Archive for the ‘art gallery’ Category

New Work in Progress . . .

February 29, 2020
Plein Air Study of Caprock Canyon (still in progress)

In old Rome the public roads beginning at the Forum proceeded north, south, east, west, to the centre of every province of the empire, making each market-town of Persia, Spain, and Britain pervious to the soldiers of the capital: so out of the human heart go, as it were, highways to the heart of every object in nature, to reduce it under the dominion of man. A man is a bundle of relations, a knot of roots, whose flower and fruitage is the world.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “History”

One of my Palestine friends yesterday asked me if I felt like a gypsy always on the move. Good question. My response was that I really enjoy life as it’s been since retirement, dividing my time between Palestine, Arlington, east and west Texas. I feel also that my subject matter in painting has been just as diverse as my destinations in travel, and the quote from Emerson above illustrates the way I feel these days. Hence, I am never bored in my choices of painting or of reading. Currently I am working on some canyon scenes from west Texas, abandoned lead mines from the mineral area belt of Missouri and even the Grand Canyon which still floods my imagination though it has been half a year since I visited there.

Remnants of St. Joe Mine in Park Hills, Missouri
Beginnings of a Grand Canyon Experiment

The Gallery at Redlands has witnessed considerable activity since this morning, and I am interested in seeing what the evening restaurant traffic brings. Meanwhile, I’m going to get back to the drafting table and see if I can make some good decisions on these recent works I’ve started.

Thanks always for reading and please check out my website www.davidtrippart.com.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Quality Studio Time

February 28, 2020

Well, here in New York I cannot live the life I want to. There are too many appointments, too many people to see, and with so much going on I become too tired to paint. But when I am leading the life I like to in Paris, and even more in Spain, my daily schedule is very severe and strict and simple. At six a.m. I get up and have my breakfast–a few pieces of bread and some coffee–and by seven I am at work . . . until noon . . . Then lunch . . . By three I am at work again and paint without interruption until eight . . . Merde! I absolutely detest openings and nearly all parties. They are commercial, “political,” and everyone talks so much. They give me the “willies” . . .

Joan Miró

Quiet Morning in The Gallery at Redlands

As the night stretched into the late hours, I finally fell asleep to the ambient sounds of Union Pacific freights lumbering through downtown Palestine. Taking down my solo show in Dallas had proved to be an all-day affair, and I was exhausted once I finished the two-hour journey to The Gallery at Redlands. It felt terrific to sleep in this classic hotel again, I had been away so long. Waking at four this morning was not my plan, but once the light broke, the gallery downstairs took on that lustrous look that never fails to wake up my imagination.

I am thrilled to return to Palestine, and would like to announce to any of my friends in the area that I will be in the gallery all day and evening Friday and Saturday. I have brought back thirty framed paintings from my Dallas show and have them arranged in the Queen St. Grille across the hall as well as in The Gallery at Redlands. I’m creating new work at the drafting table, and would love to visit if you have the opportunity to stop by.

The quote above by Joan Miró made me smile. I do not detest the social moments the way he did, but when I have control of my own schedule, I love to pursue studio time much the same way as he–I just don’t follow that regiment daily. Having said that, I now lean forward in anticipation of a quality day in the gallery/studio with plenty of time to make art.

Yesterday I closed out my solo show at C C Young Senior Living in Dallas. I’m thrilled that a pair of my framed watercolors found a home. Last week, while painting at the bottom of Ransom Canyon in west Texas, I was surprised when my cell phone went off. C C Young was reaching out to notify me that someone had purchased “Cogar, Oklahoma”.

Cogar, Oklahoma

I painted this back in 2006, and afterward learned that the comical phone booth scene in the movie Rain Man was filmed at this location. After all these years, I am thrilled that the painting has finally found a home.

When I arrived yesterday at C C Young, I learned that someone else had wished to purchase this same painting, and wanted to know if there were copies. As it turns out, yes, I have made limited edition giclees of this piece, the same size as the original. The pleased patron purchased one of my editions.

