Posts Tagged ‘David Tripp artist’

Loading Wagon for Edom

October 5, 2022
Chuck Wagon Sentiments. Framed Watercolor. 16 x 20″ $400

There’s a pervasive myth, shared by artists and non-artists alike, that art is a product of genius, madness or serendipity. Wrong. Art is not the chance offspring of some cosmic (or genetic) roll of the dice. Art is mostly a product of hard work. When you look back on the results of a lifetime of artmaking, even the role that talent played is insignificant. Living life productively, however, is very significant. If you learn to live your life productively, your artwork will take care of itself. If you do not live your life productively, nothing will save your artwork–not even talent. One of the less-advertised truths about artmaking is that it’s more important to be productive than to be creative. If you’re productive, your creativity will take care of itself. If you are not productive–well, if you’re not productive, then how exactly is it you intend to be creative?

Ted Orland, The View From the Studio Door: How Artists Find Their Way In An Uncertain World

This year has been different for me. In my former (spastic) days, I was scrambling the night before to get my gear together for an art festival, sometimes staying up till 2 a.m. and then rising at 6:00 to load the wagon and hit the road. Sandi asked yesterday if I thought the difference was retirement. Maybe. Or maybe I finally figured it out the same way I did term papers in college–it pays off to keep your eye on the calendar and begin preparations well in advance instead of the day before.

Today is Wednesday. Edom set-up is Friday. Festival opens Saturday. All my work is complete except loading. Thus, I can sit up in bed with coffee this morning, think about what lies ahead, and write a blog for my friends.

I wish I spoke as wisely and concisely as Ted Orland writes. I have carried a couple of his books with me like Bibles for over ten years now, and I still go back and cull out passages that have been definitive for my life as an artist, especially the one above that I just read over my morning coffee. The sentiment of that paragraph reminds me of an airport hotel lecture I attended over ten years ago, given by Jason Horejs from Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona. He told the group of artists that galleries are looking for prolific artists. Looking directly at us, he asked: “How many works of art do you create in a year?” I froze. I knew then that the answer was 10-15. I made a goal that day to create 30 works before the year was up. I created over 80. Since then, I’m sure I’ve averaged well over 100 pieces per year. It was then that I decided that if I was productive, my talent would increase, much like a guitar player improves by playing his/her guitar more. The 10,000-hour rule, expounded by the writer Malcolm Gladwell. I got my 10,000 hours in long ago, and I’m not slowing down in my senior years.

5 x 7″ Greeting cards. Blank inside, Stories on back, $5 each. 5 for $20

Over the past several days, I have printed more than 500 new greeting cards featuring my watercolors with stories on the back. Sandi has packaged over 90% of them; I helped with the last 50 or so this morning, early.

Edom Art Festival, 2021
Edom Art Festival, 2021

I have participated in many art festivals that were duds–thinly attended, mostly by those looking for hot dogs or someplace to walk their dogs. But Edom is not one of those. This will be their 50th year, and the crowds are enormous. Last year broke a record for me, and I only hope that with the promise of good weather that this year will bring in another enthusiastic throng. The time goes by so much quicker when you’re busy talking with patrons.

It’s been a relaxing morning. Coffee was good, reading was good, and I’m glad I had this chance to send up another smoke signal. I hope I see you in Edom Saturday or Sunday.

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.

Warm Remembrance of Edom Art Festival

October 4, 2022
The Shed Cafe. Edom, Texas (no longer open)

While sitting in the waiting room of the dealership waiting to have my vehicle serviced, I scribbled out a story about Edom Art Festival that is 100% true, but changed my name to Randy. I plan to edit this and include it in the book I’m writing. This is my fondest memory of the Edom Art Festival, one of my favorite events of the year. They will celebrate their 50th anniversary this weekend when they open 10-5:00 Saturday and Sunday. I’ll be setting up my corner booth on Friday and then look forward to another extraordinary adventure. I hope you will join me, and I hope you feel the bliss that this memory provides me.

Thanks for reading.


The October morning frost brought a chill to the inside of Randy’s Jeep Grand Cherokee. It had been a miserable, forgettable year economically, forcing him to pack his entire art festival gear, including his 10 x 10′ display tent, into the Jeep and journey two hours to rural East Texas for yet another art festival. When he finished setting up last night, the sun was sliding behind the tree-lined pasture land, temperatures were dropping into the fifties, so he decided not to drive away in search of a hotel. He wasn’t sure how far away the nearest town was, and he was too weary to think about pursuing such details. Parking his vehicle between a pair of RVs, he stretched out in back of the Jeep and was soon asleep.

