Posts Tagged ‘David Tripp artist’

The Day after the Annual Stuffing . . .

November 29, 2019

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Although Faust has no message, the drama leads us to wonder whether there is any moral world order at all, and to what extent moral judgments make sense.

Walter Kaufmann, Introduction to Goethe’s Faust

With St. Louis temperatures a misty 37 degrees outside, I thought it good to spend the morning after Thanksgiving indoors to enjoy hot coffee and excellent reading. My first reading of Faust was during cold winter months in the remote store in east Texas where I love to reside in solitude, so I decided to return to the text and draw inspiration from it. The Kaufmann quote I inserted above is certainly relevant to what I have read during these Thanksgiving holidays when I turned to national news on the Internet. So much anger, hatred and resentment blowing in the political winds during this holiday season. We should be better than that. We all have the capability of heeding Goethe’s call:

To raise the poet’s well-known voice

With grace in mankind’s graceless choir.

Our time around the Thanksgiving dinner table yesterday did not follow someone’s advice to bring up divisive political topics. Today I am still warmed by the memory of family gathered around for the feast and conversations on things worth savoring.

Over hot coffee this morning, I enjoyed sketching objects on my desk and scribbling my responses to key texts from Faust. The musing thoughts of the lonely scholar in his study challenge me this holiday season:

That I might see what secret force

Hides in the world and rules its course.

Envisage the creative blazes

Instead of rummaging in phrases.

I always love working in the studio this time of year and already know what I want to pursue when I get back to it. I only have one festival left during this calendar year, I deliver my final lecture of the semester next Tuesday, so I believe I should have plenty of time to devote to my favorite past time.

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Thanks for reading.

 I make art in order to discover.   Shultz reduced

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Weaving Disparate Threads on Thanksgiving Morning

November 28, 2019

‘I’m groping for a way of synthesizing a lifetime of work – driving further what I find most valuable and dropping parts that seem less essential.

. . .

It’s only by lining up a group of works to compare that I can see where I’m closer to my inner self and where I depart from it. There’s an indication of some kind of breakthrough, but I’m not sure what form it will take. It may lead ultimately to a whole new period. And if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I still find these quite beautiful in their particular way.

He does not differentiate among the various mediums; they are all, he says, ”sentences or paragraphs from a lifelong work that will go on until I die.”

Robert Motherwell, “The Creative Mind; The Mastery of Robert Motherwell,” New York Times, December 2, 1984

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Resuming Work on a Watercolor Abandoned Years Ago

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Getting Lost in the Details

. . . and I wish all my readers the Best of Thanksgiving Holidays. I spent about thirteen-and-a-half hours on crowded highways yesterday so I could see my parents and siblings again. Well-rested this morning in a hotel room in St. Louis, I open my laptop with a glad heart and pour out my feelings . . .

Marcel Proust spoke of the way sensations (right now, the taste of hotel coffee) open tthe way for memories to visit us, transporting us to primal warm memories from our childhood. St. Louis is frigid and overcast this morning, and looking out across the parking lot at the deep wooded area has managed to ferry me back to Grandma Tripp’s cold, drafty house in the deep woods of southeast Missouri. With my cousins, I would huddle under patchwork quilts in stuffed chairs with a kerosene heater cooking on the floor between us. In front of us the grainy black-and-white TV broadcast the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Begun in 1924, this event was stirring our blood in 1960 as we sat with our sugar-and-creamed coffee in tan Melmac mugs. Later in the day we would watch the Detroit Lions play football against the Packers, Bears or Vikings, uncertain of whether they were playing in a blizzard or if it was the TV reception. We would occasionally rotate the “rabbit ears” antenna with large squares of aluminum foil hanging off the ends.

This morning, I am grateful for these memories whispering to me in the dim morning, and I plan to bring them up with Mom and Dad later today as we gather around the table–all of us still living, gratefully–and enjoy the feast.

Above, I have posted the latest watercolor I was working on over the weekend, when Cindy and Gary came down to Palestine to work further on this film documentary they have hatched. We had an amazing time together. They continually came up with new ideas for filming me at work, with video cameras, drones and recording gear. As we worked and planned together, I fished out this old watercolor of a butte I began painting in west Texas years ago. Dissatisfied with the muted washes of color at the bottom of the composition, I took out a #8 Silver Black Velvet Script Brush, and began noodling with foliage leaves and twigs, then later with rock granulations, cracks and fissures. I got lost in the details as Cindy and Gary continued to film and ask questions about my art. They have really gotten me excited about this new project and I cannot wait till the next time we are together.

