Posts Tagged ‘David Tripp artist’

Back Working in the Gallery at Redlands

September 27, 2020
The Gallery at Redlands

The following day Claude was back at work again.

Emile Zola, The Masterpiece

View from my Working Desk

The two-hour drive through the cool autumn countryside was soothing to me, and once I reached The Gallery at Redlands I found myself ready to begin a new chapter of a new day. The Redlands Hotel is quieter these days and will be for about a month. A kitchen fire has closed the restaurant for renovation that will take some time. With the restaurant and bar both closed, little traffic comes through here. At any rate, I’ll have more time to paint without interruption, and that is not a bad thing.

Reference photo for a 16 x 12″ watercolor
Sunday Morning in Studio Eidolons

It is now Sunday and I have returned home to Studio Eidolons. Yesterday’s stay in The Gallery at Redlands was rewarding as I enjoyed renewed visits with Jean and Mike in the hotel. Kevin Harris of Smooth Rock 93.5 stopped in for a chat. I hadn’t seen him since the radio station left the gallery, and when they left there was a certain sweetness that went out of the air. I really miss the camaraderie I knew in those days with the morning crew. Conversations with Kevin have always been soulful and this time was no different. It’s uplifting to know that they are exploring ways to broadcast again one day. Stay tuned, they still maintain a presence on Facebook.

As I was packing to leave, I was pleasantly surprised with a visit from Marty Kelly and Carrell McClain. I have also missed times spent with them, enjoying a drink at the bar during the evenings. Soon, we’ll all be together again with more frequency, and I look forward to those days.

The four-hour round trip to Palestine always leaves me a bit tired and off-pace the following day. I’m glad it’s Sunday as I’m in a mellow mood and enjoying quiet time in the studio reading, writing in the journal, and will soon return to the painting started yesterday in the gallery. I’m not posting it yet because there really isn’t enough to see at this point. Soon, I hope.

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.

Preparing for Return to Palestine

September 25, 2020
Studio Eidolons early Friday Morning

Then, one morning, he got up with a violent thirst for work.

Emile Zola, The Masterpiece

That sentence describes every day of this past week. Entering the studio, I swan-dove into a pile of books, reading for inspiration, and then moved over to one of the drafting tables to resume work on a large watercolor. At this point I don’t feel comfortable showing the 18 x 24″ because the bison in the herd are the size of dimes and so little has been done to the surrounding landscape; the only decent part of the composition is the precision I have laid into the broken windmill towering over the scene.

Tomorrow (Saturday) I return to the Redlands Hotel in Palestine to spend the day and evening working in the Gallery. I have been away such a long time and feel enthusiastic about rearranging the art work in the gallery and beginning a new watercolor composition featuring bison (larger than dimes). The creative eros has been surging all week and I see no reason why it should not spill over into the weekend.

Today will be spent packing and making arrangements for my travel tomorrow. I’m happy to send this note out to my readers, and truly hope I’ll get to see my Palestine friends tomorrow.

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.

Return to Studio Eidolon, but Remembering Bryce Canyon

September 18, 2020

Such is the effort of creation that goes into the work of art! Such was the agonising effort he had to make, the blood and tears it cost him to create living flesh to produce the breath of life! Everlastingly struggling with the Real and being repeatedly conquered like Jacob fighting with the Angel!

Emile Zola, The Masterpiece

Most readers are convinced that Zola was describing the anxieties of painter Paul Cezanne when he wrote this novel. I am enjoying the reading of this and will be sorry when the story ends. I certainly know those artistic anxieties, more from my past than my present. I find it hard to explain, but am convinced that in my later years I am more preoccupied with art theory, yet less upset with perceived shortcomings or failures; I just love the process of creating.

We are safely back home after vacationing in Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. On our third day home, I am still lost in daydreams and recollections of what we experienced. My last blog recounted the day’s adventures at Zion National Park, but I have yet to record the events of the following day, in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Sandi decided to participate in a ride down to the floor of the canyon. After we parted ways at the corral, I hiked to the rim of the canyon, then circled round till I found the horse trail that I knew the party would take. Once they arrived, I managed to shoot plenty of photos as they trooped by, and my favorite is this one of Sandi on a handsome mule named Clyde.

Once the riding party was out of site, I commenced working from my plein air easel, and was astonished at the violence of the winds blasting across the top of the canyon. My clip for holding open my sketchbook was attached to my journal in the truck parked far away, so I attempted to sketch in watercolor the site below with my right hand, and used my entire leftt arm to hold the book open, my open hand resting on the brushes trying to blow out of the tray and into the canyon below.

