Posts Tagged ‘David Tripp artist’

Finished Lonesome Dove Sketch

August 29, 2021
Hat Creek Cattle Company (and we still don’t rent pigs), Watercolor 11 x 14″ framed. $350

His plan had been to observe and sketch a cattle roundup for Scribner’s. But as soon as Wyeth was mounted and facing a herd, he became a cowpuncher. Outfitted from hat to stirrup, he hired on at the Gill Ranch and set out with thirty-five cowboys to “hunt and to bring together thousands of cattle scattered over a large part of the country known as the free range.”

N. C. Wyeth: A Biography

Reading the N. C. Wyeth biography along with Larry McMurtry’s four novels unfolding the Call and McCrae saga has motivated me recently to put out a group of watercolor studies of cowboys, horses, longhorns, bison, etc. This is the last one completed and now displayed in our lobby window of The Gallery at Redlands. My next adventure is to paint mules against some magnificent scenery sent to me by a teaching friend, thank you Peggy Kirkland!

And I thank the rest of you for reading.

Quick Work on a Pair

August 27, 2021
Attempting the Lonesome Dove Pairing

I cannot believe the afternoon has already arrived. It’s been a busy Friday in the Gallery at Redlands. I began this 8 x 10″ watercolor around 9:30 and have been dividing my time between Lonesome Dove and Aristotle (painting and Texas Wesleyan ethics lecture). I know this sounds nuts, but I love it everytime two seemingly disparate fields flow into one another. While waiting for portions of the watercolor to dry, I’ve been re-acquainting myself with Aristotle’s Doctrine of the Four Causes as expounded in his Physics.

Aristotle argued that all living things have formal, material, efficient and final causes embedded in them. The efficient cause refers to the energy, the urge for one to develop, to strive, to mature toward that final, complete cause. The final cause is the target, the terminus, the realm of completion. And when people ask where the final cause resides, the answer is: within you. Aristotle (later echoed by T. S. Eliot and a host of others) held that the end is already contained in the beginning. People have their own ways to interpret this, but I like to think about my own impulses to make art. From the time I was quite small, I had the urge to draw, to color, to create my world on paper. No matter what trajectory my life followed, in education, in employment, in profession, I always came back around to art, because it was in me.

Another aspect of this Aristotelian argument that appeals to me is the notion of the painting already residing in the surface, though I’m staring at a blank piece of paper. I’m not as anxious as I used to be to touch the brush or pencil to the paper, because I can already “see” what I want to do within this white rectangle. The reason I couldn’t wait to begin today’s watercolor is because I have had this image in my eye for days after countless hours spent sorting out photos and movie clips of Lonesome Dove. My only regret with this small piece is that I left no room behind the characters; I really wished to overwhelm the composition with the Llano Estacado. Maybe I’ll attempt this again later with more background available.

Thanks for reading.

New Work Commencing at Gallery at Redlands

August 27, 2021
Ready to begin new watercolor studies

Edouard Manet: “This will be my best painting yet.”

Edgar Degas: “You always say that.”

Manet: “Yes, and it’s always true.”

For any of you who have not yet viewed “The Impressionists” on DVD (a BBC production), you simply must! It is a gripping motion picture chronicling the dramatic lives of Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir and Cezanne. You will laugh and you will cry. The dialogue above always fills my head when I am confident over starting a new watercolor series. (This will be my best painting yet!) Last night I prepared three stretched watercolor papers on stretcher bars and today (Friday) I intend to get started on them. If they turn out like I hope they will, I will be blogging their progress.

Newly arranged gallery window
Some early morning reading and writing before I begin watercoloring

Thanks for reading.

Back in The Gallery at Redlands

August 26, 2021

Thursday has turned out to be transition day, from university life to gallery life. Sandi and I have now arrived in Palestine to stay till Saturday night. We reshuffled the gallery’s deck of paintings to present a new look and are proud of what we see now. Unfortunately, I’m dead tired and cannot think of painting tonight. But there is tomorrow . . . and I’m certain I’ll be blogging and reporting on a new watercolor.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday Morning Musings over the Approach of a New University Semester

August 22, 2021
Sketching & Writing Lectures with the Dogs & Coffee

Man has always been his most vexing problem. How shall he think of himself? Every affirmation which he may make about his stature, virtue, or place in the cosmos becomes involved in contradictions when fully analyzed.

