Archive for the ‘Eureka Springs’ Category

Greetings From the Eureka Springs School of the Arts

June 17, 2013
Eureka Springs School of the Arts

aEureka Springs School of the Arts

To see far is one thing: going there is another.

Constantin Brancusi

The first day of my Plein Air Watercolor Workshop is in the books, and I feel that I have crossed over into a new frontier.  All my students thrived today in our introductory session, and frankly, I am not used to that.  I am sitting in a daze on the back terrace of the beautiful Anderson Suites in Eureka Springs, staring across the gorge through a downpour that is cooling the trees  before me, enjoying my coffee, and recalling every rich experience I knew today as I watched a very eager group of participants engage in plein air watercolor exploration.  The questions were genuine, the enthusiasm was contagious, and every participant seemed to finish better than she began this morning.

Below is the terrain we witnessed as we looked out the open front door and through the large studio windows of our school.  After I completed a short demonstration of watercolor techniques and tricks, the participants began to compose their initial watercolor sketches of the natural outdoors.

View out the front door of the Eureka Springs School of the Arts

View out the front door of the Eureka Springs School of the Arts

Plein Air Painter Engaged in a Watercolor Sketch

Plein Air Painter Engaged in a Watercolor Sketch

The eager painters went after their compositions in a hurry, and the six-hour session flew by.

None of the above sketches were completed before I photographed them.  Tomorrow I’ll update them, and show the new work as well.  We spent the entire day today at the Scool of the Arts studio.  Tomorrow we will gather in historic Eureka Springs and paint the exotic subjects found on site.

Brancusi nailed is when he wrote: “To see far is one thing: going there is another.”  I feel that the new acquaintances I made today in the studio have helped me go further than I ever have before in the community of plein air painting.  I can hardly wait to greet the morning.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal because I feel that I am alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.


Plein Air Workshop with David Tripp

June 8, 2013

Plein Air Workshop with David Tripp.

Yesterday, not knowing how to post this video, I posted the link.  I hope, this time, that the actual video is loaded for anyone interested to view.  The Eureka Springs School of the Arts was gracious enough to put it together, and I’m extremely proud to share it.

Eureka Springs School of the Arts ( has provided for me the most perfect plein air workshop environment I have ever known.  This is the fourth year I’ve been afforded the chance to teach the five-day workshop which  is scheduled to begin one week from Monday, June 17.  We still have availability, and if anyone reading this has any interest in painting a mountain Victorian town replete with 19th-century architecture, cliffs, flowerbeds, quaint store facades, and the most lovely sunlight available, then please sign up and come spend a week with me.  I guarantee an experience you’ll never forget.

New Video Advertising My Plein Air Workshop at Eureka Springs School of the Arts

June 7, 2013

Eureka Springs School of the Arts has just released this promotional video of my scheduled one-week plein air watercolor workshop beginning June 17.

My Watercolor Featured on new Eureka Springs School of the Arts T-Shirt

December 1, 2012
Eureka Springs School of the Arts

Eureka Springs School of the Arts

Several months ago, I was moved deeply at the words of a beautiful letter from the President of the Board of the Eureka Springs School of the Arts.  She was expressing admiration for the watercolor above that she now owns, and was asking me in the letter if I had objections to its being used on a T-Shirt promoting the School.  Of course I had no objections; I was honored that they would use the image.

Today, after a spectacular afternoon spent in the Tyler Museum of Art perusing the Wyeth exhibit, I came home on a natural high, ready to re-enter the studio and see if I could turn out anything decent with my watercolor efforts.  In the mailbox, I found a package containing this T-Shirt.  I am wearing it proudly this evening, and delight in this opportunity to show it to you.

Thanks for reading.

Plein Air Watercolor of a Eureka Springs House in the Evening

September 7, 2012

Eureka Springs House in the Evening

Here is a small plein air watercolor I did after my first class at the Eureka Springs School of the Arts last summer.  I only had an hour to get it done, as the late afternoon sunlight was waning, and seemed to linger on this house just long enough for me to finish it.  I’ll never forget the fun I had, as tourists continued to stop and look over my shoulder to see what I was doing out on that public sidewalk.  Eureka Springs has always been a fun place to paint in public.