Meanwhile, I’m happy to travel and visit family for the holidays, re-live memories, and create new ones. I wish the same for all of you as well. Please be safe and happy this Thanksgiving. Life is such a gift and we have much to reflect on with deep gratitude.

 

Thanks for reading . . . Shultz reduced

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

 

Read, Write or Paint?

November 24, 2019

Winfield angle

Winfield, Missouri, signed & numbered limited edition 13h x 11w” $60

The minute I began to write I felt a tension between reading and writing that, instead of abating, has grown more intense with the shortening of my life’s horizon. I’m now in my sixties, which means that I’m looking at a maximum of about thirty more years of life. Which should I do? Read, or write?

Larry McMurtry, Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen: Reflections at Sixty and Beyond

As an avid reader, I plough through stacks of books every year, and some of them deserve re-visiting. This volume by Larry McMurtry I read quickly a couple of months back, and have packed it on my trips ever since. I just keep going back to his words. And the ones posted above definitely resonate with me, because my life at sixty-five is always torn between reading, writing, thinking, journaling, drawing, watercoloring. When I’m doing one of those activities, my mind continually drifts to the others. My artist friends tell me I have Attention Deficit Disorder and they are probably right. But I found great relief when reading Water Isaacson’s recent biography on Leonardo da Vinci, because that wonderful Renaissance spirit was also distracted throughout his life. I find him good company.

The painting above I have attempted on four different occasions. Two of the paintings have been made into signed & numbered editions. I took pictures of this abandoned store in Winfield, Missouri, a small Mississippi River town north of St. Louis on Highway 79. It was summer 2009. The sun had just risen, and I pulled my Jeep over and took a number of photos from different angles. This proved to be one of the best unscheduled stops in my artist life.

A few years ago, a woman called me on the phone who had seen my work on the Internet. She told me fascinating stories of this place which had been formerly owned and managed by her grandmother. Adjacent to the store was an old service station whose owner kept a German Shepherd in his business. Patrons would put a 50-cent piece in the dog’s mouth, and he would trot to the store next door, rise on his hind legs and drop the coin on the counter. The grandmother would turn around, take down a can of dog food from the shelf and place it in the dog’s mouth. The happy Shepherd would then carry his booty back to the service station where the owner would open it and dump it in the dog’s bowl.

The Larry McMurtry book quoted above laments that story telling has largely disappeared from our culture today. I sadly agree, and will always be grateful to the lady caller who passed this delightful story on to me, putting genuine emotion into my painting.

Thanks for reading.

Shultz reduced

 

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

 

 

Sunday Morning Bliss

November 24, 2019

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Beginning of an Evergreen Snowscape, 14h x 16w” watercolor

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Psalm 1:1-4 (King James Version)

Decades ago, while serving in the Protestant pastoral ministry, this passage took deep root within me, and the words I still recite by heart, though my application of the message is not the same as orthodox churchmen would generally apply. While working on this snow scene in The Gallery at Redlands this quiet Sunday morning, these words come back to me, and I feel the impulse to unpack them the way they speak to me in recent years:

This is how I paraphrase–Serene is the one who doesn’t waste time listening to cable news or responding to social media chatter. His serenity resides in the beauty of an artful world, and in that splendor, s/he meditates day and night. And this one will be like a tree planted beside still waters, sending roots down deep. The quiet one’s works will flourish. As for the social media obsessives–they are driven by winds of social change, with no root and no fruit. Their days shall be spastic and their joys fleeting.

This morning, I am grateful for life, for strength, and the ability to respond to beautiful sights surrounding me and quality thoughts penetrating my consciousness. Soon, Cindy and Gary will arrive and I am so looking forward to spending a couple of days with them, working on this film documentary.

Thanks for reading.

Shultz reduced

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Re-visiting Heidegger’s Hut Memories

November 23, 2019

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Painting an Old Doorknob in the Old Store

You can have the technique and can paint the object, but that doesn’t mean you get down to the juice of it all. It’s what’s inside you, the way you translate the object–and that’s pure emotion.

Andrew Wyeth

The technique learned without a purpose is a formula which when used, knocks the life out of any ideas to which it is applied.

There are always a few who get at and feel the undercurrent, and these simply use the surface appearances selecting them and using them as tools to express the undercurrent, the real life.

Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

A Saturday of painting in The Gallery at Redlands has been soothing to me as I inch closer to Thanksgiving.  Tomorrow, my friends Cindy and Gary arrive for a couple of days of filming. I am so grateful for their offer to make this documentary of the projects I’ve been pursuing.