With the coming of dawn, temperatures had dipped to near thirty degrees, and Randy was glad he had packed a denim jacket. Pulling on his boots, he scrambled out of the back of his Jeep and trudged up the hill, between the shrouded white tents lined up on either side of the wide path, creating a long winding boulevard. In a few hours, the air would be filled with the noises of artists opening their tents, setting out their pieces, and preparing for the opening of the first day of the festival.

Turning the corner and walking through the festival gate, he saw to his delight the distant lights of The Shed Cafe. Silvery smoke curled up from the chimney, the air was filled with the aroma of bacon and eggs frying, biscuits baking and coffee steaming. Randy was happy to the point of tears. The miserable year he had endured seemed to melt away with the warmth of the food waiting for him. The festival would not open till 10:00, so he could look forward to four hours of breakfast, extra coffee, journal time, and the gift of relaxation and anticipation of a first-rate art fair. All that he could think of was . . . What a wonderful world!

Gearing up for a Big Art Weekend

September 29, 2022

Jason Jones photograph of me in today’s edition of The Palestine Herald

We hit the ground running upon arrival in Palestine today. Our monthly Art Walk is Saturday, 10-3:00, and I’ll be teaching a watercolor class 12-2:00, and offer an additional one if needed, 5-7:00 for the same price. We’ll paint a colorful bison in our two-hour exercise. All materials are provided. Cost is $35. Students and seniors over age 55 will pay $30. I’m posting the bison below, followed by the article appearing in today’s Palestine Herald. My genuine thanks goes out to editor Penny Lynn Webb, always a supportive friend of the arts, and reporter Jason Jones who interviewed me a few days ago.

Our subject for the watercolor class

The Downtown Art Walk will once again feature painting classes during its monthly event this weekend. Classes were added to the event in August and the Dogwood Art Council is excited to continue the instructional series.

The featured instructor for October is renowned watercolor artist David Tripp of Recollections 54. He will instruct classes starting at noon on Saturday, Oct. 1 in the Redlands Hotel conference room.

Tripp, a native Missourian, grew up in St. Louis and studied art in rural northeast Missouri while earning his bachelor’s degree from Truman State University.

“I’ve been drawing since I could hold a pencil,” Tripp said. “I was a terrible student and had zero interest in school, but my art earned me a full ride at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. Somehow during that time, I woke up intellectually.”

Tripp went on to earn his Masters and Doctorate before spending the next three decades teaching high school and college. Since retiring he has focused full time on art.

Tripp’s watercolors feature small-town American sights fading from our landscape, but not our memories.

“I like to focus my art on American nostalgia,” Tripp said. “I find inspiration in relics from the past that are still standing. Old architecture especially seems to invoke an emotional response.”

Tripp has been the owner of The Gallery at Redlands since 2021 and splits his time between Palestine and his home in Arlington every week.

The Art Walk takes place from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., but the class will be from noon until 2 p.m. Cost is $35 per person or $30 for students and seniors age 55 and above.

“We’ll be watercoloring an 8 x10 bison in bright colors, ‘Southwest Art’ style,” Tripp said. “All materials will be provided.”

Seats must be reserved in advance by calling David Tripp at 817-821-8702 or emailing Seats are still available and all major credit cards are accepted.

The Redlands Hotel is located at 400 N. Queen St. in Palestine. For more information call 903-922-5794 or visit

To learn more about David Tripp visit or follow his blog at


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.

Knocking Upon Silence

September 27, 2022

This morning’s view from my bedroom window

We knock upon silence for an answering music.

Archibald MacLeish quoting a Chinese poet

The wondrous light that greeted me this morning through my open window made me think of Annie Dillard’s reference to “the tree of lights” in her book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. I never forgot that quote, and now that I am re-reading Rollo May’s The Courage to Create, I’m gleaning gold just as lustrous as that in the leaves above as I read his account of Cezanne’s revelatory experience gazing upon the colors of trees. I also hear reverberations of my friend Clarry Hubbard as he writes poetically about the trees he visits on his morning hikes.

I have started a commission for one of my dearest friends, and would love to post a picture of how it is coming along, but alas, the part I am working on is now covered in masquing fluid and flooded with yet another tree color. I have this feeling that once I remove the “bandages” I’m going to see something sublime, but that is not going to happen till it’s 100% dry. The problem of working on 300 lb. watercolor paper is the long drying process that comes with it.

More later. Thanks for reading.

Eudaimonia in the Studio

September 25, 2022
Tedious work on details at the moment, but I’m loving it

Beneath our loquacious chatter, there is a silent language of our whole being which yearns for art and the beauty from which art comes.

