Archive for the ‘art studio’ Category

Putting Out Fresh Bread

March 30, 2020
Sunday Morning Watch

Good morning. The lovely Sunday morning sun bathes my bedroom with a glow that exceeds description and my spirit feels the warmth, though outside temperatures have dipped into the 30’s. Something wonderful has happened and I feel compelled to send it up the flagpole of my blog. The reader is not compelled to salute. Because of a resolution about a week ago to post an occasional sermon revised from my past, I considered posting one of about a dozen that are ready to go online. But today I have changed my mind, wishing instead to share thoughts that visited me this morning. Rather than posting something revised from the past, I wish to put out fresh bread. For those interested, I have new paintings in progress, but they are too sketchy and vague to put on the blog this early. I look forward to sharing them when they come together a little better.

Mornings are sacred to me, just as Thoreau rhapsodized about the “wakening hour.” And this morning, though the blog may be a meandering ramble, I want to share the visitation.

I have written in the past that I was in the Protestant ministry long ago, a congregational position that lasted eleven years. Not long after I left the ministry, I entered the field of education, and remained there another thirty years. Now in my third year of retirement, and especially in this time of Sheltering at Home, I luxuriate in a time of introspection, and am writing new chapters of my personal memoir.

What I want to share this morning is this daily practice I have held since autumn of 1972. In my Baptist Student Union days, we called it Quiet Time, a practice of beginning every morning in seclusion, poring over a worthy text, recording thoughts in a journal and expecting an oracle. In the days of the ministry, I was soaking the biblical writings; mornings since 1985 have found me grazing from a multiplicity of sources. I still remember the first time I tried this, on an October morning in 1972, seated at the edge of a forest, looking out over a lake, reading from my Bible, recording notes in a spiral notebook, and feeling a Presence that was affirming and encouraging. It colored the rest of that day, and now, 48 years later, I can still testify that a morning spent in quiet solitude and meditation potentially sets the stage for a more positive day.

For those of you who have followed my blogs, you see the quotes from what I’m reading during my morning watch. This morning (maybe because it’s Sunday, I don’t know), I opened my Greek New Testament to The Letter of James and spent about thirty minutes lingering over the words of the first chapter. A few observations I now wish to share . . .

In the opening verses of this letter, the author encouraged his congregation to be steadfast in trials because of their potential to build character–“that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” The word translated “perfect” is telos.  We recognize from the root words such as telegraph, telecommunication, telescope, etc.—the idea of extending to a goal. Aristotle used this word to depict the goal, target or end of every living being. The nature of being alive is this primal drive onward toward completion. Aristotle believed the end was in the beginning. The destiny is already potential in us.

I was also intrigued by the Greek word translated “complete”. The word could be rendered as complete in all parts, entire, sound. The Latin equivalent is integer. Reading this verse reminded me of the conclusion of the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Hebrew Bible. A jaded old man, convinced that life was full of vanity (empty), concluded his treatise by exhorting his readers to fear God and keep his commandments, “for this makes one complete.” At my current age, I am more absorbed with thoughts about my own life’s purpose and what is involved in being a whole person. I suppose that all of us reach for some peg on which to hang our entire identity, and speaking for myself, I finally acknowledge that art has always been at my core, accompanied by my own pursuit of academics with a deeper understanding of the religious dimension. The life of the mind has helped shape the contours of my art.

In verse eleven of the first chapter of James, reference is made to the sun rising, also reminding me of a passage early in Ecclesiastes and Ernest Hemingway’s chosen title to his first novel. James testifies that this sun scorches, bringing to an end a rich man’s accomplishments. Reading this passage made me think of that arc we always acknowledge in the life of a person or of a nation or an era. There is a birth, an increase, a peak, then the decline, and finally the end. As I look over my own life’s trajectory, I struggle with this, wanting to be better now than ever before in what I do, yet acknowledging that many elements of my life are waning, declining. I still have trouble facing this, yet in my art and ideas, I still work in earnest, believing I can still bring to fruition something of value for me and to share in this world. At this age, I muse about what kind of footprint I am going to leave behind.