As I worked, fighting against the wind trying to blow my supplies away, a gentle Asian soul approached me and, watching calmly with great interest, began asking questions of what I was doing. I always love visiting with people when I am out painting, and this was no exception. However, being distracted by the blowing winds, I was not aware that the gentleman actually was filming me with the intention of posting on social media. Had I known that, perhaps I would have shown more composure and lest distractedness. He indeed asked permission to film, but I honestly thought the howling wind was discouraging his efforts, and was under the impression that he gave up, though he stayed and visited with me awhile and took my business card, thanking me for my time. I soon forgot about the encounter, as I visited with over a dozen people during that brief stretch of attempted painting.

Late last night, while I was home, the gentleman’s kind email arrived, with the YouTube link, and I gladly post it for you now with the disclaimer that his camera work was much more composed than I!

After painting awhile (or trying to!), I returned to the truck and let our dog Patches out for a stroll. Then I set up his portable pen under the shade of the evergreens, and had intended to spend about half an hour with him before putting him back into the truck and returning to the canyon to paint. But he was so darned affectionate, choosing to jump into my lap and remain rather than lie on his blanket in the pen. So . . . I waited for Sandi to return from her ride before packing my gear back to the canyon for round two.

Here are the two sketches I attempted in the raging winds atop Bryce Canyon.

My biggest adjustment returning to Arlington, Texas has been the temperatures. As I write this, we are sitting this afternoon at 88 degrees with intolerable humidity. On the morning of our return, it was 50 degrees in Albuquerque. Stepping outside in this Texas weather now makes me wish for the 34 degrees and foot-deep snow I enjoyed last week in Colorado!

As I continue to look over photos and sketches from our trip, I took my first shot today at sketching a bison I photographed outside Zion National Park.

I haven’t yet decided on my next major project, but anticipate that something will happen soon. For the time being, Sandi and I are going to re-visit the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth-a site we haven’t seen in way too many months.

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.

Snow Rhapsody on the Stream

September 10, 2020
South Fork of the Rio Grande

The river was clear and smoothly fast in the early morning.
Down about two hundred yards were three logs all the way across the stream. They made the water smooth and deep above them. As Nick watched, a mink crossed the river on the logs and went into the swamp. Nick was excited. He was excited by the early morning and the river.

Ernest Hemingway, “The Big Two-Hearted River”

Riverbend Resort has been my favorite Colorado haunt since our friends the Darrs introduced us to this place twenty years ago. The South Fork of the Rio Grande cuts through the resort, and I decided to rent a tent spot for $30 so I could fish on this private stretch of water that I have come to know so well.

With temperatures hovering at 34 degrees and the one-foot snowfall thawing enough to make trudging through the meadows easier, I pulled on sufficient winter gear to enter the stream and not suffer chills with the icy winds coming down the gorge.

Rhapsody in the Stream

After working the waters for nearly two hours, I only encountered a small brown trout for five seconds before he shook free of the fly. Copper Johns have always been the trouts’ nymph of choice, and I was advised that they were still doing the trick this time of year in these parts. But I was having near-zero luck this time.

Nevertheless, the waters were beautiful as was the fallen snow all around, and I felt a serenity I always cherish when wading a mountain stream. The solitude was rich; I only enountered one other fly fisherman who hailed me from the shore as he was trudging back to his cabin, having caught only one small rainbow. Temperatures continued to hold steady in the mid-thirties, but I felt no discomfort. In the third hour, I finally reached my favorite hole–an enormous shelf of rock the size of a pickup truck slanting into the water, the darkness beneath making my pulse quicken.

My first cast into the shadow of the rock was greeted by a fourteen-inch rainbow whose aerobatics entertained me for about half a minute. By the time I had him within three feet of my net, he broke free and was gone. Still, watching his antics sent thrills throughout my being, and I knew there had to be more action where that originated.

After missing another trio of strikes near the rock, I finally hooked and netted a small brown and took a moment to admire the beautiful bronzes, golds and scarlets that played along his flank as he lay on the rocks. I wasn’t fishing for food today, and was glad to see him dart into the depths once I released him.

