation is gone, yet you continue to hold on to the memory. French novelist Marcel Proust wrote stories about those sudden shocks of recognition from our past. Hence, we refer to them as “Proustian Moments”. 

With watercolor pad and digital camera at his side, David Tripp spends hours driving in his Jeep, poking around the sleepy Texas towns along county roads, searching for subjects to paint.  Every day presents a new opportunity for discovery of some artifact reminiscent of earlier decades of energy and prosperity.  Today, only the shells and husks remain of filling stations, general stores, movie theaters and other public buildings formerly stirring with conversations, stories and glimpses of life.  These monuments are disappearing from our landscape, but not our memories.

show2

The gallery space in the basement of the library is magnificent and I was able to fit eighteen watercolors comfortably around three walls. The reading room on the main floor and second floor balcony provide an excellent environment for study and reflection.

library

show4

This show will hang till the end of February. An artist’s reception will be scheduled for some evening in February. As soon as the date is set, I will certainly post it.

Thanks for reading. I’m finally well enough to be out and about . . .

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Excavating Layers of Creative Eros

January 1, 2018

desktop

Most of what we express creatively is prelinguistic. The deeper insights are obviously coming from somewhere. They are not logically structured in the mind, but it may take logic to get them expressed.

Ian Roberts, Creative Authenticity

As the initial day of 2018 stretches into the cold night, I continue to appreciate the warmth of my fireplace, an excellent biography (Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs), an illness finally ebbing, and good thoughts of past years as well as anticipations of the one dawning.

I’m glad that I managed to take up the brush awhile today and pick at an old watercolor never completed. Glad also to eat, nap, regather strength and enjoy a comfy chair. The New Year season has always been one of reflection for me, and this current one has not hit yet on all cylinders, because I haven’t had the physical comfort to engage my mind or imagination (medication as well as illness tends to dull my creative eros).

But I do want to take this moment to acknowledge the completion of one of the most amazing years of my life. In 2017 I experienced the luxury of retiring from a full-time job that set most of my agenda for nearly three decades. On the heels of the retirement came the opportunity to teach part time at a small, intimate university. This reduced-time schedule has allowed me to pour more meaningful preparation into classes that I never knew as a full time public school teacher. The passion I knew many years back when there was more quality time to prepare classes has returned.

This was also the year that I received the gift of a beautiful gallery space where I could showcase my work with a pair of solo shows and enjoy working weekends in its studio. This amazing gallery experience has opened several brand new venues that I look forward to sharing on the blog in the months ahead. I am deeply thankful for the gifts that life brought me over this past calendar year.

And now, leaning forward into 2018, I’m glad to have a little space between college semesters, space to peel back some layers of my creative attempts from the past and make some important goals for what lies ahead.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

 

Re-Stoking the Fires

January 1, 2018

high ridge

I always worked until I had something done and I always stopped when I knew what was going to happen next. That way I could be sure of going on the next day. But sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.

Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

The first day of the New Year is a sluggish one for me, as I’m still shaking off this nagging respiratory infection that saps my energy. I’m spending more time in front of the fireplace under a blanket, watching TV when I would rather be reading, writing or painting. But I just don’t seem to have the energy or drive to be creative.  The Steve Jobs biography is still exciting to me, yet fails to fire my own spark plug of creativity. I did pull out an old watercolor abandoned from a year or two ago, and I worked on it for over an hour, but I never felt much of a rush or thrill, which is so unlike me when I’m painting. Nevertheless, I’ve posted a photo of its progress above.

I wish all of you the happiest of new years, as I myself am anticipating many new adventures. Meanwhile, I’m just going to keep taking it easy until my strength returns.

Thank you always for reading . . .