Posts Tagged ‘C C Young’

Re-Filling the Reservoir

February 14, 2020

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I could never imagine a better reception than what I experienced at yesterday’s Meet the Artist. I delivered my program at C C Young to introduce the audience to my show “Memories From a Small Town.” After much thought, I’ve decided to share it on my blog in its entirety. A powerpoint of the images accompanied my talk:

Memories From a Small Town

Antique Store

I am grateful to all of you who have traveled to see my body of artwork today. I also want to say a word to those of you in the audience who live here as well as those who work here. I hope during this month when you see my work that you can experience a feeling similar to looking through your own photo albums or cell phone pictures: to reawaken memories.

The most precious resource we carry with us throughout our days is the collection of memories we have made—memories that have made us. We have stories to re-live, to share, and my satisfaction in painting is telling those stories.

For about thirty years now, I have endeavored to paint small town America as relived through my childhood memories as well as viewed through my windshield while driving all over the Southwest and Midwest.

The celebrated French author Marcel Proust, in his expansive novel, urges that our senses have the power to transport us back to warm, primal memories from our childhood, memories that are worth holding on to. And we catch our breath when overtaken by these surprising moments. And we can never hold on to them; they evaporate as quickly as they arrive. But we are nevertheless grateful for that warm, yet brief, visitation.

Over the years I have collected my memories, written my stories and arranged my paintings into a collection I have titled “Turvey’s Corner.” This is a town I’ve made up, much like Garrison Keillor did with Lake Wobegon, Minnesota or Sherwood Anderson with Winesburg, Ohio. And I have created characters to tell the story of this American town.

brookfield

It seems I can never casually drive past an abandoned filling station without turning my Jeep around and returning to walk the premises and remember the sounds I knew from the 1950’s. Who would have guessed seventy years ago that the bell cables under the tires of our cars would fall silent one day, and men in work uniforms would stop dashing out of the station to service our cars? Who ever thought that the day would end that someone would walk up to a cigarette machine inside, poke in the coins, pull the knob and hear that package slap down in the tray?

jerrys texaco

I have written stories to accompany many of the paintings in this show. Here is the one for “Jerry’s Texaco”–

Over-worked and under-rested, the aging men of Turvey’s Corner began their early-morning drive to St. Louis, twenty-three miles down Highway 30. Around the first bend of the highway out of town, they found a welcoming stop at Jerry’s Texaco. Bell cables clanged as sedans rolled up to the gas pumps, and Steve, the young attendant, pushed aside his college books to hustle out and service the customers. The aroma of coffee brewing usually lured the men out of their cars and inside for scalding, stout coffee and the exchange of local news stories. Visits here always seemed to make the workday go a little better.

Requiem for the Fourth

He tasted the dry dust as he walked along the abandoned Route 66 thoroughfare, the hot August winds bending the roadside weeds. After twenty years away, he had resolved to return to Turvey’s Corner to see what remained. What he had not anticipated was his truck breaking down more than ten miles from the town he longed to see. Rounding yet another bend in the road and looking up at the weed-choked hill on his right, he felt his heart sink as he gazed upon what remained of the combination fireworks and souvenir shop. In the 1950’s, this establishment was one of the major draws for tourists crossing America via Route 66. Interstate 44 had managed to strangle and kill the few remaining businesses.

Pausing in silence, he felt a sense of loss as he gazed upon this relic barely peeking over the heads of the dancing weeds. But as he lingered, he slowly sensed a presence as he recalled the sounds that used to reverberate from this site. Station wagons pulling into the parking lot. Children squealing with ecstasy, leaping out of the cars to rush inside and explore. Later re-emerging, their arms laden with moccasins, beaded necklaces and tomahawks.

He recalled scenes from past Fourth of July seasons. Fathers pulling up in their cars on their way home from work. Tired from their labors, they seemed to reignite with fresh energy as they stepped inside to fill grocery sacks with Roman candles, bottle rockets, firecrackers and sparklers to take home to anticipating children.

The conflicting emotions of loss and presence flooded the man’s soul as he trudged past this scene on his way to a town he once knew.

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On a personal note, I am deeply grateful for dear patrons of mine who purchased this relic of a country store and moved it to their property in east Texas. Here is a photograph of the store. The reason it resonates with me is because I grew up in small towns where people lived in the backs of the small stores they owned. I always wished I could experience living in such a space.

Heideggers hut

These wonderful owners one day handed me the key to this store, offering it as a retreat from my home in the busy suburbs of our metroplex.

