Archive for the ‘art gallery’ Category

Meditations on a Saturday Morning

June 2, 2018

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Relaxing and reading in an armchair at The Gallery at Redlands

Sleep has been relatively difficult the past two nights, due to my mind refusing to shut down with my first summer school class beginning in forty-eight hours. I have never taught the Humanities online, so what I am accustomed to saying in person before a class now has to be loaded into a computer program for students to access. This involves use of a different set of skills on my part, and I realize that is a good thing. If only I could trust myself and relax into this, instead of this perpetual second-guessing and revisions of my decisions.

I took a break from my class work and resumed reading this delightful book, At the Existentialist Cafe. I am currently reading of the conditions of occupied Paris during World War II and Simone de Beauvoir seeking solace in the library of the Sorbonne, not hearing from Jean-Paul Sartre (who had been captured by the Nazis) and wondering if he was even alive. She was reading Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, and finding a measure of comfort in his theory that history had a way of adjusting as it moved through time.

I looked up from the armchair that I love to use for reading in this gallery, and my paintings arranged on the folding doors in front of me (posted above) provided me a satisfaction that I have trouble putting into words. Sometimes when I take a break from reading, I just like to look up at watercolors I have done from the past and lose myself in their memories. They all take me to places I love to remember, and recall stories that still shape my life.

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My work area this morning in the Gallery

At the time of this writing, I am back at the gallery desk, and have resumed work on my course. I am taking solace in Hegel’s view that history continues to shift back and forth between extremes, and from time to time finds a middle ground (that doesn’t last for long). I can see that from my study of history, and my observations of the past six-plus decades I have lived.

For the first week of class, I have set up for discussion a very recent New York Times opinion article by Frank Bruni, “Aristotle’s Wrongful Death.” I always want to begin a class such as this by engaging the university students in this perpetual debate of the value of a liberal arts education. With an American culture swirling in stupid these days (I’m still wondering how exactly Kanye West’s bipolar condition makes him a “superman”), I believe it is always appropriate to lead students into elevated reading and discussion.

Following the Bruni opinion piece, we will approach Immanuel Kant’s essay of 1784 “What is Enlightenment?” I find the writing very engaging, especially his provocative statement: “When we ask, Are we now living in an enlightened age? the answer is, No, but we live in an age of enlightenment.” I find that just as true today as in 1784. Never before have we managed such growth in technology and achievement, yet we still lack the ability to grow in ethical matters. In spite of intellectual achievement, we still maintain a culture of immaturity and intolerance. I feel at a loss every time I confront this reality.

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At any rate, I am grateful for the gifts I still enjoy in this life. This is a lovely gallery space and hotel where I feel very much affirmed and at home. Time spent here feels like an escape from the madness.

Thanks for reading.

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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Summer School, Oh My!

June 1, 2018

humanities

Undefined, the spirit glides over the waters

Michel Serres, “Anaximander: A Founding Name in History”

 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Genesis 1:2 (KJV)

The email came two days ago, and my confirmed response yesterday: Would I be interested in teaching Humanities online at Texas Wesleyan University for the first summer term, beginning Monday? Yes!

And so begins the task . . . All night long I slept restlessly, I believe because my mind was stirred by this new assignment. My morning alarm is automatically set for seven a.m., but at five-thirty I rose and stumbled to my desk to begin. My task is to present major ideas from the Age of the Enlightenment to our Modern Age, using art, literature and philosophy as my primary vehicles. There will only be twenty-three weekdays to the semester, and all of it is online. The only course I’ve taught online is Logic, but this Humanities course I’ve been teaching at Wesleyan since 2004, and before that since 1989 in the public schools. I love this age of history and am wracking my brains to determine the best way I can stuff three centuries of thought into twenty-three days, all of it online.

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The Gallery at Redlands

After two hours at my morning desk, I packed the Jeep and departed for my two-hour sojourn through the country to Palestine, Texas to work in the gallery that I love. I brought ten new framed paintings with me today, and rearranged the art inside the gallery as well as the display window facing the street. I have been so busy with art festivals the past month that I have lacked the quality time to give the gallery space a makeover. I’m glad to be here again for the weekend.

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Jean and Mike always provide me with a wonderful space to live when I come to work at the gallery. I am now sitting in one of their beautiful suites on the second floor of the historic Redlands Hotel. My gallery is just below me. I plan to spend the rest of this evening and all day Saturday working on the Humanities course that goes online Monday.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

A Quiet, Restful Sunday

May 27, 2018

gallery

Relaxing in The Gallery at Redlands after Saturday’s Depot Exhibit

I sensed a direct line from the eminent figures of ancient Greece–Aeschylus, Sophocles, Phidias–down to [Paul Tillich] himself. Each seemed to me intensely vital; each lived with a seriousness that was not sober; each knew that death would come sooner or later and that there was therefore no time for prevarication or dishonesty with oneself. Each burned with the gemlike flame that comes from the knowledge that we are on this crust of earth for our little moment to build our machines or think and speak our thoughts or sing our poems. 