I just finished putting this in a matte and shinkwrap bag and am glad to add it to my festival inventory next week.  I think I’ll put a $125 price on it.  The image is 8 x 10″ and is inserted in an 11 x 14″ white matte.

Thanks for reading.

No, I Am Not Painting Right Now

June 27, 2012

Tripp working at “Paint Historic Waxahachie”

Good morning!  I wish I could say that I am painting.  But I am not.  Currently, I am teaching English IV in summer school (until 12:45 daily).  After school (yesterday and today), I have some social engagements (good ones, of course), a few unpleasant tasks to complete (I won’t go into those) and some decisions to make on which of my works to put on display and sale at a Friday night restaurant and bar venue (a good thing).  And then, there will be preparations for tomorrow’s summer school.  So, unfortunately, painting is crowded out at the moment, but hopefully I can resume tomorrow (Thursday). Meanwhile, I have photos to post that some beautiful friends emailed to me yesterday.  The one above was taken by Vickie Cunningham, a photographer I had the privilege of meeting on my last day of the historic Waxahachie paint out (I was trying to “capture” a Gingerbread home that was being toured across the street from where I parked my Jeep).  Vickie has a fabulous blog to which I have just subscribed, and she has posted a host of photos from Jerome, Arizona and Portland, Oregon, her two most recent excursions.  Check out her work at

Tripp’s Glowing Easel

On my last day at the Eureka Springs Plein Air Class, I did this quick demo of the facade of the historic train depot.  After I was finished, Sharron Spence, one of the students in the class, showed me this photo she took of my easel.  Pointing out the glow around the watercolor pad, she joked that she had discovered the secret of my success–some kind of divine energy field that hovers about the surface of my work!  I begged for a copy of this photo, and she graciously sent it to me yesterday.

On a closing note, Sharron couldn’t resist a final dig:  my students had this tendency to spread further and further apart as the week progressed (regressed?).  It got to the point where I walked about 300 yards to get from one end of my student line to the other, stopping to critique their work as I walked.  Finally, when I gave a pointer or two, to a student, I would say: “See you next in about an hour, I suppose.”  Here is a photo of me wending my weary way along the circuit.  Thanks, Sharron, these memories will always be special to me, as you are special.

Tripp Walking the Artist Circuit at Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Analysis of my Most Recent Plein Air Demonstation

June 25, 2012

Today, I am attaching an email with pictures sent to me by one of our Plein Air students at Eureka Springs School of the Arts, Carl Petering.  Carl was a serious student of plein air throughout the week, with plenty of questions that kept me engaged.  He demanded a great deal from himself, seldom satisfied with his attempts, but committed to improving.  He made great gains throughout the week, and on the last day, took copious notes from my demonstration and then graciously sent it to me.  It is with his approval that I post this:

“A good painting begins with a good drawing. If the  drawing isn’t good, nothing else we do will improve the painting.” (In conversation later, I said that I’m learning strong value contrasts and complementary color juxtaposition are what makes a picture dramatic).

He uses a Windsor Newton Watercolor easel (Dick Blick) and a Plein Air Pro Palette (Dick Blick).

He was attracted to the subject’s values as created by the sun and shadows, the rustication, and the red sign.

He quickly put in a sky with light washes and a grayed blue color (Cerulean blue, Windsor Red, and Transparent Yellow). “Just get a little color and move on.”

Otherwise, he does not lay in washes, as they take too long to dry. He works on detail from the get-go.

He used the “ugly brush” to outline the “rustication,” and relied on it more than anything else.

He put in the darks on the tops of the building with brown blues, Transparent Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Windsor Green – a “smoky, nasty mess.”

He put in the darkest dark first to establish contrast.

He added Cad red since the mix was already dirty and used the “ugly brush” for rustic stone work. He used his finger to smudge the paint.

