Archive for the ‘art studio’ Category

Read, Write or Paint?

November 24, 2019

Winfield angle

Winfield, Missouri, signed & numbered limited edition 13h x 11w” $60

The minute I began to write I felt a tension between reading and writing that, instead of abating, has grown more intense with the shortening of my life’s horizon. I’m now in my sixties, which means that I’m looking at a maximum of about thirty more years of life. Which should I do? Read, or write?

Larry McMurtry, Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen: Reflections at Sixty and Beyond

As an avid reader, I plough through stacks of books every year, and some of them deserve re-visiting. This volume by Larry McMurtry I read quickly a couple of months back, and have packed it on my trips ever since. I just keep going back to his words. And the ones posted above definitely resonate with me, because my life at sixty-five is always torn between reading, writing, thinking, journaling, drawing, watercoloring. When I’m doing one of those activities, my mind continually drifts to the others. My artist friends tell me I have Attention Deficit Disorder and they are probably right. But I found great relief when reading Water Isaacson’s recent biography on Leonardo da Vinci, because that wonderful Renaissance spirit was also distracted throughout his life. I find him good company.

The painting above I have attempted on four different occasions. Two of the paintings have been made into signed & numbered editions. I took pictures of this abandoned store in Winfield, Missouri, a small Mississippi River town north of St. Louis on Highway 79. It was summer 2009. The sun had just risen, and I pulled my Jeep over and took a number of photos from different angles. This proved to be one of the best unscheduled stops in my artist life.

A few years ago, a woman called me on the phone who had seen my work on the Internet. She told me fascinating stories of this place which had been formerly owned and managed by her grandmother. Adjacent to the store was an old service station whose owner kept a German Shepherd in his business. Patrons would put a 50-cent piece in the dog’s mouth, and he would trot to the store next door, rise on his hind legs and drop the coin on the counter. The grandmother would turn around, take down a can of dog food from the shelf and place it in the dog’s mouth. The happy Shepherd would then carry his booty back to the service station where the owner would open it and dump it in the dog’s bowl.

The Larry McMurtry book quoted above laments that story telling has largely disappeared from our culture today. I sadly agree, and will always be grateful to the lady caller who passed this delightful story on to me, putting genuine emotion into my painting.

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

Railroad Memories

November 21, 2019

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Union Pacific “Big Boy” #4014

. . . when I hear the iron horse make the hills echo with his snort like thunder shaking the earth with his feet, and breathing fire and smoke from his nostrils, (what kind of winged horse or fiery dragon they will put into the new Mythology I don’t know,) it seems as if the earth had got a race now worthy to inhabit it.

. . .

The stabler of the iron horse was up early this winter morning by the light of the stars amid the mountains, to fodder and harness his steed. 

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Memories of my freshman year in college still visit me. Five hours from my parents who had nurtured me every day ruptured my routine, making sleep alone in the dorm difficult. Wakened on winter mornings before daylight at the distant sounds of a freight train whistle filled me with a sense of melancholy and homesickness. And at the same time, I felt some kind of unusual comfort. I believe it was because the railroad had fascinated me since early childhood, and hearing it on a solitary college morning provided some kind of continuity to my life. I don’t know.

Spending many nights in The Redlands Hotel in Palestine provides the same continuity. The hotel and gallery are two blocks from the Union Pacific railyard, and those constant sounds of the railroad accompany me during my stays down there. And I am still moved deeply when I experience those sights and sounds.

Two weeks ago, the Union Pacific Big Boy visited Palestine for an overnight stay. I’ll never forget the tremors I felt in the ground as that massive locomotive drew nearer to where I stood. The blast of the whistle and the smoke belching out of the stack made me tremble. At the time of this writing, I am in the midst of my first painting of that behemoth, still feeling the exhilaration of watching it steam and shudder in the predawn of the morning of its departure. I hope to finish the painting in the gallery this weekend, then move on to my next.

In recent years, I have created a number of watercolors of trains, and several of them are available in signed & numbered limited editions. You can seem them at my new website, in the “Trains” chapter: davidtrippart.com.

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.