All at once the heavens opened and the air was filled with enormous snow flakes. This is the first time I ever stood in the midst of a mountain stream with a snow shower falling all over me and plopping all over the stream. I’ve been surprised before by sudden thunderstorms, always exiting the waters as quickly as possible, but this was different–the enormous flakes fell hard and thick all around me, and the sight was gorgeous. I wanted to take out my phone and shoot pictures, but the waters suddenly rippled in several areas at once as the trout were rising with a vengeance. Because I was using a nymph, I held little hope of landing any of these surface feeders, but I suddenly saw a good-sized brown rolling in the water just underneath the lip of that enormous rock outcropping. I dropped the nymph upstream and watched the grasshopper I used as a strike indicator drift along the shadow of the rock. Suddenly the hopper was gone and I saw the bright flash of gold beneath the surface. A minute later, he was in the net, all fourteen inches of him.

After a quick photo I lowered him back into the water and he was off like a shot. All I could think of was the Hemingway short story (a portion posted above) that I’ve loved since high school. And I laughed at recalling the prosaic line “Nick was happy.” That’s all I could say. Dave was happy. And exhausted. As I turned to leave the stream, grateful for such a day and thinking nothing better could possibly happen, a bird suddenly visited me. He landed on my fly rod and remained perched there. After a few frozen moments of our staring at one another, I reached into my pouch, fished out my phone, flipped to the camera mode, aimed, and caught his picture. He stayed another thirty seconds before deciding to move on. I couldn’t believe it: a bird suddenly perching on my flyrod as I waded toward shore. And staying awhile as I stood still, holding the rod as steady as possible.

Bird on the Flyrod

Two summers ago, while here at Riverbend Resort, I was watercoloring on the porch of my cabin and was visited by a bird who perched on the painting I was working on en plein air. He also remained to be photographed for warm memories. My friends laughed at the encounter, calling me Saint Francis.

Bird on the Painting

In the morning we continue our Odyssey as we venture into Utah. Thanks for reading. This has been a heart-warming day for me.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Snowbound September 9, 2020

September 9, 2020
View from the Cabin Porch, South Fork, CO

When the early morning light quietly

grows above the mountains . . .

            The world’s darkening never reaches

            to the light of Being.

            We are too late for the gods and too

                        early for Being. Being’s poem,

                        just begun, is man.

Martin Heidegger, “The Thinker as Poet”

We decided we had had too much of the Texas triple-digit daily temperatures, so we put together a plan for a one-week Odyssey to Colorado and Utah. Two days before departure, we saw the winter storm warnings for Colorado, but decided to soldier on. Spending the first night in Amarillo, we noticed temperatures dropping to 59 degrees. By the time we cleared Walsenburg, Colorado, snow began dumping on us and the temperatures dropped to 32 degrees. South Fork greeted us one hour later with no snow and a surprising 57 degree afternoon, but that changed at nightfall. At 7 p.m., the electricity for the city failed, and did not resume till 1:30 a.m. Fortunately the cabin was well-insulated and sleeping was never a problem. Morning greeted us with a foot of snow, and it continues to fall, expecting to continue till noon Thursday. Today is Wednesday. The first thing I did when rising this morning was read “Snowbound” by John Greenleaf Whittier. After that, I read the Heidegger poem, then went outside to photograph the breath-taking mountain vista shrouded in mist above.

28 degrees isn’t so bad if you’re sufficiently bundled. So I set up my plein air easel on the front porch and gazed at that lovely mountain scene, deciding to give it a try in my watercolor sketchbook diary.

View from Inside the Cabin
Sandi captured this photo of me working on the sketch

This is only my second watercolor sketch in the diary. I purchased it last week, deciding to bite the bullet and see if I could do some decent watercolor experiments and keep them in a bound book. In the past I’ve attempted many sketches that ended up worthy of framing, so I feared that I would merely tear up a sketchbook. Now I’ve decided that I will work freely in this book, and if something is suitable for framing, tough luck; I will keep the sketchbook intact and enjoy flipping through its pages.

Even when my watercolor attempts don’t pan out, I have a luxurious time painting, loving every moment. This mountain view really sent me to another world, watching the mist descend over the crown of the mountain, all the time trying to capture the colors and textures I saw evolving. Thanks to a small spray mist bottle, I was able to continue dissolving the paint at the top of the mountain while continuing my work down the slope. This is only a 5 x 7″ attempt, but I’m happy with how it came out and will gladly keep it in the book. I’m still amazed that I was able to paint en plein air outdoors in 28-degree weather.

Thanks for reading. Our first full day here in Colorado is proving an eventful odyssey, and we’re happy and safe.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Odyssey Driven

September 5, 2020
Returning to Work on Homer’s Odyssey

Tell me, Muse of the man of many devices, driven far astray . .