As I was taking down the show, another gentleman approached me, and expressed his desire to purchase one of my paintings that I have favored over the years because it features me fly fishing in South Fork, Colorado, a place that alway stirs the deepest delight in my memories.

Finding the Seam

Before leaving for Palestine, the director at C C Young invited me to conduct watercolor classes at their facility during the summer. Details will soon follow, but I have been scheduled for weekly classes during the months of June and August. In addition to this, they would like me to conduct some workshops as well. Stay tuned!

Now, in the quiet morning light of The Gallery at Redlands, I return to several paintings in progress. While trying to figure out how to finish the plein air sketch begun at Caprock Canyon last week, I’ve been puzzling over color selections. These comments by Paul Cézanne make sense:

Light cannot be reproduced, but must be represented by something else, color. I was very pleased with myself when I found this out.

Paul Cézanne

Caprock Canyon still in Progress

When I began this 8 x 10″ watercolor sketch, I worked hard to match my colors to what I saw on the distant rocks as the sun began its descent. I thought I had something positive going here, until it dried and I took a look at it later. The dullness I find very unsatisfactory, and looking back over some recent reading from Robert Motherwell’s collected writings brought this to light:

A painter’s pigments are duller than light, forcing a series of substitutions, the brightest pigment becoming the equivalent of the brightest light, analogous structures.

So, it appears that I’ll be devoting a portion of this day to figuring out the “substitutions” necessary to wake up this dull painting of the canyon.

I framed my recent plein air sketch done mostly on location at Ransom Canyon. The frame measures 14 x 11″ and I am offering it for $150.

Ransom Canyon Rhapsody–$150 framed 14 x 11″

I have also added my recent coffe cup composition done in watercolor. I have it in the gallery and am offering it for $75. The frame measures 8 x 10″

Coffee Ruminations, $75, 8 x 10″ framed

Friday has kicked into high gear. I finally replaced all the paintings I took out of the Queen St. Grille for my Dallas show. The rest of the collection is stored here in the hotel. The Gallery at Redlands is still featuring the show of Elaine Jary’s beautiful watercolors. They will remain on view and sale through the Dogwood Festival coming up at the end of March.

Thanks for reading and please check out my website www.davidtrippart.com

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Altered Horizons

January 30, 2020

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Reconfiguring The Gallery at Redlands

No sounds came from the city below. The stillness of the room made life seem suspended for a while. 

Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Propped in bed last night, reading, I came across this line in the Ayn Rand novel and paused to notice that below me, downtown Palestine, Texas had completely quieted for the night. After being away for a month and a half, it felt good to enter the Gallery at Redlands again, spend some hours there reconfiguring the space, then retiring to bed upstairs in this wonderful hotel.

I knew I would have that sinking feeling when I entered the gallery to find Smooth Rock 93.5 gone. The radio station was donated to a Christian ministry in Houston, so Kevin and Alan are no longer broadcasting out of the gallery, and the smooth rock format has been replaced. The two years together were not enough, and I am saddened that corporate took the station in the direction it did. When I was in range last night, traveling to Palestine, I dialed up 93.5 on my radio and listened for one minute before deciding I needed to hear nothing further from them. Let’s wish Kevin and Alan the best as they explore new options for broadcasting the kind of music we learned to enjoy the past couple of years.

Tomorrow I will hang my one-man-show at CC Young Senior Living in Dallas. I am taking thirty-three paintings out of the gallery and am delighted to announce that my friend Elaine Jary will be filling my space here for the month of February. As I write this, she is en route with her paintings, and gallery owners Wade and Gail Thomas will arrive as well. The four of us will scurry about, deciding how to reconfigure this space. I promise to post photos as soon as we have the new-look Gallery at Redlands ready for display.

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Work in Progress at the Gallery Drafting Table

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Early Morning Planning in the Redlands Hotel

Thanks for reading, and please check out my website www.davidtrippart.com.

Shultz on website

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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Changes

January 16, 2020

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Kevin and Alan in the Morning–New Horizons

All we are is dust in the wind.