 

Rolling in the Painting

November 18, 2019

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My newest 5 x 7″ Christmas Card–$5

And a pleasant Good Monday Morning to all of you from The Gallery at Redlands! I awoke with a rush of excitement to get back into the UP Big Boy lococmotive watercolor I’ve been building over the weekend. When I entered the gallery to see what was on the drafting table, I wasn’t completely satisfied with its overall look from a distance. So now, over coffee, I plan to spend some time contemplating it to figure out exactly what to do next. Hopefully I can post the image later in the day.

I stayed close to the watercolor all day yesterday, with an extremely narrow focus on detail. Now, I believe, the time has arrived to pull out the journal and begin recording corrective notes as I determine how to complete the overall composition of the piece. I have lost so many paintings over the years by working closely on them for hours and not stopping to view from a distance and make critical finishing decisions.

I love crawling into a painting and rolling around in it the way a dog does in the grass at the park. I recently walked my favorite dog in a Lubbock park near the overflowing playas. In the distance, I saw him rolling, rolling, rolling with great glee in one spot. He was oblivious as I called out to him, and continued tumbling. Once I got to where he was, I saw what held his attention–a rotting carp from the playa. He was rolling all over it, covering himself with decay. Yum. I made sure I walked back to the house upwind from him before stuffing him into the shower.

All this to say that I need to back away from rolling all over this painting to keep from suffocating it and ending up with a corpse. As I’ve written before, I don’t suffer much anxiety over losing a painting, but in this case, I like the way it started, and would like for it to end just as well.

More later. 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.

Saturday Splendor at the Gallery at Redlands

November 16, 2019

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Beginning of my First Painting of the UP “Big Boy” #4014

. . . they remind you of Saturday mornings when you were six and knew the day was young and blue just by looking over the fence through pale smokes of whoever it is is always burning something on Saturday morning (and hammering on nails in the afternoon).

Jack Kerouac, Visions of Cody

Today has been a bright and sunny cold day in Palestine, Texas, lovely enough to step outside in a jacket and walk all over town. Seated in The Gallery at Redlands in the afternoon, I now muse over the entire morning divided between painting, reading, journaling, and stepping outside into the fresh air for the ocassional invigorating walk. The sounds of the city are reminiscent of the white noise I knew from my youth, described by Jack Kerouac above, that I found soothing then, and find soothing this day.

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View Outside the Gallery Window of the UP Railyards in the Distance

Two blocks away, the Union Pacific yards are back to their normal work and noise, a week having past since the Big Boy came lumbering into town for an overnight stay. I took pictures then. I begin watercolors now. At the top of this blog is the posted image of the first one, begun yesterday morning. Dave Shultz, the photographer who is also building my new website davidtrippart.com, has provided outstanding photos for me to use as reference to paint this massive locomotive.

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Lovely Christmas Tree in my Redlands Hotel Suite

The Redlands Hotel is now tricked out in its lovely holiday attire. In addition to the lobby areas, the hotel staff placed a Christmas tree in every suite of the hotel. I didn’t anticipate what I was to find when I came into my room yesterday. I cried in gratitude; Christmas trees have always overpowered me in that way, and yesterday was no different. Thank you, Redlands! I spent a large portion of this morning beside the tree in my suite, reading and scribbling notes in my journal.

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The Gallery at Redlands

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Views of The Redlands Hotel in a Walk Across Town

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Cover of my Latest Christmas Card

This year, I am adding to my holiday card collection. My 5 x 7″ cards are printed on Hallmark Card stock, blank inside with something I’ve written on the back. With envelope and packed in a plastic wrap, I sell these for $5 each or five for $20. For any of my readers living in the Arlington, Texas area, Boss Cleaners at the Arlington Green Oak Center, 5817 Interstate 20 West, Suite 410, sells these cards in their store.

In three weeks I will be displaying my work for viewing and sale at the Randy Brodnax & Friends Christmas Show: http://www.randybrodnax.com/christmas_show.html

The festival will run Friday through Sunday, Dec. 6-8.

Thanks for reading, and make sure you check out my new blog, davidtrippart.com.

