Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Sunday Repose

June 13, 2021

All that mankind has done, thought, gained or been: it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of books.

Thomas Carlyle

What a serene Sunday! Dragging in at 11:30 last night after a 48-hour gallery weekend, I was quite bedraggled, but happy. Happier now, rested! My reading this morning over coffee yielded this remark from Carlyle that I had recorded 15 years ago in my journal, and forgotten (I really should spend more time digging up the old bones I’ve buried in those notebooks since 1985). I cannot exaggerate the power of books to light creative fires for me. When I’m feeling flat, someone will always pull me out of the funk with what s/he cared enough to write for others to find. I still love the quote from the film Shadowlands: “We read to know we’re not alone.”

I have decided today to push further with this “Lone Bison” series. It began in Utah last September when I encountered a herd and took dozens of photos. Not long after, I used the photos as models and began drawing and watercoloring in sketchbooks my experiments with color and composition. I am becoming more daring with my colors of late and want to see how far I can push it.

When it comes to selling my art, I often find myself talking out both sides of my mouth: I’ll sell anything. However, there are particular pieces that I’m attached to for various reasons, and while in my possession, I spend time looking at them and contemplating how I can repeat the painting or extend it into a new direction. When a new work sells quickly, I’m robbed of that contemplative, composting time that has come to mean so much more in these later years.

Case in point: The Lone Bison. Last weekend I pulled from my collection at home a solitary bison, 5 x 7″ inches, that I painted as a demo for one of my “Watercolor Wednesdays” classes. I liked the way it cropped neatly into a 5 x 7″ inch matt, so I framed it and set it on the display case in The Gallery at Redlands. That very evening, someone bought it. So . . . all week long I could not stop thinking of that small watercolor study. Yesterday, in the gallery, I painted another one, using the same model as before. Before I could get it into the frame, a dear friend I’ve known since high school texted me that he wanted to purchase it. So . . . in the evening, I painted a third one, matted and framed it, but left it in the gallery in case someone just might see it this next week and wish to purchase it. So now here I am, at home in Studio Eidolons, thinking of all the possibilities I want to pursue with that solitary bison. We’ll see what happens today. I’m grateful for the time, the space, and the quiet.

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.

Thoughts on the Lone Bison

June 12, 2021

Today we are searching for things in nature that are hidden behind the veil of appearance… We look for and paint this inner, spiritual side of nature.

Franz Marc

Vacationing in Utah last year brought me in close proximity to a herd of bison. I was moved profoundly as I gazed upon those behemoths grazing quietly on a broad plain, continually kicking up dust as they moved about. I attempted a pair of watercolors of them and was satisfied with the results. However, I found myself far more engaged as I continued sketching them in my watercolor sketchbooks and even once taught a watercolor class on bison sketching. This morning, waking in The Redlands Hotel, I determined that after breakfast I would make my way to the gallery downstairs and attempt yet another bison watercolor sketch, just a simple 5 x 7″ one.

In my most recent bison experiments, I am trying to open up and use Daniel Smith quinacridone colors more aggressively. This morning as I attempted my latest one, I thought about Franz Marc, the German Expressionist who founded the Blue Rider movement (Der Blaue Reiter), something that started as a published journal and eventually drew about it a circle of artists including Wasily Kandinsky. Marc imposed a vivid array of colors on the animals he painted, and I’ve never been able to get those images out of my head. So I decided “Why not try this on the bison?”

I’ve decided to mat this 5 x 7″ piece and place it in an 8 x 10″ frame and price it at $100 in The Gallery at Redlands. While I’m at it, I’ll go ahead and post the other two already hanging in this space.

Utah Evening Serenity, 21 x 20″ framed watercolor. $450

Bison Herd in Utah, 23 x 31″ framed watercolor. $600

The Lone Bison, 8 x 10″ framed watercolor. $100

Saturday in The Gallery at Redlands is proving calm and productive for me. I’ll be here till we close at 9 tonight.

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.

Waking to a New Dawn

June 12, 2021

Presumptuous is the artist who does not follow his road through to the end. But chosen are those artists who penetrate to the region of that secret place where primeval power nurtures all evolution.

Paul Klee, On Modern Art

I woke at 6:30 this morning feeling that I could shake paintings out of my shirt sleeves. Looking out the second-story window of my dining room in the Redlands Hotel, I felt the historic Carnegie Library looking back at me, affirming and encouraging me to follow my bliss.

Before retiring to bed late last night, I read from Paul Klee’s lecture On Modern Art, and stopped on the passage posted above. The word chosen arrested my attention as I came to the realization that I didn’t choose Art. Art chose me. From my childhood, it was the only talent I had, the only interest I pursued.