Between paintings I have also re-visited journals from my recent past. Soon, I hope to return to my favorite retreat, an old store that friends have given me access for lodging. I call it Heidegger’s Hut in memory of Martin Heidegger’s cabin retreat that he had built in 1927 in the Black Forest mountains. In that remote location, he wrote all his famous works. I have told many friends that my best work has been done in this old store, nearly three hours outside of Arlington. The doorknob shown above and below separates the store from the residence, and I spent the winter of 2016 painting it while seated next to a heater in the main store area.

Feeding off the quotes above from Wyeth and Henri, I tried to forget technique while focusing on the doorknob and figuring out exactly how I wanted to get it on the paper. I sat in the darkened storeroom with one desk lamp trained on the doorknob and a second one beside my chair, lighting the stretched paper on my lap. I spent much more time staring at my subject than actually drawing and painting. Most of my work was done between 1 a.m. and daybreak, and the sweet solitude of that winter darkness I will never forget. The time spent there was truly a gift.

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crockett

“Beyond the Door” watercolor 20.5h x 17.5w” frame size $800

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Heideggers Hut darkened

Painting of Myself in the Store, Painting the Doorknob

19h x 22w” frame size  $900

Signed & Numbered Edition 11.5h x 14.5w” $100

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Relaxing on the Veranda after Painting

Three months after the painting of the old doorknob, the owners of the store opened The Gallery at Redlands, and now I spend most of my open calendar days working out of the gallery.

The Redlands Hotel has released their menu for their Thanksgiving Eve Feast in the Queen St Grille. This special event will be Wednesday, November 27, 5-10 pm.

Rotisserie Turkey Breast    $25

Side Salad w/ choice of dressing

Dressing, Giblet Gravy

Home Style Mac & Cheese

Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes

Green Bean Casserole

Buttered White Corn

Sweet Rolls & Cranberry Sauce

 

Choice of Desserts:

Pecan Pie Cobbler

Pumpkin Cheesecake

For anyone wishing to celebrate Thanksgiving early, Palestine has this special treat waiting for you.

Thanks for reading.

Shultz reduced

 

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

 

Tell Me Where the Road Is

November 23, 2019

Can anybody tell me where the road is? I’m just trying to find my way back home.

Guy Davis, Blues musician

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“Tell Me Where the Road Is” watercolor 26.5h x 24w” frame size. $500

17h x 14w” unframed signed & numbered edition, $70

The holiday season has finally arrived and my blood stirs with every thought. Descending the stairs this morning into the lobby of the Redlands Hotel, decked out in Christmas attire, I felt like a small boy again, holding hands with Mom and Dad while walking St. Louis sidewalks on frigid nights and looking in department store windows. The thought made my heart quiver, and I am thankful for many, many realities including my parents both still being alive. Thanksgiving cannot arrive soon enough, sitting around a table with those I love, talking and laughing in gratitude for all the good that has come in our many years together.

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Lobby of The Redlands Hotel, Palestine, Texas

Ten more suites are booked for tonight. The Polar Express brings 65,000 people to Palestine these final weeks of the year. Already the lobby is stirring with the exclamations of first-time guests, unprepared for what their eyes see. Last night it was my pleasure to escort a couple to their room on the fourth floor and I’ll never forget the expressions on their faces when they saw their lovely suite all decorated for Christmas. What a wonderful season.

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The Gallery at Redlands

I will never stop being grateful for being provided such a lovely space to make and display my art. I worked on the Union Pacific Big Boy watercolor at the drafting table till late last night, and am confident I’ll finish it later today.

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Union Pacific Big Boy #4014

The holiday travels just around the corner drove me to return to my reading of Homer’s Odyssey. Because of my work on the series I’ve titled “Turvey’s Corner 63050”, I have experienced many hours in recent weeks re-visiting memories and visions from childhood. Working on the watercolors and stories of that subject fill me with a depth of feeling I cannot describe adequately. While translating the Odyssey (I will never cease giving thanks to the seminary for teaching me Greek) and lingering over those ancient words, I feel such a profound connection to Odysseus navigating over that vast sea. Seafaring tales have always tugged at my heart, though I have been landbound in these United States throughout my life. My ship has always been a vehicle, and in recent years my aged Jeep has taken me over the broad seas of the rolling American landscape, my compass following a paved highway whining beneath my tires. The various islands and adventures of Odysseus have been the small towns and communities where I have moored for a temporary stay while finding my way back home.

I didn’t know until translating Homer that our word “nostalgia” comes from a Greek compound, nostos meaning return and algos meaning pain, metaphorically a pain of mind. Noun and verb forms of “return” occur 245 times in Homer’s writings, and “pain” occurs seventy-nine. Odysseus endured constant pain as he navigated the return to his roots. I know the comingled pain and comfort I feel as I recall scenes from my past and seek a return for better understanding. I consider this to be one of the finest gifts of being human and visited by memory.