Kansas

Waking on this frigid, dark and rainy winter morning, I made coffee and went to my desk to begin searching for ways to push back against an encroaching despondency. It isn’t the weather. The video announcement was released yesterday afternoon online from Smooth Rock 93.5 FM: the station has been donated to a non-profit, church ministry in Houston, so my gallery roommates will not be broadcasting when I return to Palestine. Kevin and Alan in the Morning made their final broadcast yesterday, not signing off because they had not yet been notified that the plug had been pulled.  I streamed the station all morning today, because the app is still running on my phone. But their voices and early morning humor won’t happen today. They posted their farewell video yesterday afternoon, and this morning their picture (above) has appeared on Facebook advising us to stay tuned. They have some ideas in the hopper about what to do next, but listeners remain in the dark to find out when or if we will hear from them again.

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Kevin Harris

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Alan Wade

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Victoria Minton-Beam

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Marc Mitchell

I will not forget the summer of 2018 when I was told of the arrival of Smooth Rock to Palestine. And I will not forget the feelings of entering the gallery on weekday mornings to hear the duo broadcasting live, often calling me over to the microphone to join in on their discussions. They have been good friends and patrons of the musical, visual and performing arts in east Texas, and their megaphone is going to be sorely missed. I wonder how long it will take for me to enter The Gallery at Redlands and be comfortable with the broadcast studio no longer in the room with me. The presence was a welcome one, and it will take some effort getting used to the radio silence.

The Presocratics began writing 2500 years ago that it is necessary for anything that has a beginning to have an end. We all know this. But knowing that doesn’t make these realities any easier. And so, Kevin, Alan, Victoria, Marc—I hope our paths continue to intersect in one way or another. I am not ready to let go of you.

I am forced now to turn my attention to some imminent deadlines. My one-man-show, “Memories from a Small Town”, will open February 1 at the Point and Pavilion building at CC Young Senior Living Center, 4847 West Lawther Drive, Dallas. At the time of this writing I am compiling the list of works that will hang in the show. I have been asked to make a presentation at the Meet the Artist reception February 13 from 3:30 to 4:30. So, I am also putting together a Powerpoint presentation with accompanying remarks.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you will check out my website at davidtrippart.com.

Shultz on websiteI 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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Slowing Down and Savoring the Gift

December 9, 2019

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Precious Monday Morning Silence

The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood. His intercourse with heaven and earth, becomes part of his daily food.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature

With overwhelming gratitude, I entered my suite at the Redlands Hotel last night after breaking down the weekend Christmas Show, loading, then driving two hours back to Palestine from Dallas. Deciding not to set an alarm, I slept in this morning, but woke from dreams so distressing that it took nearly an hour of wandering around the suite before I could shake the troubles loose and return to my comfort zone, pictured above.

At that moment, I changed my plans of departing by noon for my home. Instead, I am spending the entire day in the Gallery at Redlands, taking my time with the unloading of the Jeep and restocking the gallery, and making sure I give plenty of time for thanksgiving and reflection over the warm weekend I experienced at the Randy Brodnax and Friends Christmas Show at the Sons of Hermann Hall. This is my third year joining this assembly of twenty-or-so artists,  and their love has been so affirming for me during the holiday season. My pulse has finally slowed down, and I am reading quality material and thinking good thoughts. I’m glad the troubling dreams prompted me to slow down, linger, and enjoy this gift of life.

I posted the Emerson quote above because it reminds me of something I had been taught in earlier years about the thought of Immanuel Kant, the Prussian philosopher who crowned the Age of the Enlightenment. He wrote volumes about the way in which our internal mind organizes external stimuli. As an artist, I will never tire of studying this. While sitting through the weekend show, I continued my reading from Sir Joshua Reynolds, and yesterday came across this same idea of the artist organizing the data received from the world:

My notion of nature comprehends not only the forms which nature produces, but also the nature and internal fabrick and organization, as I may call it, of the human mind and imagination.

