Posts Tagged ‘Art on the Greene’

Closing out the Art Festival

May 28, 2017


Art on the Greene, Booth #30

There are two things in painting: the eye and the brain, and they have to help each other; you have to work on their mutual development, but painter-fashion: the eye, for the vision of nature; the brain, for the logic of organized senesations which give the means of expression.

Paul Cezanne


During a quiet moment in the festival yesterday afternoon (humidity and temperatures exceeding 90 degrees thinned the crowd), I sat in the shad behind my booth and sketched the trees above me, applying Cezanne’s two-pronged theory of making art.  My eye studied the textures and tones of the bark on the tree trunk above, but my brain knew that the composition needed more than a diagonal tree trunk.  So I selected a network of limbs from someplace else, as there were no limbs to fill out the composition I felt was needed here.

Today we close out Art on the Greene.  It’s raining this morning, but preliminary reports indicate it could quit by noon (we open at 11:00) and the duration of the day will be twenty degrees cooler than yesterday.  I’m bringing along my Cezanne biography just in case bad weather chases away patrons for the day.  We close at 5:00, and six hours with few-to-no patrons is a long stretch if one has nothing to do.

Thanks for reading.


My Own Mental Map of the World

May 27, 2017


Art on the Greene this Weekend, Richard Greene Linear Park, Arlington, Texas

. . . we each construct our own mental map of the world, its major landmarks already drawn in at birh–coded into our genes–while vast blank areas wait to be filled in from experience.

Ted Orland, The View from the Studio Door

Art on the Greene began yesterday afternoon, and once my booth was open for business, I was grateful to have a shady spot behind my display to sit in the breeze, enjoy talking to patrons as they came along, and spend some time sketching trees in the vicinity.

20170527_074255 (1)

20170527_074249 (1)

Both of these drawings are 5 x 7″ mounted in 8 x 10″ white mats. I’ve tossed them into my booth with the rest of my display, priced at $40 each. I’m bringing my art supplies and easel today, and if the opportunity presents itself, I’ll do some watercolor sketching on location.

2016 MADE Layout


I’m in Booth #30, in the center of the park

Before leaving school yesterday to finish setting up for this festival, I was called out of my classroom, saying I was needed in the gym.  I wasn’t sure what this was about, knowing the gym was filled with the senior class, preparing for their end of the year Send Out.  As it turned out, the new yearbook coming out was dedicated to me, and the assembled senior class congratulated me on my retirement. I didn’t see this coming, and now, the morning after, I am still numb with wonder over this moment.


Caption reads: “dedicated to dr. david tripp for his positivity, wisdom, advice, guitar skills, and coffee and round table talks”

Thank you, James Martin High School, for making me feel special on this day, and for all the positive memories of the decades.

And thanks all of you for reading.

I make art in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Opening Day of Art on the Greene

May 26, 2017

Fishing Memories

Fishing Memories–Now available in limited edition

In the artist, there are two men, the poet and the worker.  One is born a poet, one becomes a worker.

–Emile Zola, letter to Paul Cecanne

An artist is developed, not born.

–Robie Scucchi, art teacher, note written to me in my ninth-grade research paper

At 3:00 this afternoon, Arlington’s Art on the Greene art festival opens for the weekend, closing Sunday night.  I am bringing out for the first time a new set of signed-and-numbered giclee prints of Fishing Memories, the original painting now hanging in a competition at the Desoto Art League.  This print is full-size and priced at $100.  The first edition has already sold (in fact, the sale is the reason the prints are actually a reality today).

I have begun reading an engaging biography, Cezanne: A Life, by Alex Danchev.  The quote from Emile Zola came from this reading.  I’m grateful that my high school art teacher wrote to me what he did when I was so young–I never forgot that statement.  In my opinion, talent is only a small part of being artistic, and one has the capability of improving and maturing over time.

After such a spastic schedule over the past several weeks, I had a dear friend help me with the setting up of my art booth last night (thanks so much, Kelly!), so I was afforded a delicious evening of rest and retirement to bed early in anticipation of a festival weekend.  Being rested now, I am festival-ready, and enthused about how my booth is shaping up.  I’ll send pictures probably later today.

waxahachie final

If any of you readers are in my area, I will be in Booth #30, in the heart of the park, and adjacent to the major walkway going through the midst. I have a prime location (thank you Steve and Janis!).  We will be open till 8:00 tonight.  I would love to see you.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

The Art Festival from the Inside

March 22, 2014
Art on the Greene, March 21, 2014

Art on the Greene, March 21, 2014

There are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we seem to see beyond the usual.  Such are the moments of our greatest happiness.  Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom.  If one could but recall his vision by some sort of sign.  It was in this hope that the arts were invented.  Sign-posts on the way to what may be.  Sign-posts toward greater knowledge.  

Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

As I write this it is Saturday morning.  Though I did not get in until after midnight last night, and the preceding 48 hours were consumed by the packing, loading, traveling and setting up of my tent at the Art on the Greene festival, I awoke several times in the pre-dawn, and finally got up a little before 7:00.  The printer has been busy, with over thirty 8 x 10″ prints now ready for matting and sleeving in plastic.  I’m opening the blinds to let the dim early morning light enter my studio, and am pouring my first cup of coffee.  And I am smiling inwardly with contentment.

We opened yesterday at 3:00 to perfect weather and good crowds.  I enjoyed many, many conversations with patrons, and this morning I cannot let go of the words of one who purchased several works: “I cannot stop looking through all these, because your paintings move me.”  Purchases are wonderful, but nothing gratifies me more than hearing someone say that s/he is moved when looking at my work.  I know how stirred up I am when I see something that compels me to paint, and I know how I am moved when I work on a painting and everything seems to be coming together.  But everytime an observer shares with me that s/he is moved when looking at my paintings, I feel that rush anew.  So, this morning the light through the window is better, and the coffee is better.

For a number of years, I walked through art festivals, making the occasional purchase, chatting up the artists and admiring the works on display.  Being an artist myself, I often wondered what it would be like to be on the inside of this operation.  I finally threw my hat in the ring, and have now lost track of how many years I have moved in the festival circuit.  It feels like seven or eight maybe.  I could probably write a book on that experience, but I doubt that it would be an interesting read.  Some years I have participated in as many as a dozen festivals, while holding down full-time high school and three-quarter time college positions.  That was too much.  Now I have my routine down to about a half dozen festivals per calendar year.

Since I do this alone, I cannot exactly mingle about the festival and leave my booth unattended.  But I do feel a calm sense of contentment when I arrive early and move through the “village” as booths are opening, and artists are all in a chatty frame of mind.  I enjoy the sounds of the morning conversations and the “waking up” of the art scene.  Perhaps one day I’ll tell my favorite story involving a delicious experience at Edom Festival of the Arts that occurred in the wee morning hours.

But for now, I have packaging to do in prepartion for this Saturday, an  eleven-hour run.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.


Inside the Texaco Station

March 18, 2014
Inside the Texaco Station (22 x 28" framed watercolor)

Inside the Texaco Station (22 x 28″ framed watercolor)

The young man was up late again, bedding down in the store room of the old filling station.  He had closed the place at dark, but was too engrossed in his college studies to pack up the books and head for his garage apartment in the next county.  So, with the owner’s permission, he would spend another night in this shack, amidst the smells of gasoline, oil, pit grease and the grime that had built up over two generations.  The Texaco station was anchored on historic Route 66 in an obscure town east of Amarillo, Texas.  Interstate commerce had all but obliterated the sleepy town, and as soon as this fellow graduated from the community college, he would depart as well.  The local townspeople and patrons had no knowledge or regard for the things that stirred the soul of this young man.  His volumes of Thoreau, Frost, Whitman and Twain had opened to him worlds beyond this community.  And his few camping possessions stored in this room (Griswold frying pan, stove top percolator, kerosene lantern, Maxwell House tin) were the tether that kept him bound to the wild.  He would be packing up his gear in a week and leaving without notice.  It was time to emerge from this cocoon and embrace the world that was calling out to him.

I hope to display this companion still life piece beside the fishing still life in the weekend art festival approaching–Art on the Greene in Arlington, Texas.  Again, I have fabricated a short story to put on the back of the 5 x 7″ greeting cards bearing the image.  I sell these cards for $5 each, five for $20.  Sometimes, the greeting cards sell better out of my booth than the limited edition prints and orginal watercolors.  

He’s No Longer Here

March 18, 2014
Fishing Memories (22 x 28" framed watercolor)

Fishing Memories (22 x 28″ framed watercolor)

When the neighbors hammered the padlock off the deceased man’s fishing shed, they peered inside the darkened room with sadness at the world of memories their dear friend had left behind.  Guarding the assembly from its high perch, the kerosene lantern called to memory nights spent on the Mississippi River dikes, waiting for catfish that would find their way to the Griswold skillet. The Canada Dry crate was the old fisherman’s stool for the nightlong vigils.

Bass fishing featured the Garcia Mitchell open-faced reel and the vintage wooden plugs for the area lakes and ponds.  In his retirement years, fly fishing took over, and the old man delighted in the long road trips in his Dodge pickup to the Colorado Rockies where he would not be heard from for weeks at a time.  The battered suitcase was his lifelong road companion, as was the dark leather knapsack that he bought from an old leathershop on the dusty streets of Athens during his European excursions.

The old man had not been heard from for more than a week, and the inquiring neighbors were saddened to enter his home and find him in his final resting place–his favorite recliner in the small front room of his ramshackle house.  His cup was still half-filled with the Dining Car Coffee he relished throughout his years working on the Frisco railroad.  Now, only his possessions remained to tell his life’s story.