Chapter 1, verse 18 also got my attention: “Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures. All of us wonder over our origin. The New Testament’s confession of God as our author comes as no surprise. But the phrase “word of truth” never really sunk in while I was reading this from my English Bible. My debt to the seminary for teaching me Koinē Greek is boundless, and since leaving the ministry I have enjoyed over the years the access to Classical as well as Homeric Greek. The linguistic work of Martin Heidegger also has fueled my interest. Thanks to his work, I now regard the Greek word logos not just as word, but as “the force that gathers.” In addition to this, the word for truth, is comprised of the root lēthe. The mythic River of Lethe was the river of forgetting. The extension of that word involved a covering or concealing. The Greek alpha in front of the root is a negation. Hence, alētheia denotes the unforgetting, or the uncovering, which resonates much more with me than the mere word “truth.” Now to translate: “We have been set forth by the cohesive force of the uncovering.” It takes some mental work and time for that to sink in, but the effort, I believe, is worth it.

And finally, the purpose of our being brought into this world is that we become a “first fruits”. In the ancient Greek world, both inside and outside the New Testament, first fruits is best translated “sacrifice.” Throughout my life, I have been stung by accusations of being selfish, self-centered, egocentric etc., and I understand those labels grounded in behavioral traits I’ve exhibited. But long ago, this word from the New Testament prevented me from wilting under those criticisms and accusations. As a teacher, one pours out his/her life daily, not only in study, but most of all in handing out the precious truths gleaned from a life of experience and study. And the daily outpouring is indeed a sacrifice, another day “spent” in service to something greater than ourselves. The same goes for the artist—with every painting, poem, novel, or song, another piece of the creator’s life has been carved away and sent out into the world. The work we do in life is a sacrifice; it takes away another part of our life and offers it to the world, hoping to leave this world one day better than it was when we entered it.

I know this is one of my “rambling” blogs, but I wanted to send out these thoughts gleaned from a Sunday morning watch.

Thanks always for reading, and I hope you’ll 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.

Kiowa Centaurs

March 9, 2020
2nd attempt at painting a Native American (in progress)

A word has power in and of itself. It comes from nothing into sound and meaning; it gives origin to all things.

N. Scott Momaday, The Way to Rainy Mountain

3rd attempt at painting a Native American (in progress)

My blog has fallen silent in recent days due to my recent absorption into Native American images. This all began in Ransom Canyon around Feb. 25 and I posted a pair of blogs describing my feelings as I attempted some plein air sketches in the base of the canyon.

Ransom Canyon has been completely reshaped into an enormous subdivision, and my attempts to paint the more scenic bluffs are rebuffed by the realization that I would be stepping onto some homeowner’s property if I attempted to set up an easel and paint. Parking is another issue–where do I put my vehicle when the road has no shoulders? There is, however, a “memorial chapel” built in the heart of the complex with about 4-5 parking slots, so I have been able to park and hike on public land, and set up the easel on church property, so far without anyone raising complaint.

As I gazed at the canyon walls and imagined what it must have been like 500 years ago when Teyas Indians roamed this geological marvel in search of buffalo before confronting Coronado or aggressive Apache tribes.

My imagination while painting led me to the writings of N. Scott Momaday, a writer I had known about since the mid-1990’s but never bothered to examine. I read The Way to Rainy Mountain in its entirety, and am now about halfway through The Man Made of Words. What I read about the Kiowa migrations from Yellowstone to western Oklahoma fired my imagination, inducing me to attempt a few watercolor sketches of an Indian on horseback on the canyon walls I painted.

Initial attempt of Native American on horseback, 14 x 11″ framed–$200

As I read the accounts of the Kiowa migration, I drew frequent comparisons to what I’ve been studying with Homer’s Odyssey and was inspired to resume work on my own memoir.

In a few days, I plan to travel to Broken Bow, Oklahoma and, weather permitting, engage in some plein air studies of that region. As I paint those surroundings, I anticipate writing the section of my memoir that engaged with Choctaw descendants when I was in the sixth grade. And hopefully I’ll come up with some more images to pursue in watercolor. The Native American tradition I have never touched with my art until now. This is completely new to me, and I feel an excitement with the new discoveries pending.