These words were delivered December 10, 1776. Tomorrow will mark the 243rd anniversary of their delivery into our intellectual atmosphere. This morning, refreshing these words in my journal, I decided to write a blog to discuss my core values regarding the making of art. As I present this, I want the reader to know that I am not trying to tell others how they should approach art. I love the diversity, the expansive constellation of creative spirits that comprise the artist network, and will never cease loving to hear of their perspectives. So, if you would like to respond to this blog, please let me know about your approach to art. I listen, and learn from others. Tell me how you approach this enterprise.

I shall begin by saying that my chief inspiration for art comes from my reading, listening to YouTube lectures, and observing objects with my eye. Though I gladly teach workshops, I don’t enroll in them to learn the techniques of others. At my age of sixty-five, I have already added a number of tools to my toolbox, and still add new ones as I discover them in my own laboratory, or hear from an artistic friend, or read of some new tool. But I do not focus on the tools of the trade nearly as much as I do the philosophical framework of art in the abstract. Hence, my ideas come from reading broadly, and I delight in the essay, the biography, poetry, history, philosophy, theology–all of these areas add contours and accents to what I am assembling.

At my age, I have also cut back severely on competition. Entering competitions requires money and following rules that sometimes are not my own. I don’t like an organization dictating to me the specifications of framing, or telling me that if I use India Ink (which I have done with two of the last one hundred paintings), that it must be less than a certain percentage of the surface area. I have also grown tired of researching the judge to find out what genre s/he prefers when handing out awards. And finally, I have never once sold a painting hanging in a competition, though I paid out money to enter and frame it.

Which leads to the next item: I am not pursuing “signature status” of any particular watercolor society. I already have a doctorate, and have never included Ph.D. in my signature. So why would I want to put initials following my signature to signify I have “status” with a professional watercolor agency?

Which leads to the next item: At my age, I no longer worry over my resume. I have deactivated my status with Linked In because I am not seeking a job. I am retired. I am no longer thirty years old. I have a very lengthy resume, and was required to update it for the university once a year, but now I am not at a university, and frankly, I never opened and read my resume unless I was required to update and send it somewhere. For me personally, resumes are boring. I never read them. Ever. Because I am not on some hiring board that is required to evaluate someone else’s credentials.

OK. So I have poured out some paragraphs of what I am not. Now, what am I exactly? This is the more difficult part of my confession. To start with, I am still a dreamer. I still have the fascination I had when I was four years old, standing in my yard alone on a breezy day, feeling caressed by the world, feeling observed while I was observing, and wanting in some way to respond to that Presence. That little boy is still in me, and I still tremble before the Presence.

My life is still a narrative, from one moment to the next, on any typical day. A story is always emerging from me, and the people who surround me continually pour stories into my imagination. Words they speak frequently put images in my head for paintings. Paintings are also revealed to me by the landscape, and by objects. My brain is drained from exhaustion when I spend hours in a museum, an antique store, a bookstore, or a lengthy walk through a different neighborhood. Everything I encounter puts out a call to create a drawing or painting.

Throughout my days, I sense a continual internal dialogue with other creative spirits who have long ago departed this planet–Edward Hopper, Andrew Wyeth, N. C. Wyeth, Paul Tillich, Robert Motherwell, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau. I continually return to their written and visual works because they created them to communicate with others, and I am honored to be counted among their listeners. And every time I complete something I feel is worthy, I breathe a prayer of thanks to them for their continued encouragement.

Though I have slowed down today, my art and furniture are not going to unload themselves, so I suppose the time has come to begin the task of re-organizing the gallery and tending to business affairs that need to be addressed today. But thank you for taking the time to read me, and please, if you have ideas you wish to share, I would love to read them, and I am certain many of my readers would as well.

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Thanks again for reading.