Reinhold Niebuhr, The Nature and Destiny of Man

Sunday morning has begun early with quality reflections over books, scribbling and sketching in the journal, sipping coffee and nuzzling with a pair of affectionate dogs. The Palestine weekend is in the books, and I’ve spent a large part of the morning catching up in the journal, recording all the memorable details.

The Friday night Art Talk was a spectacular event. We were saddened that Wayne White could not travel from Missouri to join us due to quarantine from COVID exposure. Stacy Campbell delighted our gathering with her trademark humor and passion for the creative life that she embodies daily. And I’m sure she enjoyed the getaway after enduring the first week of school two hours away. Once the formal event was over, we all took a nightly stroll across town to our favorite shop, then returned to the Gallery at Redlands for several more hours of talk and laughter. Sandi and I miss them already.

The Saturday Art Walk was spectacular. Twenty businesses hosted artists and their displays from 10-3:00. I was not able to make the tour this time because I remained inside L&L Shoes to paint and talk to visiting patrons (and there were many!) and Sandi graciously took over the Gallery at Redlands, welcoming many people to the Walk and answering questions, providing maps, bottles of water, and all the other things she does with a pleasant smile. Most of the people entering the shoe store to see my work spoke of their time visiting with her and how much they enjoyed the gallery ambience. We are pleased to announce that this summer Art Walk experiment has been a success and the Dogwood Arts Council approved plans to make it a year-round event. Contracts yesterday were drafted and distributed for Sept-Oct-Nov-December. Stay tuned for more details!

I set up and painted in the office at the rear of L& L Shoe Store, and stayed so busy that I’m embarrassed to report I forgot to photograph the finished watercolor. I worked on it from 10-3:00, stopping only for lunch, and at quitting time barely had time to slip it into an 8 x 10″ white mat and present it to the store owners. Then I had to pack up all my gear and paintings and shuttle them back to the gallery. Maybe I’ll photograph it next weekend when I return to Palestine and then post it on the blog.

“Vaquero” has now found a new home.
“Longmire” has also found a new home.

I am also pleaesd that two of the six watercolors I worked on a week ago have already found homes. Both of the purchases were made by dear friends of mine who have always encouraged me in my new work.

Earlier this morning, I finished roughing out my inaugural lecture for tomorrow afternoon’s Ethics class at Texas Wesleyan University. I still need to finish posting my Humanities material online, so today will be quite busy with the academic details. Having been notified of these courses a few weeks ago, I still haven’t stopped long enough to catch my breath and reflect over what all this means. The Niebuhr quote above encapsulates fully what I am experiencing this quiet morning as I have stopped for the first time since being invited to teach again.

Four years ago, I retired from full-time high school teaching, and walking out of that building truly turned the page, opening a much better chapter in life. I never looked back. The full-time high school schedule was replaced by a half-time university schedule at a campus where I had already served as an adjunct for seventeen years. The comfort was there at the university–I only had a six-hour course schedule, no longer cameling the Monday-through-Friday load along with the perpetual evening and weekend nausea of trying to stay abreast of high school expectations.

Then COVID arrived and suddenly my services were no longer needed at the university. That was four semesters ago. I really thought that chapter had closed. I had no regrets; I loved the new life carved out in Palestine with a gallery to manage and eventually to own. Memories of Texas Wesleyan remained positive, with gratitude of getting to work there for nineteen years. When the invitation to return was presented a few weeks ago, I said Yes without hesitation because I always felt honored to be on that campus. But now, the day before the semester begins, I pause to reflect and wonder over the matters set forth by Niebuhr above.

The fall season is just around the corner, and I was beginning to adjust to my new identity as a gallerist as well as artist and supporter of Palestine’s monthly Art Walk (which continues to grow!). The Edom Art Festival is a little over a month away, and Sandi and I have been pondering a fall schedule of events for The Gallery at Redlands. A new chef begins work at The Queen Street Grille across the lobby from our gallery, and a number of art-related events are rolling up on the Palestine fall calendar. And suddenly I am returning to the university mix.