I recalled the scene from “Life Lessons”, a selection from the film New York Stories. Nick Nolte stars as Lionel Dobie, a Willem de Kooning-type artist who has dominated the New York art scene for years. Now he is deviled by his attractive assistant who frustratingly wants all the art success to come to her right now. She cries out, asking if he thinks her art is any good. His answer: “What different does it make what I think. It’s yours.” He goes on to tell her that artists make art because they have no choice.

I make art because I have no choice. Taking a page from Aristotle, art is in me, and it must come out. Does the bird singing in the morning have any idea that the sounds it makes are beautiful to the human ear, or is the bird just doing what birds do by nature? Does the spider spinning at dawn have any idea of the beauty, the geometry, the symmetry of its web, or is the spider merely spinning out the essence of its character?

My own artistic impulse was set free the day I realized that the world doesn’t need my art. The market doesn’t wait breathlessly for my next piece. That is liberating. Grateful to be retired and on an adequate pension, I can pursue my own bliss without apology or permission. And as I work (play), I am not deviled by questions such as “Is this any good?” or “Will this sell?” I make art because I have no choice. And while making it, the world is better, for me anyway.

Before closing, I would like to post Paul Klee’s remarks in full, for anyone wishing to read his powerful words:

Presumptuous is the artist who does not follow his road through to the end. But chosen are those artists who penetrate to the region of that secret place where primeval power nurtures all evolution.

There, where the power-house of all time and space–call it brain or heart of creation–activates every function; who is the artist who would not dwell there?

In the womb of nature, at the soure of creation, where the secret key to all lies guarded.

But not all can enter. Each should follow where the pulse of his own heart leads.

I am David Tripp. And this is what I do. 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.

Thoughts from the Redlands Hotel

June 11, 2021

June 2, 2021

Hello, Sandi?

“Hi there. I suppose you’re in the middle of a class?”

“Actually, yes.”

Well . . . I’m gonna have to ask you to cut it short . . . There’s been an accident. Christine is driving me to Huguley Emergency Center.”

I put down the phone, in shock.

“Really sorry folks. I gotta go. Now. Sandi has been in an accident involving her horse. She’s being taken to the emergency room. I have no details.”

I fumbled to gather my art materials, struggling to think of what to put in which container.

“We’ve got this. We’ll lock everything up for you . . . you need to get outta here.”

I don’t remember the 45-minute drive through traffic from south Arlington to south Fort Worth. All I could think of was: what happened? Did she take a fall from her mount? Did the horse trample her in the stall (Sandi is petitie; her horse is 17.3 hands tall)? There were no details shared.

Arriving at the emergency room, I immediately saw Sandi being admitted, seated in a wheelchair, and forgetting protocall, I nearly fainted at the thought of paralysis.

The news was serious, but not nearly as serious as I’d feared. Struggling with a 120-lb. hay bale in the back of her truck, Sandi lost her balance when the hay hook tore loose from the bale. She pitched headfirst off the tailgate, hitting the ground below squarely on her face. Raising her head, she saw that the hay hook had plunged all the way through her hand, from the palm through the back. The medical staff, concerned about broken bones, immediately performed CT scans to see if there was any vertebrae damage or broken arms or wrists. Everything negative. Examining the injured hand, the specialist marveled that only muscle was damaged, no bones, tendons or ligaments were touched by the spike. Therefore, Sandi’s hand should heal in time without surgery or rehab.

All this happened nine days ago, hence a blog hiatus. I couldn’t think. Couldn’t read. Couldn’t write. This past week-and-a-half has been a fog. I have spent some time alone in the gallery, but couldn’t concentrate much, thinking of Sandi back home recuperating, and grateful for the many friends who came visiting, bringing food, and working to keep our chins up. Sandi is mending and in better spirits now. I’m at the gallery for two days only, then heading back to be where I really belong and want to be.

Now to catch up on Gallery at Redlands news . . .

Palimpsest, 22 x 33″ framed watercolor. $1500

I am proud finally to hang my latest framed watercolor Palimpsest in the Gallery. Today has been busy with traffic and sales in the gallery. If things slow down later tonight, I plan to resume work on my Sacred Heart watercolor. So far I have worked only on the night sky. This beautiful church is across the street from The Gallery at Redlands and I see portions of its upper story through the windows of this space throughout the day.

The Gallery is taking on a new look as we continue to add new work and new artists to our mix.

Wayne White, Fork in the Road 16 x 21″ Fractured Glass Photograph, $200

Photographer Wayne White, my friend since second grade and also the muse for my “Hank” stories in an upcoming book, has just submitted his latest fractured glass photograph to sell in our gallery. We have it on display currently in the lobby window. You will want to check this one out.