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.

The Velvet Silence of the Night

March 5, 2020

Disclaimer: Monday I posted a blog covering several days of meaningful events, and a few hours later deleted it accidentally while trying to correct a typo using my phone. Several days later now, going back through my journal and archive of photos, I have reached a decision to take this string of sausages and try to reconstruct the pig as best I can:

My Favorite Retreat for Solitude

When I cross the porch of this old, refurbished store, I bring my whole life with me. The anxious world appears to pause in this quiet space every time I pull back the screen door and enter the dim interior to put down roots for a day or two. The philosopher Martin Heidegger retreated to his cabin in the Black Forest to do his best thinking and writing, away from the city and university. And so I find myself content in the midst of these east Texas woodlands to find peace and quiet and pursue my best work. Henry David Thoreau had his Walden, Heidegger had his Todtnauberg, and so I have my Davy Crockett National Forest and wonderful friends who have made it possible. A spirit of well-being envelops me as the night now advances. I find this a perfect setting for reading and scribbling out pages of thoughts in my journal.

Arriving late last night, I was exhausted, but still managed to relax awhile for reading, writing and reflection. Later I turned out the light and slept a deep sleep till dawn. At first light, I rose refreshed and immediately sought out my favorite rocker on the porch. The morning was chilly and windy, but that seemed to make the coffee taste better.

The Thoughtful Cup

I frequently laugh with friends over a line from the Saul Bellow novel Herzog. The aging professor Moses Herzog was described once as lingering over a “thoughtful cup of coffee.” While ruminating over my own cup, my mind gratefully returned to last night as I was closing The Gallery at Redlands. A lady, after looking through my collection in the gallery and then the restaurant, retrieved her husband, and when it was all said and done, they purchased a pair of my paintings of Sacred Heart Church that stands across the street from the hotel. I’m pleased the paintings found a home and realize it is time now to create some new works of this majestic structure.

Faith Glowing in the Storm
Sacred Heart in the Morning

Once breakfast was finished, I began rearranging furniture to turn this bedroom into a studio, taking advantage of the natural light flowing in through the French doors. For a couple of days, I have been working on a small watercolor of a Missouri mine. My friend from school days, Wayne White, sent me a number of photos that he has taken of these subjects.

Indoor Studio

After a few hours of tinkering with the painting, I decided to seek out a restaurant recommended by a new friend I met last night in the hotel after closing the gallery.

Larry Bruce Gardens

Larry Bruce Gardens is located in the middle of nowhere: 3198 County Road 4600, Kennard, Texas, but wow, was it worth the drive! I don’t recall how long it’s been since I encountered a Sunday lunch buffet as fresh and exotic as this one. Live bluegrass music played throughout mealtime and the atmosphere was just as savory as the food.

Luxurious Buffet

Returning to the store after lunch, I felt the need to walk off the meal. Rigging up my flyrod, I hiked down the hill across the road to a large body of water on the property of the store owners. It must have been a long winter, because the bass were hungry and eager. I landed 27 fish, mostly largemouth and a small assortment of panfish. The winds were up, making it difficult to work the fly line, but the fish were nevertheless more than enthusiastic to meet me halfway.

First Fish of 2020
27th Fish of 2020

The evening was spent in sweet solitude as I read a great deal from Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast and Carlos Baker’s Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story. Sitting on the porch rocker, I felt intoxicated by the sounds of the steady winds whispering through the leafy trees and the constant chirping of the bird choruses. As the light dimmed, deer emerged from the surrounding forests and moved noiselessly across the fields and the yard surrounding the store. It was a perfect world.

Second Morning

Retiring to bed for an exhausted, heavy sleep, I awoke surprisingly at 5 a.m. and could not shut down the thoughts surging through my mind. I thought of Carlo Marx in Kerouac’s On the Road shouting in the darkness: “You can’t shut down the machine!” So I rose from my bed, and after a “thoughtful cup of coffee” on the porch, moved my studio outdoors and returned to work on the abandoned Missouri mine, eventually finishing and framing it.