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Waiting for the Train

November 9, 2019

Sedona 4

Newest Greeting Card of my Sedona Series

Ten new greeting cards have just been processed, and while waiting for the Union Pacific Big Boy to arrive in Palestine, Texas today, I thought I would start rolling them out on my blog. I began a series of twenty 8 x 10″ watercolors of these red rocks in Sedona, Arizona and formatted six of them yesterday for my 5 x 7″ greeting cards. I print these on Hallmark card stock and insert them with their envelopes in nice Clearbags. The cards are blank inside and have my written thoughts on the back:

Sedona Splendor

“The mountains are calling and I must go.”

John Muir

Words defy my deepest feelings when I stand on the bare ground of this magnificent land and gaze with awe at the towering peaks of the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona. Standing at my easel, I breathe prayers of gratitude as my eyes move all over this silent sculptural portrait gazing back at me with seeming encouragement and approval.

David M. Tripp               (817) 821-8702

http://davidtrippart.com

(blog) https://davidtripp.wordpress.com

Today promises to be an exciting one. The Union Pacific Big Boy 4-8-8-4 is scheduled to arrive in the Palestine train yards at 2 this afternoon and stay till 8 tomorrow morning. All my life, I have envisioned this iron horse shaking the ground with its tonnage and belching steam into its surroundings as it pulls into a town. Soon, I will get to see it with my own eyes. I’ll be set up with my plein air easel, hoping to capture a decent image of it in watercolor and pencil.

Stay tuned.

My New Website has Launched!

November 4, 2019

I am thrilled to announce that my new website is now live and I invite you to check it out. Parts of it are still under construction, but many images have been loaded, and information on my blog is included as well:

https://davidtrippart.com/

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Sedona, Arizona Dream, 8 x 10″ watercolor, matted. $100

Life is a train of moods like a string of beads, and, as we pass through them, they prove to be many-colored lenses which paint the world their own hue, and each shows only what lies in its focus.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Experience”

The energy surging through east Texas has buoyed me like a surfer from one wave to the next.  My friend Dave Shultz has been building a new website for me and most of Friday was spent in The Gallery at Redlands photographing all the art to load on the new site. The artists in the Bullard community invited me back for another watercolor workshop Saturday and the time spent in the home and classroom of dear friends has flooded my soul with new memories and richness. Sunday at the Redlands Hotel featured an afternoon of music as several artists performed multiple sets. The lobby filled to capacity and the sweet sounds of jazz, classical and gospel music filled the atmosphere with a sweetness that defies description.

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Kimberley Greene

One of the highest moments of the event for me was when Kimberley Greene came into the Gallery at Redlands, requesting permission to warm up for her set coming up in about half an hour. I sat with my back to her and worked on watercolors at the drafting table while she loosened up. When she played Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G tears welled up in my eyes. That piece has moved me for so many years and I cannot express the depths of my gratitude when someone plays it live in my presence.

Kimberley taught strings to elementary students in the same Arlington school district where I taught for twenty-eight years. She now resides in Crockett, Texas, and will be opening her own school of music soon. I will post information on her school as soon as I receive details.

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Kimberley Performing her Set

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Krissy Clark Singing Jazz

I had the privilege of meeting Krissy Clark the day before she performed. A skilled vocalist, her sultry voice electrified her audience with traditional jazz in a manner reminiscent of Etta James. I would have loved for her scheduled twenty-minute set to extend past an hour, but wonder how long she would be able to sustain that kind of energy. I’m thrilled that she is a local resident, and with Kimberley being less than an hour away, I hope there will be more venues for these lovely musicians to perform. They certainly drew many fans yesterday.

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Sedona Watercolor sketch, 8 x 10″ matted.  $75

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Sedona Watercolor Sketch #2, 8 x 10″ matted. $75

As the concert played, I propped the gallery door open and worked on small watercolors at the drafting table as I listened and visited with patrons drifting in and out of the gallery. I am posting three of the pieces that were completed and signed during the event.

Next weekend, the Union Pacific “Big Boy”#4014 will arrive in Palestine at 2 p.m. and stay until 8 a.m. the following morning. I will be onsite to paint the steam engine live, and can hardly wait for the occasion to arrive.

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

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.