We are also proud to welcome painter John D. Westerhold to our gallery family. John has been featured several times in southwest art magazine, and we’re proud that his latest published painting Reflections of a Fat Boy is now on display in our window looking out to the street.

(Sorry about the reflections!) Reflections of a Fat Boy, Acrylic, 36 x 48″ $8500

It feels good to be in the Gallery again and blogging again. I’ll be here till we close around 9:00 tonight and will be around all day Saturday till our 9 p.m. closing.

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.

Dawn in Studio Eidolons

May 24, 2021
Early Morning in Studio Eidolons

Motherwell’s varied imagery was a product of his complex, anguished inner being, and also an expression of his deeply held convictions about the nature of reality, which he believed to contain not a single truth but many relative truths, which could be only partially revealed and not explained. This is reflected in his fascination with the idea that the ancient Greeks had no word for truth. As he told an interviewer, “Socrates says something and it’s translated, What you say is true Socrates.” But as Motherwell pointed out, the Greek word was aletheia, which meant revealed, or hidden. “And so a literal translation,” he noted, “would be you’ve unhidden that point, Socrates.”

Jack Flam, “Introduction: Robert Motherwell at Work,” volume one Robert Motherwell: A Catalogue Raisonné, 1941-1991.

5:37 a.m.–the dogs dragged me back to consciousness. Something triggers inside them, telling them it is time to eat, and they immediately pounce on me. This is good though. I retired early to bed last night thinking of what I could do when I return to my studio vacated since the middle of last week. I love being back in the space where I can pursue creative eros. By the time I entered this morning, the light was just breaking, and I felt my breathing change.

While making Cowboy Coffee, my eyes lighted on the three-volume Catalogue Raisonné I purchased for myself as a retirement gift four years ago. Re-opening it over coffee, I decided to re-read portions I had marked (and forgotten), and came across the thought-provoking passage quoted above.

We acknowledge that we are complex individuals. The longer we live, the more we seek understanding of our complexities. We reach for an explanation, pattern or key phrase to encapsulate our persona.

Early in life I sought role models. Later, wishing to find myself rather than copy the character of others, I looked upon my assembly of heroes as templates, finding pieces of my own life amidst the collage of attributes among them. I turned to Robert Motherwell this morning, not because of his artistic style (of which I share little-to-nothing), but because of his lifelong struggle to balance a life of art and scholarship. Art Digest labeled Motherwell as “one of today’s most thinking painters.” He was frequently criticized for teaching and publishing instead of focusing all his time on developing as a painter.

I laid down my brush for a decade to study theology at a seminary. Once I emerged from the halls of academia, I entered the teaching field. Within a year of teaching, I once again picked up the brush, hungry to make art again, but never able to walk away from the books. Motherwell is my friend, because I see in him a complete man who never apologized for pursuing both worlds–art and scholarship. Art feeds my scholarship and scholarship feeds my art. At this age, I make no apology for living a life of the mind.

This morning’s reading brought my attention again to this notion of “truth.” Learning Greek years ago in seminary, I knew the word translated “truth” (aletheia), but never paid attention to its etymology till late one night (in that wonderful rustic general store in the east Texas wilderness) reading Martin Heidegger’s notes on the pre-socratic Heraclitus. It was then that I learned the word (aletheia), often rendered “truth”, is better translated “unforgetting, revelation, uncovering, or discovery.” The word “lethe” we know from the River of Lethe. It means “forget”. The prefix “a” (alpha privative) is the negation, hence “the un-forgetting.” Continuing with Motherwell:

“In that sense, I wish the word truth didn’t exist. Because one of the reasons I’ve been able to move all over the place is I take that for granted. Everybody has his own revelations, but the mass of the totality has never been revealed to anybody.”

I am going to try in my future to redefine this notion of “truth” that has been misused and understood throughout my life. The word denotes an uncovering, a revealing, a reminder (un-forgetting), a discovery.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to UNCOVER (seek the truth).

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Gallery at Redlands Features Kevin Harris Tonight

May 22, 2021
Musician Kevin Harris from 7-9 tonight at Gallery at Redlands

We are a tongued folk. A race of singers. Our lips shape words and rhythms which elevate our spirits and quicken our blood.

Maya Angelou, Order out of Chaos

Morning Watch in The Redlands Hotel

To live in recollection is the most perfect life imaginable; recollection is more richly satisfying than all actuality, and it has a security that no actuality possesses.

Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or

Awake since 6:30, my favorite part of weekends is sitting in the morning light from our second-story room in the historic Redlands Hotel and looking through the fire escape railings at the magnificent Carnegie Library across the street. How I wish I could have lived here in the days when that was a functioning public library! Words fail me when I try to describe the vibe of living in a railroad hotel built in 1914 and look out the windows upon a city steeped in history.

Tonight will be our second and final night of a Major Sale including art from The Gallery at Redlands as well as additonal work brought in for the sale. I always look forward to gallery nights and the public, but frankly, all I can think about this morning is the luxury of hearing Kevin Harris perform this evening. It has been too long. If you have not heard the sonorous, soulful voice of Kevin, accompanied by his amazing guitar skills, you won’t want to miss tonight’s two-hour event. Earlier this morning, I read Kierkegaard’s sentiment that words are too heavy and clumsy to describe effectively the quality of live music. Indeed. I am always tongue-tied when trying to tell people the effect Kevin’s voice has had on me since the days I shared space in this gallery with his radio station Smooth Rock 93.5 FM. Just the sound of him talking through the morning show had the power to remove any sting of anxiety or unpleasant thoughts I was experiencing. But when I heard him perform for the first time, I realized that his musicianship was just as overpowering as his conversation. So please, if you are in the area, stop by The Redlands Hotel tonight from 7-9. We are at 400 N. Queen Street, Palestine, Texas.

Kierkegaard’s quote above regarding recollection stirred me over morning coffee. My company is called Recollections 54, acknowledging my birth year and my body of art work that comprises my personal recollections of an America that embraced me during my early childhood in the fifties. My recollections of small-town America are filled with images of scenes dying out as history adds new chapters. These scenes are disappearing from our vision but not our memories.

My recollections from this morning have chosen to focus on the good memories, not the disappointments. And thinking back over the past four years spent with this town and its people fills me with gratitude. This community has been a veritable retirement gift for me. I continue to lean forward in anticipation of new friendships and new experiences.

Thank you for reading. We hope to see you tonight.

I make art in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Saturday Morning Preparations for Big Art Sale

May 21, 2021

Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.

Victor Hugo

Good morning! It’s 11:33 and I’ve finally stopped for my first cup of gallery coffee. Sandi and I hit the gallery at noon yesterday and have been unpacking stacks of framed paintings, matted paintings, limited edition giclées, open-edition prints and greeting cards discounted for our first Major Art Sale in the lobby. Stacy Campbell has offered her entire display of original black-and-white acrylic canvases at 15% off.

Artist Stacy Campbell’s “I Like Your Willie!” 36 x 36″ acrylic on canvas–this weekend only $420

I have also decided to mark one of my original framed watercolors down 40% for this sale.

David Tripp, “Thinking About the Next Catch” 29h x 25w” framed–this weekend only $500

As we near the two-month anniversary of taking ownership of The Gallery at Redlands, I cannot say that I have yet settled into this new identity. Sandi is far ahead of me in thinking about events and calendar planning. We decided a couple of weeks ago that the gallery needed to host some kind of event every evening, something more to say to the public than merely “we’re open this weekend.” As for our gallery hours, we arrive every Thursday at noon and the gallery is open 10-2 and 5-9 Thursday through Saturday. Cecilia Bramhall has been good to work for us in the earlier days, but we’re still trying to find out what hours work best, mornings or evenings. We’ll let you know once we’re settled on that.

(left to right) Stacy Campbell, John Westerhold, Wayne White

New artist John Westerhold just arrived with new work to put on sale. His work is the center one in the window above: “Reflections of a Fat Boy”, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 48″ $8500

John Westerhold, “Untitled” Framed Acrylic 15h x 12w $350
John Westerhold “Untitled” Framed Acrylic 12h x 15w” $350

Patrons continue to come in the gallery (3 hours later), so I need to close this and get back to the task.

Thanks for reading!

First Major Art Sale at The Gallery at Redlands

May 20, 2021

Sandi and I have arrived for a great weekend in Palestine, Texas! Friday and Saturday night from 7 to 9 p.m. we will host our first major Art Sale, with steep discounts on select art in the lobby. On Saturday night, radio personality and musician Kevin Harris will perform live during our event.

If you are in the area, please drop by and visit us. You will not want to miss this spectacular event!

New Happenings at The Gallery at Redlands

May 17, 2021
New Window Display (left to right): Stacy Campbell, John Westerhold and Tommy Thompson

“Personally,” de Kooning said, “I do not need a movement.” And that personal feeling had a way of suggesting a new kind of movement.

Jed Perl, New Art City: Manhattan at Mid-Century

After the excitement of Saturday night’s Art Talk in our gallery, followed by the next day’s drive home in a Texas Monsoon, I needed a day of down time before returning to talk about what’s happening at The Redlands Hotel.