Rollo May, Paulus: Reminscences of a Friendship

I am deeply grateful for this Sunday of restoration. Over the past forty-eight hours, I’ve driven long distances, set up and broken down a booth for my art exhibit, and sat for an entire day in a hot and extremely humid environment. The labor paid off wonderfully, but today I feel spent, and am happy to regather my strength. It’s been awhile since I read Paul Tillich’s work, and I thought I would begin the morning with some re-reading of the testimony of his most famous student, psychologist Rollo May. A good friend has given me a copy of Tillich’s Dynamics of Faith, and I’ve enjoyed reading sections of it during my quiet moments this weekend.

I was invited to display my railroad art at the opening of the Texas State Railroad’s new season that features excursion train rides from Palestine to Rusk. My day at the Palestine Depot was very rewarding, as the depot sold 280 tickets for the day’s train ride, and many rail enthusiasts visited my tent, made purchases, and engaged me in intriguing conversations concerning their connections to our rich railroad history.

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My Booth outside the Palestine Depot

Palestine express

Afternoon train returning to Palestine from Rusk, finishing the Inaugural run of the New Season

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A Pair of Vintage Locomotives towed out from the Palestine Train Shed

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Gorgeous Evening Vista following my All-Day Depot Exhibition

I could not resist pulling my Jeep over last night to try and capture the scintillating colors emanating from the clouds that hovered over this church in Palestine. I’m thinking seriously of getting out the watercolors to see if I can capture some of that billowy dynamic of the amazing clouds I saw.

Sunday morning railyard

Sunday Morning view from Second-Floor Balcony of the Redlands Hotel

Rising early this Sunday morning, I took my coffee out to my favorite balcony of this historic hotel. The winds were cool, and the train yard seemed to be working overtime, as I watched eleven diesels move through the yards in fifteen minutes. Of course, I could not stop staring at the Chamber of Commerce Building on the right which used to be the headquarters for the railroad during the earlier parts of this century. I have done four watercolors of the structure from this angle.

The day has been restful, and I close with the repeated note of gratitude for quality rest following an arduous schedule.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

 

Tying up Some Loose Ends

April 11, 2018

palestine bank painting

Recently Completed Watercolor of Historic Bank in Palestine, Texas

When the early morning light quietly

 grows above the mountains . . .

            The word’s darkening never reaches

                        to the light of Being.

            We are too late for the gods and too

                        early for Being. Being’s poem,

                        just begun, is man.

            To head toward a star—this only.

            To think is to confine yourself to a

                        single thought that one day stands

                        still like a star in the world’s sky.

Martin Heidegger, “The Thinker as Poet”

A long, yawning gap stretches out between this morning and the occasion of my last blog post. But I have not been yawning. Life has been very pleasing, but packed with activity, all of it meaningful to me, but boring to post on a blog. I have had the thrill of teaching my college classes, conducting a watercolor workshop, giving private watercolor lessons, chatting with artistic colleagues, and spending extended weekends in Palestine working out of The Gallery at Redlands.

I regret to say that it will be probably a month before I spend another weekend in the gallery. This time of year is when my calendar suddenly explodes with art festivals, watercolor workshops and competition exhibitions. I have no free weekend to do gallery work until the midst of May. The painting below will soon be exhibited in the downtown Fort Worth Public Library for the Society of Watercolor Artists Annual International Exhibition.

redlands finished oxbow

Old Town Palestine

I posted the Heidegger poem above, because I still feel the draw of the mountains since leaving Big Bend National Park last month. I have been looking closely at the tightening calendar, scouting for a gap to return to a mountain range somewhere and take up once again the thrill of plein air painting the glory and the light and the atmosphere which they radiate. That time has come. By the time many of you read this I will be already en route to my next adventure, seeking scenes of beauty to capture on watercolor paper and journals. I have ached for this moment, though fully enjoying all the social events I’ve known the past weeks.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

 

Preparing for a Plein Air Paint-Out

March 29, 2018

azalea plein air

Historic Home on Magnolia Street in Palestine, Texas

The approaching weekend is offering a world of excitement as the Society of Watercolor Artists descends upon Palestine for a weekend of plein air painting during their ongoing Dogwood Festival. I arrived in town today and immediately went to work on the 8 x 10″ watercolor posted above. There has been plenty of rain lately, and the colors of nature are really popping in this quaint historic town.

The artists will display and sell out of The Gallery at Redlands here in the Redlands Hotel throughout the weekend, and we have plenty of fun scheduled for Saturday evening as we relax and dine at the Red Fire Grille, also located in this hotel.

If you live close enough, we hope you’ll consider a trip into town to meet us as we paint to our delight.

Thanks for reading.