I’m gearing up for a three-day art festival this weekend: Art on the Greene in Arlington, Texas.  I brought back from the Bowman Gallery in Portland my large framed fishing still life watercolor that I plan to install as a centerpiece to my booth display.  Greeting cards of the painting have just been printed, and posted above is the text I just composed that will appear on the back of the 5 x 7″ cards.  I wanted the painting to tell a story, so this is the one I just pulled together.  The story is one that I’ve carried in my consciousness for quite a few years now, wishing that I could write a novel or short story around the old man’s life and travels.  At any rate, I have a small piece to put on the back of a card.  I love watching patrons reading the backs of my cards when I’m selling out of an art booth.  It shows me that they have imagination and interest that go beyond just the images of the art work.

Thanks for reading.  I still have quite a bit to assemble and pack tonight.  The show is just a matter of days away.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

An Unseasonably Cold Outdoor Art Festival

March 22, 2013
Art on the Greene, Richard Green Linear Park, Arlington, Texas

Art on the Greene, Richard Green Linear Park, Arlington, Texas

B-r-r-r-r-r-r!!!  Temperatures Friday afternoon have already dropped to 48 degrees, and the arctic wind is cutting us to pieces!  I pulled off my gloves long enough to take this picture, and type a few words.  Texas had been enjoying temperatures in the 80’s only a few days ago.  Too bad an outdoor festival had to draw this kind of weather lottery–seems a cruel practical joke.

I’m enjoying my Hemingway biography, and hoping some crowds will pick up eventually.  Frankly, I cannot blame anyone for choosing to stay indoors today rather than stroll the park.  But the artwork out here is magnificent–80 artists represented this time.

More later.  Got to pull my gloves back on!

Thanks for reading.

My Participation in Art on the Greene (Arlington, Texas Art Festival)

March 22, 2013

After school today, I will leave for Richard Greene Linear Park, between Cowboys Stadium and Ranger Stadium.  I set up my tent yesterday afternoon in gale-like winds.  I thought we were going to blow away.  I hope I won’t arrive today to find my tent has sailed down the creek that runs behind it.

This will be a three-day event, and I hope to do some blogging onsite.  I have posted an image of my booth from last year’s festival.  I am confident that I will have a better presentation this year, as I spent a good portion of Spring Break last week plotting out a different look.

You can check out the official festival website at

The festival was reported in our local newspaper this morning:

Thanks for reading.

Setting up a Mock Booth for the Next Art Festival

March 14, 2013
Garage mock up of Festival Booth

Garage mock up of Festival Booth

A major benefit of this Spring Break has been the leisure to make decisions on my booth setup for a major art festival coming up at the end of next week (Art on the Greene–  I set up the 10 x 10″ framework of my Trimline Canopy tent so I could know the exact dimensions of my space, and set up the doors and furniture the way I generally do. Then I spent the day making decisions on which framed paintings to include in the display, where to place them, etc.  I have plenty of matting and packaging to do still, and am glad that I have a week to get that done.  The show promises to be a great one, last year was a spectacular premiere.  I’m honored to be included.

Thanks for reading.

The Artist as a Collector of Memories

March 27, 2012

Spencer's Grill, Kirkwood, Missouri

I apologize for my recent hiatus.  I became very sick with allergies Saturday night at the Art on the Greene Festival, and now on Tuesday, still cannot shake it.  I am just a shell of a teacher here at school during these state-mandated tests for four hours, and then a full slate of classes following.  Not a good time to be sick.

The art and music festival was a resounding success.  I have not yet inquired about the official numbers, but know that over 3,000 came through the park during the short days of Friday and Sunday.  It would be easy to assume that the Saturday attendance pushed the numbers far beyond 10,000.  My booth was full much of the time, and I enjoyed every single patron that paused to converse with me.

Some patrons came, looking for bargains, some looking for just that perfect piece to fit in a space at home or at work, but many entered my booth to remember.  My company is Recollections 54, as I create scenes and vistas reminiscent of our small-town America during the fifties.  And I truly loved every story, every experience that was shared with me by patrons over those three days.

The posted picture has finally sold, in the original watercolor.  A patron who had been eyeing it for over six months came and made the purchase Sunday.  And I was also delighted to sell limited edition prints of it as well as greeting cards carrying its image.  It is no doubt a scene that has resonated with many.

I grew up outside St. Louis, Missouri, and have known this Spencer’s Grill since my early childhood.  The business was established in 1947 on historic Route 66 (now Kirkwood Road, or Lindbergh Blvd.) and the sign has been in place since 1948.  The business has never closed, and I do not fail to go there when I visit my St. Louis family to enjoy a breakfast of fried eggs, bacon, hash browns and scrapple.  Entering this diner is like entering a time warp in the 1940’s and 50’s.  I relish every sensation and memory culled from my visits there.

Proust reminds us that there are sensations that arrest us unexpectedly and take us back to warm, primal memories of our childhood that matter, that are worth remembering.  Spencer’s Grill does exactly that with the smell of the old diner, coffee brewing, and breakfast foods frying.  The sounds, the aromas, the look at the people hunched over the counter and crowded into the booths–all of this brings back my childhood, and my memories of an America that will not die until I do.

Thank you for reading.  I should be feeling better soon and return to blogging.