Heideggers Hut darkened and muted

I call it Heidegger’s Hut because the philosopher Martin Heidegger built a cabin in the Black Forest back in 1922 and frequently hiked the 11 miles there from his university post in the city. In this quiet refuge he wrote all his famous scholarly works, enjoying the quiet of the country. This is what I do now that I am retired and find more time on my hands for making art and thinking up new ideas.

doorknob in progress

As I sat inside the store, I was painting the doorknob behind the cash register that leads into the residential part of the store in back.

crockett

I spent an entire night working on the door knob and titled it “Beyond the Door.”

store shelf in progress

After painting the door knob, I turned my attention to the items on the shelves and commenced painting them . . .

Memories from a Country Store

. . .  and stirring up old memories of country stores from my youth.

Oxbow General Store

While painting in this remote country store, I came up with the idea of painting the Oxbow which used to be a general store in Palestine, Texas, now a popular bakery. My gallery is located in Palestine, so I spend a great deal of time in that town. As I painted the store, I thought again of those Mom & Pop country stores with the residences in back. Here is the story I wrote:

Hank was alone again in the general store, resigned to the reality that he would be closing shop late again. He would have to bed down in the storeroom in back.  His college books remained on the small desk behind the counter. He had a class early the next morning, so, with the owner’s permission, he would spend another night in the back of the store.  The shop was anchored on historic Route 66 on the outskirts of Turvey’s Corner.  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.  Local townspeople and patrons had no knowledge or regard for the things that stirred the soul of this young dreamer.  His volumes of Emerson, Frost, Whitman and Twain had opened to him worlds beyond this community.  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.

Finishing Fishing Memories  

And finally, I am still looking for an old shed to paint so I can add some stories to this painting. One night in my garage at home, I assembled this gear from my personal collection, hoping it would look like the illustrated story of a man who had lived many years. As I sat up all night working on it, this story came to me:

Fishing Memories resized

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.  They called him Old Ned, the Porch Front Philosopher of Turvey’s Corner. Now, they looked in silent sadness at his possessions standing like sentries in his chamber. Guarding the assembly from its high perch, the kerosene lantern called to memory nights spent on the Mississippi River dike, 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 his 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 Old Ned delighted in long road trips in his Dodge pickup to the Colorado Rockies where he would vanish for weeks at a time. The battered suitcase was his lifelong road companion, as was the dark leather knapsack purchased from an old leather shop on the dusty streets of Athens during his European odysseys.

Old Ned 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 the 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 call my company Recollections 54 because my birthyear 1954 still anchors me to an era vanishing from our American landscape but not from our memory.

I thank you again for coming out to my show. I love talking about my art and could do that till you either fall asleep or walk away. I will not hold this audience captive, so let me just stay that I am remaining as long as there is anyone here to talk to, and would love to answer any questions you may have about my work.  Again, thank you for coming and God bless all of you.

. . . Today is Friday. I have nothing on my calendar the entire day. Searching for words to describe what I feel now seems futile. After weeks of focusing on yesterday’s presentation, I suddenly feel strange, not having an appointment to keep or a preparation to make. Now, having launched this blog, I’ll decide what to read next, what to write next, and best of all, determine that I will not schedule anything else this day. I’m thankful for quality time to fill the reservoir.

Thank you for reading. Please check out my website www.davidtrippart.com.

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.

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.

Altered Horizons

January 30, 2020

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Reconfiguring The Gallery at Redlands

No sounds came from the city below. The stillness of the room made life seem suspended for a while. 

Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Propped in bed last night, reading, I came across this line in the Ayn Rand novel and paused to notice that below me, downtown Palestine, Texas had completely quieted for the night. After being away for a month and a half, it felt good to enter the Gallery at Redlands again, spend some hours there reconfiguring the space, then retiring to bed upstairs in this wonderful hotel.

I knew I would have that sinking feeling when I entered the gallery to find Smooth Rock 93.5 gone. The radio station was donated to a Christian ministry in Houston, so Kevin and Alan are no longer broadcasting out of the gallery, and the smooth rock format has been replaced. The two years together were not enough, and I am saddened that corporate took the station in the direction it did. When I was in range last night, traveling to Palestine, I dialed up 93.5 on my radio and listened for one minute before deciding I needed to hear nothing further from them. Let’s wish Kevin and Alan the best as they explore new options for broadcasting the kind of music we learned to enjoy the past couple of years.