Shultz reduced

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

 

Sunday Morning Bliss

November 24, 2019

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Beginning of an Evergreen Snowscape, 14h x 16w” watercolor

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Psalm 1:1-4 (King James Version)

Decades ago, while serving in the Protestant pastoral ministry, this passage took deep root within me, and the words I still recite by heart, though my application of the message is not the same as orthodox churchmen would generally apply. While working on this snow scene in The Gallery at Redlands this quiet Sunday morning, these words come back to me, and I feel the impulse to unpack them the way they speak to me in recent years:

This is how I paraphrase–Serene is the one who doesn’t waste time listening to cable news or responding to social media chatter. His serenity resides in the beauty of an artful world, and in that splendor, s/he meditates day and night. And this one will be like a tree planted beside still waters, sending roots down deep. The quiet one’s works will flourish. As for the social media obsessives–they are driven by winds of social change, with no root and no fruit. Their days shall be spastic and their joys fleeting.

This morning, I am grateful for life, for strength, and the ability to respond to beautiful sights surrounding me and quality thoughts penetrating my consciousness. Soon, Cindy and Gary will arrive and I am so looking forward to spending a couple of days with them, working on this film documentary.

Thanks for reading.

Shultz reduced

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Re-visiting Heidegger’s Hut Memories

November 23, 2019

crockett live

Painting an Old Doorknob in the Old Store

You can have the technique and can paint the object, but that doesn’t mean you get down to the juice of it all. It’s what’s inside you, the way you translate the object–and that’s pure emotion.

Andrew Wyeth

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

There are always a few who get at and feel the undercurrent, and these simply use the surface appearances selecting them and using them as tools to express the undercurrent, the real life.

Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

A Saturday of painting in The Gallery at Redlands has been soothing to me as I inch closer to Thanksgiving.  Tomorrow, my friends Cindy and Gary arrive for a couple of days of filming. I am so grateful for their offer to make this documentary of the projects I’ve been pursuing.

Between paintings I have also re-visited journals from my recent past. Soon, I hope to return to my favorite retreat, an old store that friends have given me access for lodging. I call it Heidegger’s Hut in memory of Martin Heidegger’s cabin retreat that he had built in 1927 in the Black Forest mountains. In that remote location, he wrote all his famous works. I have told many friends that my best work has been done in this old store, nearly three hours outside of Arlington. The doorknob shown above and below separates the store from the residence, and I spent the winter of 2016 painting it while seated next to a heater in the main store area.

Feeding off the quotes above from Wyeth and Henri, I tried to forget technique while focusing on the doorknob and figuring out exactly how I wanted to get it on the paper. I sat in the darkened storeroom with one desk lamp trained on the doorknob and a second one beside my chair, lighting the stretched paper on my lap. I spent much more time staring at my subject than actually drawing and painting. Most of my work was done between 1 a.m. and daybreak, and the sweet solitude of that winter darkness I will never forget. The time spent there was truly a gift.

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crockett

“Beyond the Door” watercolor 20.5h x 17.5w” frame size $800

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Heideggers Hut darkened

Painting of Myself in the Store, Painting the Doorknob

19h x 22w” frame size  $900

Signed & Numbered Edition 11.5h x 14.5w” $100

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Relaxing on the Veranda after Painting

Three months after the painting of the old doorknob, the owners of the store opened The Gallery at Redlands, and now I spend most of my open calendar days working out of the gallery.

The Redlands Hotel has released their menu for their Thanksgiving Eve Feast in the Queen St Grille. This special event will be Wednesday, November 27, 5-10 pm.

Rotisserie Turkey Breast    $25

Side Salad w/ choice of dressing

Dressing, Giblet Gravy

Home Style Mac & Cheese

Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes

Green Bean Casserole

Buttered White Corn

Sweet Rolls & Cranberry Sauce

 

Choice of Desserts:

Pecan Pie Cobbler

Pumpkin Cheesecake

For anyone wishing to celebrate Thanksgiving early, Palestine has this special treat waiting for you.

Thanks for reading.

Shultz reduced

 

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

 

Tell Me Where the Road Is

November 23, 2019

Can anybody tell me where the road is? I’m just trying to find my way back home.