Rollo May, My Quest for Beauty

The quiet Sunday offers a respite from the sustained pace we have had to keep up the last few days. Yesterday we had to leave Palestine by 2:00 in order to make the reception for the Fall Show sponsored by the Lake Granbury Art Association.


I was thrilled to receive an Award of Excellence and a handsome check for my Palimpsest entry. I don’t compete nearly as often as I used to, and frankly, seldom win when I do compete. In fact, I have not even been juried into competitions recently when I have entered. So, last night was sweet and I’m very thankful for all the good will poured out by the crowd in attendance.

When the reception ended, I walked to the town square and entered the Baron’s Creek Wine Room to see the new show that has been installed, sponsored by The Eyes of Texas Fine Art Gallery.

He is No Longer Here

I was pleased with the overall quality of the show, and appreciate where my full-sized watercolor is hanging. I’m looking forward to the opening of this show as well.

Today is it is back to work in the studio. The large panoramic watercolor I’m working on with the view of Spring Street in downtown Palestine is proving to be long hours of work, but I’m enjoying every brushstroke, and glad to have the time to pursue it.

Thanks for reading.

3:30 a.m. Visitation (it’s never my plan to rise this early)

September 23, 2022

Dawn view outside Suite 207, Redlands Hotel. Carnegie Library undergoing extensive renovation.

When the muse stirs and awakens me, I find it necessary to rise, no matter the hour, open my journal, and listen.

David Tripp

With the arrival of fall, I am sensing more than ever something fragrant in the air. Artistic souls in East Texas are stirred with new activity as the art season begins to revive. The Eyes of Texas Fine Art Gallery magazine is approaching deadline for the holiday season issue expected the first week in November. There has been a flurry of activity as this goes to press.

Next weekend, October 1, I will teach a watercolor class in the Redlands Hotel conference room from 12-2:00. The seats are already filling with a limit of sixteen participants. All materials are provided. Cost is $35, with students and seniors over the age of 55 discounted at $30. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. If you are interested, you must register through me and pay in advance. Credit cards are accepted. My phone is (817) 821-8702, or email We will paint an 8 x 10″ bison in bright Southwest Art colors.

The Edom Art Festival is fast approaching, October 8-9 from 10-5:00. This is one of my biggest festivals of the year, and they are marking their 50th anniversary with this one. If you have not yet attended one of these, you’re in for a real treat. The festival nestles in rolling pasture land with rustic outbuildings serving as a headquarters. The town of Edom is little more than a crossroads, but people pour in from the Dallas/Fort Worth area, McKinney, Plano, Tyler, Palestine, Austin, Waxahachie–thousands of people flood the festival grounds to enjoy the art, food booths, and live music from two stages. My excitement grows as festival time nears.

And finally, I’m hoping this fall for the chance to visit art galleries scattered all over East Texas that I didn’t know existed. Some of them are new, yet some have been in business for years. I’m also grateful to join recently the art family in neighboring Tyler, Texas. As I’ve said before, I’m eyeing this region as a “New Byzantium” much as the poet William Butler Yeats spoke of 6th century Constantinople under Justinian. Yeats wrote: ”in early Byzantium, maybe never before or since in recorded history, religious, aesthetic, and practical life were one.” At this moment in our history, I’m enriched by the flurry of visual arts, live concerts and performance art that East Texas is experiencing.

Saturday evening, I’ll attend the artists’ reception for The Fall Art Exhibition at Lake Granbury Art Association. One of our gallery artists, Cecilia Bramhall, has had a painting accepted in the show, and I have as well. We’re proud to represent the Palestine art circle as we participate in this event.

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.

4:30 a.m. Start . . .

September 19, 2022
4:30 a.m. sketch

A drawing is simply a line going for a walk.

Paul Klee

I woke this morning around 4:30 with the Paul Klee quote in my head. Unable to return to sleep, the urge to draw a horse whispered to me in the darkness. So, without question I rose, plodded silently down the hall to my Studio Eidolons, and drew the horse head posted above. I like it enough to finish out the body contours with accent lines, then put it into a 4 x 6″ mat and install it into a 10 x 12″ frame and put it in the Gallery at Redlands for sale. If nobody purchases it, the drawing will at least keep me good company. The Palomino was at the Stone Creek Ranch where I just completed a watercolor workshop and packed home years’ worth of memories.

Thanks for reading.