Studio Moved Outdoors
Finished the Missouri Mine

Meantime he was working harder than he had ever worked in his life, often until three or four in the morning, Then he would fall asleep, his head feeling like a frozen cabbage, only to jump awake again a few hours later, with the words already stringing themselves into sentences, clamoring to be set down.

Carlos Baker, Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story

The past couple of days have been heavenly as I have moved back and forth between painting and reading/thinking/writing. From the drafting stool to the rocking chair, from the plein air easel to the writing desk. Back and forth. Painting, reading. Drawing, writing. Drafting, thinking. The rhythm I find very satisfying.

Hemingway searched for his one true sentence.

John Nash searched for his governing dynamic.

Thoreau searched for the hard bottom of reality.

And I continually search for an aesthetic, a style, an identity to my own creations.

Hemingway once wrote that “a writer is an outlier like a Gypsy.” I suppose all of us who strive to create question ourselves: are we outliers? Solitary, yes. Unconventional perhaps. As for myself, I can honestly say that during these years of retirement I have enjoyed a life on the road, a perpetual journey, an odyssey. While traveling, I have enjoyed changing perspectives that have prevented me from rutting, from becoming mired in sediment. Life has remained multi-faceted like a rare gem. And in that I have found perpetual delight.

Thank you 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.

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.

Into the Canyon Again

February 23, 2020

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I think a painting is undigested if you leave it in the state of just chaos. I like that first, wild impulse to be there, underneath, but pulled back into clarity.

Andrew Wyeth

Saturday, the sun came out at intervals, so we decided to travel to Caprock Canyons State Park in Zavalla, Texas. Temperatures were mild enough that jackets were no longer necessary, and with only 30-45 minutes before the sun dropped behind the ridge, I set up quickly and enjoyed sketching out a piece of the canyon at its inmost location (the final turnaround point for driving). Moving back and forth between pencil and brush, I alternated between drawing and painting on this 8 x 10″ stretched paper. The short time proved to be even shorter as I enjoyed meeting a family who had just moved from Seattle, Washinton to west Texas. The father was a painter who had made some plein air attempts in his past and was serious about returning to the practice. I also enjoyed the small dog, Patches, that made the trip with us. He was walking with Sandi on a trail fifty yards below where I was perched. The dog, looking up, saw and recognized me and decided to scale a cliff to reach me, then return to his master.

Once I finished playing with the dog, I spent about ten more minutes on this piece before the sun dropped, leaving the entire horizon in a subdued sea of gray. Today, looking at it with fresh eyes, I recalled Andrew Wyeth’s preferred practice of beginning a composition with quick, loose strokes, then later returning to refine it. This reminded me of William Wordsworth discussing the practice of writing poety in Lyrical Ballads. He wrote that poetry begins with passion outpoured, then concludes with judgment studied.

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Yesterday Evening’s Beginning, on Site

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Today’s Continued work, in the Studio

Tomorrow I plan to look at the piece a third time and decide whether or not to push it further or just leave it and move on to the next adventure.

Thanks for reading.

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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Pursuing the Muse

February 21, 2020

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Watercolor in 8 x 10″ wooden frame–$100

Artistic inspiration has to be carried over a long distance to reach expression, and it may easily shrivel, or even perish on the way from the eye to the paper.

Abraham Heschel, Man is Not Alone: A Philosophy of Religion

The day’s proposed schedule has been fractured beyond recognition. I awoke a little after five, my head stirring with ideas for painting, and actually hit the studio running. But a number of distractions entered, and though I didn’t accomplish what I set out to do, I feel a good sense of accomplishment as I prepare to enter the weekend.

I decided to frame the coffee cup I sketched in watercolor yesterday, and am happy with the results. I also completed my application for Palestine’s Dogwood Festival coming up late in March–a number of artists will be displaying under a large tent for the VIP party in advance of the actual festival and I slipped in my application just under deadline.

I also have been notified that a book is coming out in June featuring my artwork on its cover. The publisher and I have been in correspondence over this matter for nearly a year and I am excited to learn I will have a copy of this book in hand soon.

JEWFISH-RESIZED300x210

I have a few more paintings in progress now in the hopper and hope to be posting images of them soon.

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.