Saturday night featured our second round of art discussions in The Gallery at Redlands, and the event didn’t disappoint. Elaine Jary and Grace Hessman made their trips into town, and their personal accounts of how the muse drives them to make art warmed me to the core. We were surprised also at the arrival of our latest artist, John Westerhold, driving in from Fairfield with his first piece of work to enter into our gallery display. We decided immediately to install it in the streetside window so people outside could see it when they drive by. Most viewers think the Harley image is an airbrushed photo, but no, it is an acrylic on canvas painting!

There is something very special in the air in Palestine, and it involves creative spirits gathering to display their work and hold public discussions. We will be letting you know what is coming down the pike in weekends ahead. We are not satisfied with the mere announcement that “We Are Open this Weekend.”

Next Friday and Saturday evenings, 7-9:00, we will have gallery selections reduced in price and placed on tables and easels in the lobby–our first Art Sale. On Saturday at the same time, local radio personality and musician Kevin Harris will be playing his acoustic guitar and singing in the lobby. You won’t want to miss that event! Members of The Twelve will be in attendance both nights so you can meet them personally and know more about the work they create.

I cannot recall a more satisfying and fulfilling time in my personal and professional life. There is something in the air here, and I believe it will continue to develop into something special. These artists at The Gallery at Redlands really have a story to share. I’m just proud to be among them.

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.

Relaxing Between Gallery Talks

May 15, 2021
Completed Watercolor of Palimpsest

“The Club was always misunderstood. We didn’t want to have anything to do with art. We just wanted to get a loft, instead of sitting in those goddamned cafeterias.”

Willem de Kooning, interview with James T. Valliere in Partisan Review.

Willem de Kooning and the Greenwich Village artists of the 1940’s finally chipped in their hard-eaerned money to rent a loft near the Rikers hamburger joint and Cedar Tavern where they used to gather for discussions. 39 East Eighth Street is now mentioned with reverence in art history as the Eighth Street Club. They were glad to leave the cafeterias and bars in favor of having their own space for creative discussion.

For years I have longed for a special place to gather with kindred spirits to discuss ideas. My last place was a La Madeleine restaurant in north Arlington, and I still cherish memories of time spent there with other artists before COVID closed things down. Elaine Jary, one of The Twelve, participated in those talks, and I’m happy that she now is heading to Palestine to chat with us this evening.

The Gallery at Redlands is now a haven for The Twelve along with anyone else wishing to gather with us for serious discussion of the creative life. We are not a Club; the door is open, even if you only wish to listen in. Last night was our first scheduled gathering, the next is tonight at 6:00. We only plan to discuss an hour. Last night we went two. I’ll say this at the outset–anyone wishing to depart early is free to do so. No one is constrained to stay the hour, or leave after an hour.

I am still dizzy with the memories of last night. Painters Cecilia Bramhall and Kathy Lamb attended along with theater director/playwright John Lamb, radio disc jockey and musician Kevin Harris, and creative social media experts Wayne and Celia Polster. I finally had to snatch up my journal and begin scribbling, because the ideas were so electric I feared I would forget some of them in the days following.

In the heat of the discussion, John suddenly had a flash of inspiration for a new play, and he could already see the set design and hear the dialogue among the characters in the plot. It is going to involve artists, and we are ecstatic to see how this one develops.

Kevin, Celia and Wayne simply smoked me with all their ideas and insights on ways to use media to bring the spotlight to Palestine, revealing this city as a genuine creative arts hub. Throughout the discussion, all I could see in my mind’s eye was a reincarnation of the spirit of the Eighth Street Club which would usher in the era of Abstract Expression and wrestle the art capital of the world title from Paris, transferring it to New York City. We already have The Twelve. Now we are expanding our circle as we listen to the ideas of musicians, dramatists, writers and creative media experts.

Sandi and I still have our home in Arlington, Texas, but we love spending Thursday through Saturday working in The Gallery at Redlands here in Palestine. And for the past four years, I have enjoyed individuals dropping in for an informal visit, this door is always open. But finally I am happy to offer opportunities for gathering the way we did last night. Tonight at 6:00 Elaine Jary will join us, travelling all the way from Bedford, Texas, and Grace Hessman from nearby Elkhart will be here as well. Anyone else is welcome as well.

It has been my dream for years to have a special place to gather and dream with other creative spirits without fear of rejection or ridicule. So, if you hunger for this kind of communion, please join us tonight. And as for the future, we will be advertising our schedule for further Gatherings in the Gallery.

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.