The window pane was put in with Cobalt blue using a flat brush with some smokey cast to the color. Victor Parkerson of Fayetteville is observing.

David used a chisel brush on the architectural features and the “ugly brush” on foliage. He puts hard shadows in last unless it is an angle he really likes, and then he puts it in and stays with it as the sun’s angle changes.

David uses water soluble graphite pencil for darks, then a wet brush over it to blend it and make shading. If he is in a hurry to finish he’ll use the graphite pencil also. He used Transparent Yellow and Windsor Violet for the sides of the stone walls and dark Sepia water color pencil to give detail in the stone work. He just put in a few blocks – the “essence of the picture” – as the Chinese would say.

He moves around in the various areas of the painting to avoid getting his hands in the paint, and he used the “ugly brush” and dark green to frame the lighted part of the building.

He did not paint the building all the way to the ground, as he kept in mind what would fit in a standard size mat.

Finally, he filled in the foliage behind the red sign with the “ugly brush.”

Thanks, Carl, for sending this.  And thanks to the rest of you for reading.

Parting Shot, the Eureka Springs Historic Depot

June 23, 2012

Eureka Springs Historic Depot

Here is the railroad depot I painted as a demonstration on our last morning, yesterday in Eureka Springs.  Home now, I am trying to get my man cave back in order and resume some measure of studio routine before summer school resumes Monday.  I have a Tarrant County Courthouse I wish to complete, and a few new ideas from last week that I would like to put into action, before I lose momentum.

I apologize for not having more to report.  I slept in (a little) this morning, and then took a nap this afternoon.  I still feel plenty of fatigue, associated with the seven-hour drive home at the end of a busy day yesterday, accompanied by the general “let down” feeling that follows such a natural high as what occurred this past week.  I really miss the chatter, laughter and energy of the students I encountered this past week.  I was deeply gratified at the quality of work they generated, their enthusiasm for plein air painting, and the affirmation I feel, knowing that two of them plan to return next year to study with me.  I’m finding it hard to shift gears today.  Maybe tomorrow.

Here is a photo of all the sketches I kicked out last week–nine in six days.  I thought I had done only about five; I was surprised at the number.

A Week of Plein Air Sketching

Thanks for reading.

Final Plein Air Day from Eureka Springs School of the Arts

June 23, 2012

Tripp Demonstrating a Plein Air Watercolor Sketch on Final Day

This post is coming a day late.  Yesterday, I finished up my last class at 4:00, and one hour later was packed and on the road for the seven-hour Road Odyssey back Home.  I arrived around 12:30 midnight.  Rising earlier than planned this  morning, I’m feeling more-than-a-tad sluggish today, but nevertheless wish to post the final blog pictures celebrating a very rewarding week.  The one above is me, demonstrating a quick sketch of the facade of the Eureka Springs Railroad Depot.  The setting was a perfect place for the students to experience their finale in this enterprise.

Below are a few shots of the students studiously executing their pieces:




Thanks for reading.  More later today.

Studio Walk-Through Tour at Eureka Springs School of the Arts

June 21, 2012

Thursday Evening Eureka Springs sketch

Rain drove us inside today, so we did all of our painting inside the studio at the Eureka Springs School of the Arts.  Our studio walk-through tour was from 4:00-5:30 and quite a number of people came out to the show.  I was gratified to see my students’ work arranged throughout the studio.  Some of them put out as many as three-four paintings a day, and then returned in the late afternoons/early evenings to paint.  Once the tour was over, six of us returned to the historic district and painted until the evening light faded.  All of us were tired, and talked considerably less, but nevertheless we worked.  Here is the one I cranked out this evening.  Below I am posting pictures of my easel on location, followed by each of my students holding his/her favorite piece from the week.  I’m really going to miss these people, they have been so inspiring to me, and affirming of me as an instructor.

These are the kinds of creative spirits and friends I wish could drift into my Man Cave every evening.  What a wonderful neighborhood that would make!  Tomorrow will be our last day together, and already I feel “heavy” about having to say Good-bye.  We’ve had a wonderful week together.