Relaxing Before the Christmas Festival



Last Year’s Randy Brodnax & Friends Christmas Show

. . . success in your art depends almost entirely on your own industry; but the industry which I principally recommended, is not the industry of the hands, but of the mind.  As our art is not a divine gift, so neither is it a mechanical trade.

Sir Joshua Reynolds, Discourse 7. December 10, 1776

Late tonight, I’m blessed with this delicious moment in my room at The Redlands Hotel to settle into bed and read while awaiting sleep. The day has been a full one, packing and organizing my gear at home, then driving two hours to Palestine to select work from my gallery for  this weekend’s Randy Brodnax and Friends Christmas Show at the Sons of Hermann Hall in Dallas. This will be my third year to participate in this venue, and I am looking forward with gladness to reuniting with the artistic spirits there.

Tonight I am reading a thought-provoking address from Sir Joshua Reynolds, founder and first president of the Royal Academy of Arts. During my years of teaching Advanced Placement Art History I thoroughly enjoyed discussing his contributions with my students, but only now am I getting around to reading his actual writings and public addresses. As for myself, I was a late bloomer when it came to appreciating scholarly study, but I’m glad the itch finally came. I love making art, and I love learning as a student of letters and philosophy the fresh ideas that drove many of the creative spirits whom we revere today.

This will be my last festival for 2019, and I’m hoping for a good time. For any of you readers who are in the Dallas area, I hope you will take the time to come visit us. The Sons of Hermann Hall is an amazing venue for an art festival. I am blessed to be a part of this tradition. We will be open 5-9 Friday, 10-6 Saturday, and 10-5 Sunday.


Thanks for reading, and I hope you will check out my new website:

     Shultz reduced

I make art in order to discover. 

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

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2 Responses to “Relaxing Before the Christmas Festival”

  1. Sandra Conner Says:

    I guess I would have to disagree a little with Sir Joshua. I most definitely believe that our art IS a Divine gift. I don’t believe any human being has the gift of creativity and the ability to produce entities out of that creativity purely through any natural means. Only the Creator Himself can deposit that ability into us.

    Of course, I also believe that we all have creative gifts. They may not be in the areas that our society considers “the fine arts,” but they are just as powerful and bring forth production of a multitude of things that make life better. Many people never recognize their creative gifts and never use them, but I do believe God implanted them into all of His creation. Then it’s our responsibility to devote ourselves to the “mechanics” of doing something with those Divine gifts.

    I hope you have a really successful and enjoyable time at this last art festival of 2019. (Where has this year gone????)


    • davidtripp Says:

      Good observation. I didn’t see the quote the same way you are seeing it. My take is that Reynolds was focusing on Art as the Force behind your mind and technical mastery. I thought he was arguing that the artist combined two forces into making art–the hand and the mind. As to the divine, I was thinking of it more the way Heidegger points it out in his essay “On the Origin of the Work of Art.” Using his vocabulary, I would say that “divine” is God, or to use Reynolds’s word “Art”. That Force lies behind what we do, and what we do is divided between our technique (the hand) and our mind (the idea or inspiration). Neither our hand or our mind is the Art or Divine. Rather the Art/Divine is the driver preceding the hand and mind.

      Liked by 1 person

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