Saturday in the Studio Eidolons finds me chasing multiple interests. We’ve decided to put together another road odyssey with the change in weather approaching. Sometimes I think we have that inborn compulsion of geese taking flight when weather warnings are in the air. After laying it aside for quite a few months, I’ve re-opened the Greek text of Homer’s Odyssey and am once again immersed in his epic.

Putting a Few Finishing Touches to the Bomber Lure

After only two days, I seem to be nearing completion of the Bomber lure. The background took much more time than rendering the actual subject itself.

I completed a quick watercolor sketch for the first time in a watercolor diary I purchased last week. I plan on taking this sketchbook on my journey soon to see how many pages I can fill as we travel.

5 x 7″ watercolor sketch

The Arlington Gallery that carries my work (Show Me the Monet) has decided to sponsor Watercolor Wednesday, offering 3-hour watercolor classes 2-5:00 every Wednesday. I am scheduled to teach on alternating weeks. I have posted my next two classes, September 16 and 30 on my professional Facebook page. Cost is $55 and classes are limited to six participants. If you are interested in signing up, phone (817) 468-5263. September 16 will focus on painting a railroad boxcar similar to the one above, and on the 30th we’ll paint a wooden trestle located here in Arlington, Texas.

September 16 subject
September 30 subject

The morning is nearly over and I have promised myself more quality time in Studio Eidolons. 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.

Three Fly Patterns Completed and Packaged

September 1, 2020
Working in Studio Eidolons
Elk Hair Caddis
Royal Wulff
Parachute Adams

I have happily drawn this commission project to a close–three fly patterns, all of them 8 x 10″. For over ten years, I have had the desire to attempt these subjects in watercolor, but was always too timid to try. Once this commission “made” me take the plunge, I found out how enjoyable such an endeavor can be. The nature of the hackles forced me to develop more sensitivity with brushstrokes. In the midst of the project I returned to the Six Canons of Painting by the Sixth-Century Chinese painter Xie He. I really needed this reminder about the “bone method” in the second principle which calls attention to the integrity of the individual brushstrokes. I believe I’m going to take the next step and see if I can market such images in the future. Already I’m thinking about creating greeting cards with these images on the front and boxing them in sets to sell.

More jobs await. 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.

We Must Cultivate Our Own Garden

August 31, 2020
Reminiscence of Grandma’s Garden Gate

Sitting up in bed with my morning coffee, I looked up again at one of my watercolors we keep framed and hanging in the bedroom. The composition always brings to mind words from my Mom about the morning she brought me home from the hospital over sixty-six years ago. She still tells me that the fragrance of lilacs blooming greeted her when she carried me through the garden gate of my Dad’s parents’ farm. That was the reason I painted this composition; Sandi and I purchased this gate from an antique store in Lubbock years ago for the express purpose of bringing it home and my painting it.

Continuing to think over the painting, I went to the bookcase and retrieved my volume of Candide’s Voltaire, which closes with these words:

. . . but we must cultivate our own garden.

Those words haunt me because I awoke this morning, my head filled with the acrid smoke of degrading words wafting through our atmosphere from our perennial political rancor. Some people seem to crave this diet. I am not among them. Years ago, when I started this blog, I wished to send words out into the social media torrent that would make readers feel better, instead of worse, living in this current climate. I believe we have the strength to determine what to fix our minds upon, and I further believe the ancient Proverb that states “for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

My continued reading in Zola’s The Masterpiece continues to fill me with richness of thought. The words Claude spoke to his author friend may as well have been directed at me:

“Why should you worry?’ said Claude, after sharing Sandoz’s silence for a moment. “You’re happy, you’re working, you’re producing something!”

Studio Eidolons

Walking down the hall and entering Studio Eidolons with a glad heart, I sat down to one of my drafting tables and made a collage greeting card, using folding card stock with matching envelope from a vast collection I have been saving and hoarding for over a decade. While refurbishing my studio over past months, I have opened boxes and cabinets stuffed with art-related materials that I had forgotten about and decided I would begin making things with them once again.

Once the collage/card task was completed, I went to the other drafting table and resumed work on the trout fly still waiting for me. This is a Parachute Adams pattern that I could possibly finish later today. It will complete a series of three trout flies I have been commissioned to paint.

Parachute Adams in Progress

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.

Always a New Beginning

August 30, 2020
1903 house in Flippin, Arkansas. 18 x 24″ framed $400

Yet for better or for worse we love things that bear the marks of grime, soot, and weather, and we love the colors and the sheen that call to mind the past that made them.