 

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Moving Through the Darkness

February 21, 2020

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For this is the truth about our soul, he thought. Our self, who fish-like inhabits deep seas and plies among obscurities threading her way between the boles of giant weeds, over sun-flickered spaces and on and on into gloom, cold, deep, inscrutable; suddenly she shoots to the surface and sports on the wind-wrinkled waves; that it, has a positive need to brush, scrape, kindle herself, gossiping.

Virginian Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

In my pre-dawn reading, I shuddered over this passage from Virginia Woolf. The exquisite beauty in her arrangement of words as she shapes ideas continually arrests me. I simply close the book, stare into the distance and wonder how on earth she managed to weave such beauty in language during deep and utter sadness throughout much of her life.

I recall the words from the C. S. Lewis film Shadowlands: “We read to know that we are not alone.” As I read this passage comparing the soul to a fish navigating its solitary odyssey below the surface of the waves, I thought of this past week spent away from public events. Preparations for my solo show and then speaking at the event sapped most of my energy, and so this quiet restoration has been soothing. Though spending hours alone, I don’t fee lonely; these gentle minds of lovely souls from the past continue to connect with me through their creations.

The Woolf quote explores the fish meandering about in dark obscurity and occasionally popping to the surface to rub against the school and engage in gossip. In context, Woolf described a solitary man forced into a social gathering around drinks. In my own life, I know that rhythm of solitude and society dynamics, and I still enjoy its richness. But I found another idea while my reading of Woolf was taking place alongside that of Heidegger.

In the midst of being as a whole an open place occurs. . . . Only this clearing grants and guarantees to us humans a passage to those beings that we ourselves are not, and access to the being that we ourselves are. (“On the Origin of the Work of Art”)

I am stirred by the imagery from Woolf of the fish gliding among the weeds, occasionally entering “sun-flickered spaces”. In Heidegger’s writings, I recall the image of a wanderer picking his way through thick woods and occasionally coming to a clearing. Heidegger’s word for clearing is the German Lichtung and is sometimes translated “lighting.” So, my thoughts this morning move along two different trains: the soul gliding silently in the darkness of solitude while occasionally stepping into the light of a social encounter, and then the soul moving silently among the darkness of thought, waiting for the moment of clarity when light enters, giving shape and clarity to an idea.

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All this just to say . . . during my quiet week I have been groping about in the darkness, searching for an idea for new art, new work, new play. Finally some things are beginning to take shape and now I am happy to add drawing and painting to my reading and journaling.

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While French-pressing coffee this morning, I found myself staring at this lovely mug I purchased last December from Randy Brodnax. While admiring its organic form and earth-tone colors, the idea formed to experiment with a composition juxtaposing the mug with a precision drawing such as found on a drafting table. By the time the coffee was ready, I had decided “Why not?” and found myself tinkering with this combination watercolor and drawing. Now I am interested in re-visiting coffee-related themes in my art. Going back over my file, I excavated this watercolor sketch done in my garage several winters ago.

Maxwell House raw photo

While working on the coffee themes, I also pulled a stack of my attempted sketches from last summer’s visits to the Grand Canyon and Sedona. Stretching a fresh 9 x 12″ sheet of 90-lb cold press watercolor paper, I played with this Grand Canyon composition.

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I feel that I am finally swimming out of the darkness and enjoying some time playing in the light.

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.

Reaching for that Point of Support

February 10, 2020

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He would think of it later, he thought; one moves step by step and one must keep moving. For the moment, with an unnatural clarity, with a brutal simplification that made it almost easy, his consciousness contained nothing but one thought: It must not stop me. The sentence hung alone, with no past and no future. He did not think of what it was that must not stop him, or why this sentence was such a crucial absolute. It held him and he obeyed. He went step by step. He completed his schedule of appointments, as scheduled.

Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

The new week opened with a sprint for me this morning. I enjoyed quiet and rest for most of December and January, because I knew February’s brutal calendar. Tomorrow afternoon will begin the first of a two-day watercolor class I’ll teach at Show Me the Monet Gallery in Arlington, Texas. For $115 I’ll teach new students to paint a Texas longhorn. We’ll meet 2-5 Tuesday and again Saturday at the same time. If any of you are interested, please contact me at 817-821-8702, or the gallery at 817-313-6327.