Guy Davis, Blues musician

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“Tell Me Where the Road Is” watercolor 26.5h x 24w” frame size. $500

17h x 14w” unframed signed & numbered edition, $70

The holiday season has finally arrived and my blood stirs with every thought. Descending the stairs this morning into the lobby of the Redlands Hotel, decked out in Christmas attire, I felt like a small boy again, holding hands with Mom and Dad while walking St. Louis sidewalks on frigid nights and looking in department store windows. The thought made my heart quiver, and I am thankful for many, many realities including my parents both still being alive. Thanksgiving cannot arrive soon enough, sitting around a table with those I love, talking and laughing in gratitude for all the good that has come in our many years together.

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Lobby of The Redlands Hotel, Palestine, Texas

Ten more suites are booked for tonight. The Polar Express brings 65,000 people to Palestine these final weeks of the year. Already the lobby is stirring with the exclamations of first-time guests, unprepared for what their eyes see. Last night it was my pleasure to escort a couple to their room on the fourth floor and I’ll never forget the expressions on their faces when they saw their lovely suite all decorated for Christmas. What a wonderful season.

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The Gallery at Redlands

I will never stop being grateful for being provided such a lovely space to make and display my art. I worked on the Union Pacific Big Boy watercolor at the drafting table till late last night, and am confident I’ll finish it later today.

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Union Pacific Big Boy #4014

The holiday travels just around the corner drove me to return to my reading of Homer’s Odyssey. Because of my work on the series I’ve titled “Turvey’s Corner 63050”, I have experienced many hours in recent weeks re-visiting memories and visions from childhood. Working on the watercolors and stories of that subject fill me with a depth of feeling I cannot describe adequately. While translating the Odyssey (I will never cease giving thanks to the seminary for teaching me Greek) and lingering over those ancient words, I feel such a profound connection to Odysseus navigating over that vast sea. Seafaring tales have always tugged at my heart, though I have been landbound in these United States throughout my life. My ship has always been a vehicle, and in recent years my aged Jeep has taken me over the broad seas of the rolling American landscape, my compass following a paved highway whining beneath my tires. The various islands and adventures of Odysseus have been the small towns and communities where I have moored for a temporary stay while finding my way back home.

I didn’t know until translating Homer that our word “nostalgia” comes from a Greek compound, nostos meaning return and algos meaning pain, metaphorically a pain of mind. Noun and verb forms of “return” occur 245 times in Homer’s writings, and “pain” occurs seventy-nine. Odysseus endured constant pain as he navigated the return to his roots. I know the comingled pain and comfort I feel as I recall scenes from my past and seek a return for better understanding. I consider this to be one of the finest gifts of being human and visited by memory.

I am aware that not everybody sees value in revisiting the past. In fact, Homer’s Odyssey, to many if not most, is an overrated piece of literature. Robert Fagles wrote that “one ancient critic, the author of the treatise On the Sublime, thought that the Odyssey was the product of Homer’s old age, of “a mind in decline; it was a work that could be compared to the setting sun–the size remained, without the force.” I cannot agree to this. Throughout my life, memory has been my most sacred possession, though it is probably more accurate to say it has possessed me. Either way, I am thankful to have life still in me to devote this quest to find my way back home.

I hope you will visit my new website, davidtrippart.com

Thanks for reading, and I wish you the warmest of Thanksgivings.

Shultz reduced

 

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Nearing Closure on the Big Boy

November 22, 2019

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Painting in the Gallery at Redlands this Weekend

Thanksgiving Greetings from Palestine, Texas! Entering the Gallery at Redlands this afternoon provided me quiet and space to work further on the Union Pacific Big Boy that visited us a couple of weeks ago. I really feel that I will bring this to a close tomorrow, then move on to my next adventure. Most of my attention recently has been given to adding weight to the locomotive. In my earlier attempts I had managed to create a train that looked more like a plastic water bottle. I feel that the machine is finally looking like a legitimate iron horse.

My friends Cindy and Gary will join me Sunday and Monday to resume work on the film documentary they are putting together to publish my work. I wanted to get down here early and get back into the rhythm of painting and planning for this media endeavor. I am happy that Kevin Harris from Smooth Rock 93.5 will also work with us in the future, providing voice overs for the film. Planning for this project has been going on for a number of months now, and I feel that momentum is nearly ready to kick in.