Shocking Visitation from the Past

March 25, 2018

new image of painting

Today is Sunday. Outside is gray and overcast and The Redlands Hotel is virtually empty and silent except for the occasional visitor to the Gallery at Redlands. I found it an opportune time to resume work on a commission promised long ago. In our age of smart phones, most of us have grown accustomed to the frequent interruptions as emails, text messages, facebook notifications and tweets continually pull us away from what we are focused on completing. When I demand absolute solitude, I turn the phone off, promising myself to return later to see if there is anything I need to answer.

But today an email arrived with the opening line I have encountered countless times in my past: “I just purchased a painting by David Tripp, and searching online I found you, and now want to reach out to see if you are the artist.” When opening the attached photo I always find that it is someone else’s work, especially if it is prior to the year 2000. Today’s email said the painting dated from 1974. I knew it was someone else. Opening the attachment, however, I found an oil painting from my sophomore year at the university that had been purchased at my senior show!

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Throughout the years, I have wondered about this work. The assignment was to paint a mobile home park east of Kirksville, Missouri, on a highway heading toward Brashear. Professor William Unger was excited about the network of TV antennas that crisscrossed high above the mobile home roofs, drawing geometric patterns into the skies. When I went to the location and began my preliminary sketches, I found no satisfaction in what I was creating. So, I decided to raise the horizon near the top of the composition, and draw the TV antennas downward from the homes, eventually turning the lines into glazes of translucent earth tones. Finally, I added a moon on the horizon and hoped the Professor would be satisfied with the piece. That was 1974.

Two years later, this painting hung in my Senior Show (it was mandatory for all art majors to hang a solo show during their final year at the university). To my surprise, the painting was purchased by the wife of a music professor at the university (Northeast Missouri State, now Truman State) who taught classes on the second floor of the Kirk Building (art department was on the third floor). When he came up to the third floor to visit with me and learned that I was at the time a Southern Baptist minister as well as an art major, he shared that he was active in church work and would be sharing the painting with his church family.

Countless times in the intervening years, I have envisioned this painting in my mind’s eye, wondering why I had never photographed it for a record, and always wondering what had become of it. Now, like a message in a bottle, the piece has washed up on my island, and the new owners were gracious enough to seek me out. In a follow-up phone conversation with these owners, I learned that they had just purchased the work from a Unitarian/Universalist minister in Dayton, Ohio. I found this amusing, because the professor of music, when learning that I was a Southern Baptist minister as well as art major in 1976, talked of the relation of art and religion, and wondered if I would find ways to fuse the two in my future work. As it turned out, I spoke from a Unitarian/Universalist pulpit for ten years at about the same time I was rediscovering my artistic muse. And yes, in the years since, I have actively sought ways to fuse religion and art.

This day, to me, is filled with wonder. Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Decompression after the Show

March 9, 2018

opening 2

The day following the reception for a solo show is always my better day, even when the show is well-attended. And indeed I was thrilled to see so many people come to my event, a number of them driving for hours. The time went by fast, then I had to drive two hours to my Palestine gallery to set up some new work and re-install all my limited edition prints, then another two-hour drive back home, getting me back around midnight. Today I am somewhat tired, but no regrets about last night.

opening 3

opening 4

I took a pair of photos as the first people arrived, then forgot to take any more, because as the people continued to come in (the librarian estimated fifty) I got busy talking to them, and after we closed, I remembered that I forgot to take more photos!

opening

I’ll close with a few close-ups of paintings that hung in the show.

crockett

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Arkansas truck better

Fishing Memories.jpg

Thanks for reading.

Artist Reception is Tonight

March 8, 2018

closeup

I am working to stave off nerves as time draws nearer for the reception for my show. My heartfelt thanks goes out to friends who have already said they plan to attend (nothing ties my stomach in knots more than the thought of going to my reception, and no one showing up!). Mark Twain joked about how it feels to stand around like an envelope without an address.

The gallery has agreed to set up a bin with all my limited edition prints available for sale as an added bonus to the show. I will need to get there early in order to facilitate the added display. I am also bringing along a brand new watercolor, framed, in case there is an easel available to put it on display and sale as well.

oxbow angled

Thanks always for reading.

artist reception

Another Framed Watercolor for the Gallery

March 6, 2018

oxbow angled

I just got one of my recent watercolors back from the frame shop. This is my second painting of the Oxbow General Store located in Old Town Palestine, not far from The Redlands Hotel. I’ll put it up for sale in The Gallery at Redlands later in the week. We’re asking $500 for this one, $700 for the larger one posted below.

redlands finished oxbow

Thanks for reading.

 

Artist Reception Fast Approaching

March 5, 2018

artist reception

I just wanted to put out this announcement for any of my friends in the area who would like to attend my reception. I would love the opportunity of visiting with you! The venue provided by the library is gorgeous, and I’m proud to have such an environment to display my work.

hillsboro

Thanks for reading!