Posts Tagged ‘Cape Girardeau’

Ready to Deliver Christmas Watercolor Gift

December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas, Uncle Paul

The painting has been picked up from the frame shop.  I’m ready to pull out at 4:00 a.m. tomorrow, en route to St. Louis to deliver Uncle Paul’s Christmas gift, and spend Christmas with Mom, Dad and the siblings.  Still have plenty of packing to do, so I cannot linger here, though I wish I could.

Merry Christmas to all of you who keep my blog alive.  I cannot thank you enough for your visits and kind sentiments.  You truly are my inspiration to continue painting.  Have a fabulous and safe holiday season!

And thanks always for reading.

Finished the Christmas Watercolor

December 19, 2011

Grandpa Tripp's Dwelling

I’m feeling a sense of satisfaction and closure, now that I have completed this watercolor for my Uncle Paul.  He has been admitted to a nursing home facility, and his health is failing.  He has fond memories of his father’s cabin, so I’m happy to have this one ready to surprise him this Christmas.  I’m taking it to the framer today.

Thanks for reading, and for staying with me, helping me see this one through its stages.  On to the next one!

Christmas Watercolor Activity in the Man Cave

December 17, 2011

Uncle Paul's Christmas Present

Saturday has been a good day to spend in the Man Cave.  I have jokingly referred to my garage as my “man cave” though I have no power tools or table saws in place–just my drafting table, easel and watercolor supplies.  The winter light is really terrific now in Texas, and the temperatures today have hovered about the mid-fifties.  The sun is bright and the lighting is quite cool and clean.

I am hoping to finish this painting by Monday so I can get it to the framer.  It is for my Uncle Paul, an amazing man now in his 90’s and in failing health.  Paul lived in San Mateo, California since the 1950’s and did well out there.   He lived a quite life, working for Greyhound all those years, mostly night shift.  That was so he could support his habit as a writer.  The night shifts were quiet for a supervisor, and Paul loved to write and publish.

Paul was always a terrific humorist and story teller.  I had my own Garrison Keillor in the family while growing up, and never quite appreciated what a treasure he was.  In his final years, he re-lives the memories of rural Jackson, Missouri, where he lives now, and loves looking upon the monuments of his growing-up years.  This picture is one of them–the cabin where his father resided for the final decades of his life, about 20 paces from the main house on the farm.

I am trying to cool the colors as much as possible, because Paul always appreciated the blues and lavenders visible in the shadows of the snowdrifts that piled up on the family farm.  I am going to regret seeing this painting come to an end.  I’ve been chipping away at it slowly and methodically, enjoying every nuance of the decaying timbers of the cabin and every branch of the naked trees hovering overhead.  One day I hope to approach the “Andrew Wyeth” standard of dry brush as I continually explore rural winter landscapes.  The world indeed takes on a beautiful aura during those months of quiet.  I am so glad school ended yesterday.  The Christmas holidays are a splendid time to relax, enjoy the quiet, and attempt a few watercolor experiments.

Thanks for reading.

Watercoloring Grandpa’s Cabin

December 16, 2011

Grandpa's Cabin

I am returning to a scene I’ve painted several times, yet haven’t seen in over thirty years.  This is the converted “brooder house” where my Grandpa Tripp resided during the final decades of his life.  The main house was only about 20 or so paces away, but he spent his nights in this cabin, while taking all his meals with Grandma in the main house.  He passed away when I was in elementary school, and the memories grow fainter.  Still I recall the smell of the interior of this structure, and recall his card table, pot-bellied stove, large bed, and B&W TV.  Those were all the creature comforts he desired.

I sold a watercolor of this when I was in high school, perhaps my first watercolor ever to sell.  I remember a truck driver making deliveries pulling over on the highway and trotting down to our high school campus to see the sidewalk display our art department set up.  He asked if any of the pieces were for sale.  My teacher said “Yes.”  He said, “I want that one,” and bought mine on the spot.  I was in another class, and didn’t even know until hours later!

During Christmas 1988, I made another watercolor of this and gave it to my dad.  It is framed and hanging in his special room in High Ridge, Missouri.  Now, dad is welcoming back one of his older brothers from California whose health is in decline.  He has returned to his original stomping grounds in rural Jackson, Missouri.  He loved my dad’s watercolor, so we’ve decided to surprise him with one of his own for this Christmas.  I need to move quickly so we can have it custom framed in time to deliver for Christmas.

This is the painting in its beginning stages.  It’s not coming along as quickly as I had anticipated, but many of them don’t.  I just have to get used to that.  It will develop at its own pace, I suppose.

Thanks for reading.