The Thanksgiving holidays are nearly here. I finished all my college grading yesterday and have only finals to anticipate in these closing weeks. I wanted to take this moment and wish all of you a most blessed Thanksgiving season, and for those of you who travel, please be safe.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

 

 

Musings While Painting the Big Boy

November 17, 2019

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Union Pacific “Big Boy” #4014 Steaming into Palestine

The Gallery at Redlands was busier than usual last evening as some of the Polar Express riders passed through the hotel before and after their evening run. Some dear friends, Patti and Tim, gave me a drafting table they were not using, and I moved it into view of our gallery window. This seemed to offer an open invitation for restaurant, bar and hotel guests, along with the Polar Express passengers, to step into the gallery for viewing and conversation. I have never minded an audience while trying to make art.

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View of the Gallery at Redlands from the Lobby

This delicious Sunday morning brought my reading time a soothing visit from Emerson’s essay, “Experience”:

Into every intelligence there is a door which is never closed, through which the creator passes.

I recall an old proverb that promised “when the student is ready, the instructor will appear.” This morning I was ready for Emerson’s instruction. After a blissful night of painting and conversing with art lovers, I awoke this morning, approached the painting, and felt unprepared, flat, clueless. The surge of creativity ebbs and flows, I know from experience. But this morning, impatiently, I wanted to do something creative, yet as I looked over the painting, I had no clue what to approach next. So, I wisely set it aside, poured a second cup of coffee, went back upstairs and sat in a comfy chair to read in the soothing morning sunlight streaming through the window around and through the Christmas tree.

Emerson is the sage who never lets me down when I need a positive word of assurance. I love the opening of “Experience” as he described exactly where I was at the moment:

We wake and find ourselves on a stair; there are stairs below us, which we seem to have ascended; there are stairs above us, many a one, which go upward and out of sight. But the Genius which, according to the old belief, stands at the door by which we enter, and gives us the lethe to drink, that we may tell no tales, mixed the cup too strongly, and we cannot shake off the lethargy now at noonday.

After reading about six more pages into the essay, I felt the scales falling from my mind’s eye, and though upstairs, I could now “see” the train composition, and knew exactly what I wanted to do next. I couldn’t descend the stairs to the gallery quickly enough.

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I laid in the handrails on the left side of the locomotive to set it off against the rose-colored horizon, and then stopped long enough to draft today’s blog. I now know what to pursue next, but thought I would pause long enough to share some of the new experiments I attempted last night as I pushed out this painting. I’m glad that I abandoned the fear long ago of losing a painting and regret the myriad of “stale” pictures I cranked out in years past, following the same old tactics. Each watercolor now is an invitation to adventure as I push at the boundaries to see what is on the other side.

After using a toothbrush to spatter liquid masque from the Richeson Mediums Shiva Series, I used a spritz bottle to moisten the paper and flood the upper extremities with Paynes Gray and mixtures of Winsor Blue and Cerulean. The rosy horizon is a mixture of Quinachridone Red and Permanent Rose. Most of my smoke and steam effects, so far, has been manipulated with the use of a ragged brush I modified with an Xacto knife (I call it the “ugly brush”) and Q-tips. I am at the edge of my technical knowledge here–I prefer the white of my paintings to be the naked watercolor paper, not white gouache. I keep thinking that I could swirl white gouache over the darker areas and create whisps of smoke and steam, but I prefer to remain transparent with my use of watercolor. In my old days of acrylic on canvas, I learned many ways to create steam and smoke with white over dark paint, and would like to try and find a way to create the atmospheric effects, using the white paper instead of overlaying white paint. We’ll see how that all works out.

I’m still trying to solve the problem of the amber glow of the headlamp caught in the swirling steam in front of the train. I’m not sure how to do that yet, but the painting is still in its early stages. And at this point, I am finding it a great pleasure, exploring all these problems and possibilities.

Time to get back to the painting. Thank you for reading, and I hope you will check out my new website davidtrippart.com, still under construction but visibile already online.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.