Jun’ichero Tanizaki

Sunday mornings usually draw me back to the Bible to read for creative as well as living inspiration. Again this morning, I read the creation narratives in Genesis, pondering about the world as a chaotic void until God organized it through a series of spoken words. As an artist, I am more amazed at my current age than ever before at the profound dynamics that go into any kind of creative activity.

My continued reading of Emile Zola’s The Masterpiece feeds my daily creative eros. Recently, I have returned to drawing and watercolor sketching in a diary to break out of the routine of working on commission pieces (I have two more to complete before all orders are finally filled). What I read this morning certainly set off a string of musings. The words come from an older, seasoned artist in his studio:

“It may suprise you,” he said, for he had been successful from an early age and his place in French painting was now firmly established, “but there are days when I question my ability to draw a simple thing like a nose. . . . Every picture I paint, I’m as excited as the rawest novice; my heart thumps like mad, my mouth goes dry out of sheer emotion. “

Some years back, when my watercolors began selling more successfully and I took blogging and marketing more seriously, I developed this fear of “whipping out Tripps to feed the market.” Not only did I worry about being locked into a particular style to keep up with demand; I still wondered exactly what my “style” was. I have posted a painting above from my earlier years when I focused on aged, decaying subjects. I still work on those kinds of images, but not exclusively. Rather, I have tried to broaden my subject matter to pick up some themes I’ve always wished to pursue but never took the time to do so (Hence, my recent trout fly patterns).

I believe all of us hope to live out our lives free of regrets. However, recently, I do look back on my college years with regret–I was an art major, but relied on my talent and listened very little to what my instructors tried to teach me. I had excellent instructors, and wish to this day I had been more mature and open to what they had to offer. Now at my present age, I am attempting to learn things I should have learned long ago as I experiment daily in the studio, and truly try to be “open” to experimenting. As the days proceed, I will most likely post the drawings and watercolor sketches I’m attempting, along with the commissioned work in progress.

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.

Decompressing in Studio Eidolons

August 29, 2020
Lingering over Coffee and Journal inside Studio Eidolons

In the bleakest days of a bleak winter, Jackson took up pen and paper and began drawing again. During all of 1950, he had hardly touched a sketch pad. His ambitions demanded a far grander “arena” (his word).

Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, Jackson Pollock: An American Saga

Saturday in the Studio Eidolons finds me at leisure. Last night I completed my second of a series of three trout flies. I immediately blocked in the composition for the third painting, but this morning have yet to find the initiative to begin the actual painting.

2nd fly completed: Royal Wulff, 8 x 10″ watercolor

The morning has been given to coffee, journaling, listening to music, and going through some files of material I haven’t perused in years. I’m a little tired, not sleeping as consistently as I could, and feeling rather low on energy. I recall the critic Clem Greenberg in an interview discussing how Jackson Pollock, after an intense creative output, would knock off for a few weeks and just walk his property, smoking, thinking, not necessarily drinking, but decompressing, and over a period of weeks would purge himself of his mannerisms and seek a new direction for his art. The quote above arrested my attention because today I have gotten out sketchbooks and watercolor diary to see about returning to some practices I have not pursued in awhile due to a long line of commissions I’ve striven to complete. Days such as this no longer alarm me; I’m just on hiatus. It might last a few hours, or the rest of the day. But I know I’ll be back in the saddle, making new art. Already, the next assignment waits on the drafting table.

While perusing various reading materials, I came across a remarkable quote about the artist’s studio, taken from Lone Wolf Magazine (https://lonewolfmag.com/beautiful-artists-studios-planet/):

There’s something undeniably romantic about an artist’s studio. They’re always filled with light, and paper covered in scribbles and sketches. We’re instinctively drawn to these safe spaces where something incredible can materialize out of nothing. An artist’s studio is the place magic happens (imagine being physically present in Picasso’s studio when he painted The Dream, it would have given you goosebumps). The artist’s studio is also a place for the most incredible kind of isolation, one that’s full of creative potential. It’s an escape and even torment. When everything aligns, your work space can be a source of inspiration, helping you become a better artist. The images below perfectly capture that bohemian life style we all dream of having one day. Get inspired by the beautiful organized chaos of these artists creative work spaces! [The article follows with the most delicious color photos of artists’ studios, including Cezanne’s and Monet’s.]

Natalia Borecka, “The Most Beautiful Artist’s Studios on the Planet”

Trying some new things

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.