Tomorrow I will hang my one-man-show at CC Young Senior Living in Dallas. I am taking thirty-three paintings out of the gallery and am delighted to announce that my friend Elaine Jary will be filling my space here for the month of February. As I write this, she is en route with her paintings, and gallery owners Wade and Gail Thomas will arrive as well. The four of us will scurry about, deciding how to reconfigure this space. I promise to post photos as soon as we have the new-look Gallery at Redlands ready for display.

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Work in Progress at the Gallery Drafting Table

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Early Morning Planning in the Redlands Hotel

Thanks for reading, and please check out my website www.davidtrippart.com.

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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Prepping for the One-Man-Show

January 26, 2020

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Arrangement of the Selected Paintings

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Quiet Winter Morning for Planning

Seated by the fire on this cold winter Sunday morning, I find myself bathed in this spirit of well-being, this eudaimonia. My one-man-show opens February 1 at CC Young assisted living facility in Dallas, Texas, a beautiful campus that features an artist every month, booked a year in advance. As the day draws nearer, my pulse quickens.

I have selected thirty-three framed watercolors to hang in the show. Sitting here with coffee, poring over the images, I feel the same sentiments expressed in Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged describing the steel magnate witnessing the first pouring of his new alloy developed over the past ten years:

He did not think of the ten years. What remained of them tonight was only a feeling which he could not name, except that it was quiet and solemn. The feeling was a sum, and he did not have to count again the parts that had gone to make it. But the parts, uncalled, were there, within the feeling. They were the nights spent at scorching ovens in the research laboratory of the mills . . . the nights spent in the workshop of his home, over sheets of paper which he filled with formulas, then tore up in angry failure . . . (Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged)

My watercolor show spans the last ten years of my life, and I too have this broad feeling of tranquility which is the sum of ten years’ worth of parts or episodes. Gazing at the images floods me with the same kind of memories one knows when flipping the pages of a photo album or scanning the images on a phone. I love the immediacy one experiences when looking at visual art, compared to the time lapse when observing other media. To experience the full impact of an artist’s expression, the observer has to wait to get to the end of a story, poem, movie or song. But with visual art, the effect is instantaneous, and as I look over the pictures, the memories wash over my consciousness.

Fishing Memories upright resized

“He is No Longer Here”

he is no longer here

This image takes me back seven years. I took the photo February 10, 2013 while working on this still life in my Man Cave (garage) 😊 with a space heater at my feet and hot cup of coffee and thermos at my elbow. As I worked on the piece, a story formed in my mind, and I stopped in the middle of the work to write out what I was thinking:

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 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 purchased from an old leather shop 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 the 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.

Heideggers hut

Memories of my Favorite Hideaway

On October 20, 2016, I retreated to my favorite getaway, the remnants of a country store in rural east Texas. The dear friends who own the property have granted me access for quiet “away” time. On this particular morning, I was working on a painting of the door behind the cash register. Beyond the door are a kitchen, two bedrooms and a bathroom. The former store owners lived behind their business and now I am thankful to be allowed to reside here when I need to take some days away from the city.

crockett

“Beyond the Door”

Heideggers Hut darkened and muted

“Heidegger’s Hut”

I have named this old store/residence Heidegger’s Hut. German philosopher Martin Heidegger built a cabin in the Black Forest in 1927 because he did not enjoy Berlin though he taught at the university there. He frequently retreated to this cabin, a rustic facility with no electricity, and in this enclave away from the city noise he wrote all his famous books and essays. This special country store is my favorite retreat from the bustle of suburban and city life. To this day, I believe some of my best work was done in the quiet of this environment, away from the public school and university where I divided my work time until 2017.

In 2015, I was honored to inaugurate the Artist-in-Residence program for Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. This island university built a field station on the Texas Laguna Madre and transported me there by boat to live for a week, observe the surroundings, keep a blog, and create a body of watercolors. My memories this morning include nights spent in my studio prepping for this residency, and then the special moment when I discovered a new technique for painting grasses while on the island.

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Planning my Residency

text on Durer grasses

Experiments in a New Technique

Like the character in the novel, I have enjoyed this morning of quiet, thinking over some of the highlights of the last decade of my life that have made possible the show coming up in a week. This show has been titled “Memories from a Small Town” and will be presented in eight sections–small town, country store, filling station, church & institution, railroad, stately residence, abandoned property and the great outdoors. I have been asked to present a public talk and powerpoint presentation February 13 during the Meet the Artist event. The show will hang for the duration of February, and I hope any of you within driving distance will come and view it.

Thanks for reading and please check out my website 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.

 

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