I am aware that not everybody sees value in revisiting the past. In fact, Homer’s Odyssey, to many if not most, is an overrated piece of literature. Robert Fagles wrote that “one ancient critic, the author of the treatise On the Sublime, thought that the Odyssey was the product of Homer’s old age, of “a mind in decline; it was a work that could be compared to the setting sun–the size remained, without the force.” I cannot agree to this. Throughout my life, memory has been my most sacred possession, though it is probably more accurate to say it has possessed me. Either way, I am thankful to have life still in me to devote this quest to find my way back home.

I hope you will visit my new website, davidtrippart.com

Thanks for reading, and I wish you the warmest of Thanksgivings.

Shultz reduced

 

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Nearing Closure on the Big Boy

November 22, 2019

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Painting in the Gallery at Redlands this Weekend

Thanksgiving Greetings from Palestine, Texas! Entering the Gallery at Redlands this afternoon provided me quiet and space to work further on the Union Pacific Big Boy that visited us a couple of weeks ago. I really feel that I will bring this to a close tomorrow, then move on to my next adventure. Most of my attention recently has been given to adding weight to the locomotive. In my earlier attempts I had managed to create a train that looked more like a plastic water bottle. I feel that the machine is finally looking like a legitimate iron horse.

My friends Cindy and Gary will join me Sunday and Monday to resume work on the film documentary they are putting together to publish my work. I wanted to get down here early and get back into the rhythm of painting and planning for this media endeavor. I am happy that Kevin Harris from Smooth Rock 93.5 will also work with us in the future, providing voice overs for the film. Planning for this project has been going on for a number of months now, and I feel that momentum is nearly ready to kick in.

The Thanksgiving holidays are nearly here. I finished all my college grading yesterday and have only finals to anticipate in these closing weeks. I wanted to take this moment and wish all of you a most blessed Thanksgiving season, and for those of you who travel, please be safe.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

 

 

Railroad Memories

November 21, 2019

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Union Pacific “Big Boy” #4014

. . . when I hear the iron horse make the hills echo with his snort like thunder shaking the earth with his feet, and breathing fire and smoke from his nostrils, (what kind of winged horse or fiery dragon they will put into the new Mythology I don’t know,) it seems as if the earth had got a race now worthy to inhabit it.

. . .

The stabler of the iron horse was up early this winter morning by the light of the stars amid the mountains, to fodder and harness his steed. 

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Memories of my freshman year in college still visit me. Five hours from my parents who had nurtured me every day ruptured my routine, making sleep alone in the dorm difficult. Wakened on winter mornings before daylight at the distant sounds of a freight train whistle filled me with a sense of melancholy and homesickness. And at the same time, I felt some kind of unusual comfort. I believe it was because the railroad had fascinated me since early childhood, and hearing it on a solitary college morning provided some kind of continuity to my life. I don’t know.

Spending many nights in The Redlands Hotel in Palestine provides the same continuity. The hotel and gallery are two blocks from the Union Pacific railyard, and those constant sounds of the railroad accompany me during my stays down there. And I am still moved deeply when I experience those sights and sounds.

Two weeks ago, the Union Pacific Big Boy visited Palestine for an overnight stay. I’ll never forget the tremors I felt in the ground as that massive locomotive drew nearer to where I stood. The blast of the whistle and the smoke belching out of the stack made me tremble. At the time of this writing, I am in the midst of my first painting of that behemoth, still feeling the exhilaration of watching it steam and shudder in the predawn of the morning of its departure. I hope to finish the painting in the gallery this weekend, then move on to my next.

In recent years, I have created a number of watercolors of trains, and several of them are available in signed & numbered limited editions. You can seem them at my new website, in the “Trains” chapter: davidtrippart.com.

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.

 

Rolling in the Painting

November 18, 2019

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My newest 5 x 7″ Christmas Card–$5

And a pleasant Good Monday Morning to all of you from The Gallery at Redlands! I awoke with a rush of excitement to get back into the UP Big Boy lococmotive watercolor I’ve been building over the weekend. When I entered the gallery to see what was on the drafting table, I wasn’t completely satisfied with its overall look from a distance. So now, over coffee, I plan to spend some time contemplating it to figure out exactly what to do next. Hopefully I can post the image later in the day.

I stayed close to the watercolor all day yesterday, with an extremely narrow focus on detail. Now, I believe, the time has arrived to pull out the journal and begin recording corrective notes as I determine how to complete the overall composition of the piece. I have lost so many paintings over the years by working closely on them for hours and not stopping to view from a distance and make critical finishing decisions.

