Archive for the ‘lagoon’ Category

The Call of the Island

March 10, 2016

Having dashed out a quick watercolor sketch of the morning seascape with as much deep color as possible, I then turned my attention to a bag of assorted seashells that Dinah Bowman had gathered and presented to me the day before. They had been hanging overnight from a hook on the front porch. Taking out a few and pushing them around on a white sheet of watercolor paper in the bright sun, I delighted in the strong shadows cast by the small forms, and felt that I had returned to the discipline of closely-scrutinized still life disciplines.

Lifted from my Laguna Madre journal from June 2015.

Tripp painting number 16

My Second-to-Last Day at the Laguna Madre Field Station

Village Beneath the Lagoon $425

“Village Beneath the Lagooon”

The past several mornings I have awakened to those recurring feelings of being on the island again in the Laguna Madre. Next week I will be privileged to take a group of watercolor artists back to that location for a two-day, overnight plein air watercolor workshop, with the anticipation of reliving those sensations of breathing that air and feeling those breezes. I am posting the pictures above, celebrating my shift from the macrocosm to the microcosm–I had painted and repainted the vistas of cloud-clogged skies with shimmering blue salt water underneath and scattered foliage and sands in teh foregrounds. The sketch above was my first still-life attempt, looking intently at a collection of shells and finding a different kind of delight as I thought of life beneath those waters–a life that only showed its remnants in broken homes.

Thanks for reading.

Laguna Madre Work in Progress

January 18, 2016


Motherwell’s attitude to spontaneity was always complex, painting and then painting out, modulating the first impulse, correcting, so that the initial freedom yields to a shaping spirit which is more formal and architectonic.

Bernard Jacobson, Robert Motherwell: The Making of an American Giant

My reading of this excellent book on Motherwell has been feeding my impulse to paint, so the day has been spent running back and forth between the reading chair and the drafting table. I’ve enjoyed the same rhythm about which he testified, as I have poured, spattered and rubbed paint spontaneously across this page, then revised with masquing, drawing and line painting, a constant back-and-forth between spontaneity and control.


Finally Breaking Through

January 16, 2016


In recent days, I have tried to find another gear, editing earlier attempts of paintings of the Texas Laguna Madre, where I spent six days last summer as artist-in-residence. My major one-man-show opens at the Art Center in Corpus Christi at the beginning of March, so there are still some new works to be framed, and several scattered pieces that had been begun badly and tossed aside. The one pictured above is one of them. This painting started out so badly that I nearly discarded it a couple of times. This morning, looking at it over a cup of coffee, I determined to make one last run at it, and what I did worked (I believe). At any rate, I have now signed it and plan to deliver it for the show as well.

cactus among the flowers

A Meaningful and Needed Gap Between Responsibilities

August 21, 2015

imageMoving into my final weekend of the summer, I was tortured as I attempted to prepare my classes for Monday while looking up from time to time at this small watercolor I began weeks ago and laid aside. And so this evening, I decided to move on a recent idea–creating a serpentine line of grasses, foliage and beach debris, connecting the dark green area on the lower left ultimately to the horizon line of the lagoon. The process was enjoyable, as I combined masquing with drybrush, pencil and blotting to create this meandering line of terrain. Though I did not get out any of his works, the drybrush watercolor sketches of Andrew Wyeth were my inspiration, as they have been since before I started the Artist-in-Residence last June. I suppose what I am saying is that I had the “essence” of Wyeth’s compositions in my visual memory as I worked on this piece this evening.

The painting time has been delicious, and I’m appreciative for that space. Now it is time to return to classroom preparations. Monday is approaching quickly.

Thanks for reading. I hope to have time, space and a quality idea to post on the blog tomorrow or sometime this weekend.

I paint in order to explore.

I journal when I am alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.