September 18, 2022
First Morning at Stone Creek Ranch. Mountain Home, Arkansas

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for people to dwell together in unity”

Psalm 133:1

The quiet of Studio Eidolons on a Sunday evening grants me this opportunity for silence and grateful remembrance for all the events of the past couple of weeks that time didn’t afford for recording and posting (wi-fi was also nil). My experience of making art with six precious souls who showed such warmth and reception to others filled me with feelings of beatification. Several times I heard remarks such as “doesn’t this beat sitting at home watching cable news?” Someone else responded, “At least artists are not hurting anybody or spouting negative remarks.” We truly felt the warmth of dwelling together in unity.

Over a year ago, I was booked to teach this watercolor workshop at the Women Artist Retreat. The day finally arrived September 7, and the picture above shows the lovely Stone Creek Ranch with the resplendent sunrise that filled me with gladness.

Lovely morning light

As I awaited the arrival of twelve artists and the other instructor (six students apiece for oil and watercolor classes), I strolled the grounds to seek out plein air subjects. It didn’t take long for me to select the one above, particularly because the separation of warm sun and cool shadows was equally attractive during the “golden hours” of morning and evening.

Oil Painting Instructor Sandy Arnault demonstrating

I found oil painter Sandy Arnault to be a genuine delight, and regret that I could not attend her classes, especially when I witnessed her demo the first evening. She will soon travel to Kentucky to pursue her equine studies. Her oil paintings of horses are superb, and she is still fervently studying this craft.

Everyone immediately set to work

It seems that every workshop has its “firsts”. This one was no different. My tenth-grade art teacher, Mr. Leo Hoeh, an ardent watercolorist, taught us to stretch watercolor paper on canvas stretchers, explaining that the paper would dry more quickly than if we used watercolor blocks or taped the paper to a board. When I returned to making art in my mid-thirties, I resumed this practice, assuming all watercolorists did. Boy, was I wrong. Every class I teach and every demo I perform before watercolor audiences brings surprise from everyone. They ask me where in the world I came up with such an idea.

I prefer 90-lb. D’Arches paper, not only because it dries the quickest, but because it is the least expensive, and proves to be a quality, sturdy surface that withstands all my abuse of masquing and scraping. So what was my “first” this time? That every single student, upon watching my demonstration, immediately got out her tools and began stretching one, two, and three surfaces for her own use, before the first class even got underway. Walking around, watching them work with such focus, brought back warm recollections of those (rare) moments in public school when an entire high school art class would enthusiastically pursue a new task.

First Session Underway

The first day scheduled a pair of three-hour sessions. I surprised the students when I presented my plan for them to create two 8 x 10″ watercolors by day’s end. Every single student completed that task. The paintings featured a lone bison and a cowboy seated under the stars, leaning back against his backpack. Throughout the day, we moved back and forth between the two works, allowing one to dry while picking up the other. It was amusing, watching the traffic flow out into the sunlit ranchland to lay paintings out to dry, and return to resume the other painting, then repeat the process. This assured that no one would overwork a watercolor by overpainting it while it was still wet. It also allowed them continually to put fresh eyes on a resumed piece that had been out of sight drying in the sun for 15-to-20 minutes. Without fail, each student presented a pair of completed, fresh watercolors by the end of the day.

All the ladies enjoyed Shiner, our studio assistant

Throughout the day, we were accompanied by an eighteen-year-old Siamese cat, the only Siamese that I have ever found to be affectionate and cuddly. The little fellow always sat in the chair next to me when I worked alone in the studio, often climbing on the table to shove his face into my hands and nuzzle my wrists and arms while I worked. I could never express adequately the gladness I felt at the women’s conversations while painting. Oftentimes, there would be silence for several minutes as everyone focused on the work before her. But then the comments would resume, and all of it was positive, engaging, and affirming. The bonding experience was one I’ll never stop recalling.

Plein Air Pleasure

The second day was plein air. As usual, several students admitted they had never tried it, had always felt too intimidated. I tried to take the sting out of it by reminding them that plein air was more about sketching, experimenting, information-gathering; many times our plein air pieces do not result in completed, frameable paintings. They help us turn corners, open new chapters. I gave about a five-minute talk, covering these points, and I could sense the enthusiasm beginning to percolate. And of course, they spread out over the acreage, forcing me to walk many, many steps in order to see their work and offer instruction. I’m glad my smart phone was able to record my steps; I went far beyond my quota on that day.

My own Plein Air Setup
My own Plein Air Experiment
Three Meals a Day

I doubt that anyone looks forward to mealtime more than I. But dining with this crowd was superb! Again, the conversations, the laughter, and oh, the jokes! But as I wrote earlier–artists don’t hurt people. The togetherness was great as was the food.