On Thursday I will give my public presentation on “Memories from a Small Town” at C C Young Senior Living in Dallas during the Meet the Artist event at 3:30. My one-man-show of 33 watercolors now hangs there and will remain for the rest of this month. Meanwhile, I have finished a pair of commissions (pictured above) and have two more in the hopper that need to be completed.

I laugh at how often days of my life unwind like a bad novel. Waking this morning, early, I knew all the errands that had to be run today. But my dryer not functioning was not a part of my schedule. So, I smile now as I sit at a coin laundry, drying a load of wash, using my smart phone to tap out this blog . . . I anticipate that come nightfall I will be able to slow down the pace. Until tomorrow.

Reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand a moment ago, I was arrested by the musings of a woman who struggled to find “her only point of reassurance in a world dissolving around her.” I closed the book and thought of that sinking feeling one gets when wondering what really matters in life, paticularly when circumstances in our current society appear so disjointed and threatening. The text reminded me of Thoreau’s point d’appui that he discussed in Walden:

Let us settle ourselves, and work and wedge our feet downward through the mud and slush of opinion, and prejudice, and tradition, and delusion, and appearance, that alluvion which covers the globe . . . till we come to a hard bottom and rocks in place, which we can call reality, and say, This is, and no mistake; and then begin, having a point d’appui, below freshet and frost and fire, a place where you might found a wall or a state, or set a lamp-post safely . . . 

Point d’appui is translated “point of support.” Thoeau’s quest for a firm foundation to life has profoundly haunted my life for over thirty years now. While relaxing in the quiet residence of an old country store yesterday I pondered my own point d’appui and found satisfaction in the reality that I am alive. This life alone is a gift. I find happiness in the knowledge that I can create. Create art. And create meeting for my life. I recall years ago reading Nietzsche’s meditations when he concluded that his life had no meaning, contained no inherent meaning. He concluded that he could create meaning for his own life, since it was not given. Following that notion, I continue my own quest to carve out a niche in this life where I can be myself and pursue actions I believe are important.

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Yesterday’s Refuge before Today’s Storm

The clothes are ready to come out of the dryer, and I am ready to chase today’s appointments. So until later . . .

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.

Installation of my New Show

February 1, 2020

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The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon, or perchance a palace or temple on the earth, and at length the  middle-aged man concludes to build a wood-shed with them.

Henry David Thoreau

Again, the wit of Thoreau draws a laugh from deep inside me. I am deeply appreciative of the many years granted for this earthly wandering, and laugh now when I recall grandiose dreams from my youth that remained only that–dreams. However, in one aspect of my life, I have enjoyed success–I have managed to hold on to the passion for making art and have amassed a large body of work that illustrates my journey.

Today, my one-man-show “Memories from a Small Town” opens in the Point & Pavilion at C C Young Senior Living in Dallas. I managed to hang the show last evening. The printer at the facility is waiting repairs, so hopefully the labels they created for the paintings will be installed on Monday. But the show is up, and I am grateful now for this Saturday of leisure. The past week has been exhausting beyond measure, getting things ready for this event.

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Installation in Progress

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Waiting for Labels to be Installed Monday

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Thirty-three watercolors have been selected to hang, illustrating images from small town life as well as the great outdoors. Because the venue is an assisted living facility, my genuine hope is for the residents to experience the same feeling looking at this show as they know when flipping through a photo album. I wish for my memories to invoke similar ones of their own. Last night, I got the feeling that this could happen, as quite a group of residents gathered to peruse the works as they were being hung. I enjoyed overhearing a number of the observations being made as the viewers shared stories from their past. I call my company Recollections 54 because that is my birth year and I have tried throughout recent decades to focus on subjects from 1950’s America. The husks and shells of those buildings and vehicles are gradually fading from our landscape, but not from my memory.

On February 13 at 3:30, I will present a powerpoint lecture in the facility and remain to answer questions and greet those who attend. If you are in the vicinity, I hope to see you. Here is the link to the facility:

https://www.ccyoung.org/the-point-pavilion

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

Shultz reduced

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.