I love crawling into a painting and rolling around in it the way a dog does in the grass at the park. I recently walked my favorite dog in a Lubbock park near the overflowing playas. In the distance, I saw him rolling, rolling, rolling with great glee in one spot. He was oblivious as I called out to him, and continued tumbling. Once I got to where he was, I saw what held his attention–a rotting carp from the playa. He was rolling all over it, covering himself with decay. Yum. I made sure I walked back to the house upwind from him before stuffing him into the shower.

All this to say that I need to back away from rolling all over this painting to keep from suffocating it and ending up with a corpse. As I’ve written before, I don’t suffer much anxiety over losing a painting, but in this case, I like the way it started, and would like for it to end just as well.

More later. 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.

Musings While Painting the Big Boy

November 17, 2019

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Union Pacific “Big Boy” #4014 Steaming into Palestine

The Gallery at Redlands was busier than usual last evening as some of the Polar Express riders passed through the hotel before and after their evening run. Some dear friends, Patti and Tim, gave me a drafting table they were not using, and I moved it into view of our gallery window. This seemed to offer an open invitation for restaurant, bar and hotel guests, along with the Polar Express passengers, to step into the gallery for viewing and conversation. I have never minded an audience while trying to make art.

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View of the Gallery at Redlands from the Lobby

This delicious Sunday morning brought my reading time a soothing visit from Emerson’s essay, “Experience”:

Into every intelligence there is a door which is never closed, through which the creator passes.

I recall an old proverb that promised “when the student is ready, the instructor will appear.” This morning I was ready for Emerson’s instruction. After a blissful night of painting and conversing with art lovers, I awoke this morning, approached the painting, and felt unprepared, flat, clueless. The surge of creativity ebbs and flows, I know from experience. But this morning, impatiently, I wanted to do something creative, yet as I looked over the painting, I had no clue what to approach next. So, I wisely set it aside, poured a second cup of coffee, went back upstairs and sat in a comfy chair to read in the soothing morning sunlight streaming through the window around and through the Christmas tree.

Emerson is the sage who never lets me down when I need a positive word of assurance. I love the opening of “Experience” as he described exactly where I was at the moment:

We wake and find ourselves on a stair; there are stairs below us, which we seem to have ascended; there are stairs above us, many a one, which go upward and out of sight. But the Genius which, according to the old belief, stands at the door by which we enter, and gives us the lethe to drink, that we may tell no tales, mixed the cup too strongly, and we cannot shake off the lethargy now at noonday.

After reading about six more pages into the essay, I felt the scales falling from my mind’s eye, and though upstairs, I could now “see” the train composition, and knew exactly what I wanted to do next. I couldn’t descend the stairs to the gallery quickly enough.

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I laid in the handrails on the left side of the locomotive to set it off against the rose-colored horizon, and then stopped long enough to draft today’s blog. I now know what to pursue next, but thought I would pause long enough to share some of the new experiments I attempted last night as I pushed out this painting. I’m glad that I abandoned the fear long ago of losing a painting and regret the myriad of “stale” pictures I cranked out in years past, following the same old tactics. Each watercolor now is an invitation to adventure as I push at the boundaries to see what is on the other side.

After using a toothbrush to spatter liquid masque from the Richeson Mediums Shiva Series, I used a spritz bottle to moisten the paper and flood the upper extremities with Paynes Gray and mixtures of Winsor Blue and Cerulean. The rosy horizon is a mixture of Quinachridone Red and Permanent Rose. Most of my smoke and steam effects, so far, has been manipulated with the use of a ragged brush I modified with an Xacto knife (I call it the “ugly brush”) and Q-tips. I am at the edge of my technical knowledge here–I prefer the white of my paintings to be the naked watercolor paper, not white gouache. I keep thinking that I could swirl white gouache over the darker areas and create whisps of smoke and steam, but I prefer to remain transparent with my use of watercolor. In my old days of acrylic on canvas, I learned many ways to create steam and smoke with white over dark paint, and would like to try and find a way to create the atmospheric effects, using the white paper instead of overlaying white paint. We’ll see how that all works out.

I’m still trying to solve the problem of the amber glow of the headlamp caught in the swirling steam in front of the train. I’m not sure how to do that yet, but the painting is still in its early stages. And at this point, I am finding it a great pleasure, exploring all these problems and possibilities.

Time to get back to the painting. Thank you for reading, and I hope you will check out my new website davidtrippart.com, still under construction but visibile already online.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.