Dana Rowell Johnson, our Chef Extraordinaire, oil painter and leader
Debby Lively, our watercolorist and leader

Dana and Debby not only pulled together this complex event; they also participated in the classes, so every artist had the privilege of making art alongside a leader. Their confidence and positive attitudes kept the event lively and light-hearted. I’m very grateful to both of them for pulling off such a successful event.

And of course, Shiner

I cannot close out this blog without one last reference to Shiner, my companion in organizing and setting up our watercolor studio. He had no problem spreading his love around to all the participants, and was never bereft of attention and affection. I miss him (but don’t tell my dogs).

My notes for the plein air session

Today, while finally unpacking my gear, I came across this napkin on which I jotted my talking points for the plein air session on the second day. I decided not to throw it away, but keep it among my memorabilia on the shelves here in my Studio Eidolons. Every time I pass by this shelf I’ll be reminded of those special moments spent at the Women Artist Retreat.

Yes, today has definitely been an afterglow. My love goes out to the women artists of this retreat that I will never forget.

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.

The Cabin

September 17, 2022
1902 home preserved in Flippin, Arkansas

It’s good to be back in The Gallery at Redlands again. Much of my imagination, however, lingers in Arkansas and Missouri, so it is likely that I’ll continue posting recent pictures from there.

While teaching the watercolor workshop in Mountain Home, we drove to nearby Flippin to take another look at this 1902 home. A railroad magnate built two of these homes when he lived here. One has disappeared, and this one was moved next door to Ozarks Realty Co. in order to keep a watchful eye on the property.

I have done a watercolor of this building four times and sold them all. My plan is to try again in the near future. Below is the second painting I did of the subject. I noticed from the recent photograph that they have replaced the four pillars in front, I suppose for better stability.

One of my watercolors of the subject

This cabin makes me think of the one Muddy Waters lived in when he worked at Stovall Farms and was discovered and recorded by Alan Lomax. Perhaps if I paint it again, I’ll put a blues musician on the front porch.

Thanks for reading.

The Dawn

September 17, 2022
Looking out my Redlands Hotel window at the morning light (laptop plays YouTube image of New York City)

He sat there depressed and waited. He had learned this from the river: to wait, to have patience, to listen.

Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

I cannot explain yesterday’s depression. I’m grateful that that was yesterday. Sandi and I were totally exhausted from our Arkansas/Missouri travels that included five days in Mountain Home, Arkansas where I taught a watercolor workshop to some amazing participants (I’ll post later about this). After that, we traveled to Missouri to visit precious friends and family (more on that later), then returned to Cotter, Arkansas where I fly-fished the White River that night and the North Fork River the following morning (more later). Then we drove the remaining eight hours home, arriving shortly before 10:00, washed and dried our clothes, then I was up early the next morning to travel two hours to Palestine and pick up our gallery life where it was left September 3. Not everything was smooth as I transitioned back into my Texas life, but I’m ready now to write it off to exhaustion/depression. Waking at 5:00 this morning, I felt rested for the first time in nearly two weeks, and now I’m ready to open this new chapter, or, as Emerson would say, draw a new circle.

Re-reading Hesse’s Siddhartha has put new energy in my soul this morning.

“Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time?”

“That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past, nor the shadow of the future?”

“That is it,” said Siddhartha, “and when I learned that, I reviewed my life and it was also a river, and Siddhartha the boy, Siddhartha the mature man and Siddhartha the old man, were only separated by shadows, not through reality.”

With this post, I send out my love to Wayne White, Evelyn McMillan, Clarry Hubbard, and Sandi Jones. These are my loved ones (chronologically) from 1961 to the present. During our recent St. Louis visit, we were enriched with three days of backyard visits by day and campfire confessions by night. Throughout those days and nights, I genuinely feel that I heard them and they heard me. These senior years are so precious to all of us as we look back over our respective journeys and seek ways to extract meaning from all the twists and turns in the road. I’m still warmed by my friends’ stories, and hope that I have offered something of value to them as well.

Wayne Evelyn and Sandi
(left to right) Sandi, Clarry, Evelyn, Wayne
(left to right) Clarry, Evelyn, Wayne

Most of all, I am grateful to Hermann Hesse this day, for sharing Siddhartha’s revelation about life. I realize that my youth, my maturity, and my old age are separated only by shadows. Like a river, my life comprises all those stages now concentrated in the dawn of this new day. I’m grateful to be here. While with my friends, we mused over the ones we have known and loved who have passed away, and wonder why we have been allowed to remain on this earth a while longer. And we all expressed our gratitude for life, for the chance to draw a new circle.

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.