My passion for scholarship and the pursuit of ideas has never abated; I still read voraciously, recording the all the new insights gleaned from great minds. Though I haven’t had a public forum for all these ideas, I have nevertheless recorded them in journals and laptop files for no other reason than to feed myself. Now suddenly I am afforded an opportunity of laying out fresh bread for students, and I am thrilled at the prospects. I suppose the reason I feel a sense of pause this morning is the realization (which has always been true) that this may be my last dance. An adjunct instructor is never guaranteed a contract. I always knew that. Yet when COVID ended my university semester routine, I wasn’t prepared for that reality. I felt that I could have done a better job and would no longer have an opportunity to improve. I appreciate having another run at this, and like most teachers smile at the thought that “maybe this time I’ll get it right!” Beginning tomorrow, I am prepared to teach these two courses as though they are my last, because they may very well be. I’m grateful for this chance.

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.

Putting Down the Brush and Re-Opening the Books

August 16, 2021
Artist Cecilia Bramhall and myself experimenting in watercolor

After framing the six new watercolors I created, I found myself exhausted early yesterday evening. Sleeping in late today, I descended to the gallery a little later and found the atmosphere full of activity. Mondays are ususally slow in the hotel with the restaurant and bar closed on those days. But Cecilia was ready for a refresher course in watercolor, and I found myself in the mood quite quickly. In the middle of our exercise I was surprised by an offer from Texas Wesleyan University to teach an additonal class in Ethics. I accepted. So, come Monday I will deliver my first class lecture in several years and will open up a new online course simultaneously. Time to get back to the books, and my heart is filled with enthusiasm and gratitude for this new adventure.

I want to say a few words about the paintings that held my attention over the course of this past week that now are in the gallery for sale:

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Dream, 11 x 14 in the frame. $200

Georgia O’Keeffe once said that if she painted the Peternal enough times, God would have to give it to her. A few summers ago, we rented a casita adjacent to Ghost Ranch in Abiquu, New Mexico. The Pedernal was visibe from the front patio, and I painted it every day for a week. I modeled the painting above from a plein air watercolor I did from the interior of Ghost Ranch. The Indian flute player was added at the end of the exercise, on a lark. I thought the right side of the composition needed some weight.

Desert Odyssey in an 11 x 14″ frame. $200

This is my second attempt at a mounted vaquero modeled from a painting I did of the Fort Worth cattle drive that occurs daily in the Stockyards. I decided to transport the mount to an Arizona setting since I fell in love with the Sedona region a couple of summers ago. A few weeks ago, I was pleased at the results of some scumbling I did with a soft lead pencil as I attempted a watercolor sketch of a boulder. I tried some scumbling with a dark sepia watercolor pencil as I worked and re-worked the rock formations and ground cover in the background of this piece. I feel I have turned a corner with the use of these pencils on dried out watercolor surfaces.

Watching for the Rise. 8 x 10″ in the frame. $100

Several months ago I roughed out a few fly-fishing subjects, trying something I hadn’t done before–wetting my brush and “painting” with water the contours of the fisherman and then dropping in the pigments to watch the color flow and billow. After “fleshing” out the fisherman’s body, I then went back in and laid in a few essential details and accents.

Vaquero. Sold

This was my first attempt at recreating the vaquero from an earlier painting of the cattle drive. I wanted to experiment with a night sky and try to render a rocky horizon in something more than a mere silhouette. I still have much to learn about night colors. The most enjoyable part of working on this one was the myriad of details of all the rigging draped about the horse and rider.

Longmire Stroll. 8 x 10″ in the frame $125

This is my second attempt to render Walt Longmire from my favorite television series. Again I enjoyed looking for ways to shape and model the hat and shadows on the face. I’m still trying to figure out how to use watermedia for facial shadows beneath hats. Too many times I have revised subjects such as this until the area became overworked. I’m learning to stop much sooner and leave the simplicity of watercolor wash. While making this decision I thought of Hemingway’s philosophy of writing: “The Power of Less.”

Serene Pastureland. 8 x 10″ in the frame $125

Back in 2009 I often accompanied Sandi when she went to visit her horse to ride. I made several quick plein air watercolor sketches of grazing horses, keeping things loose. All those paintings sold years ago, but fortunately I kept photos of them. Retrieving this one from the files I decided to open up and experiment with colors I’m not accustomed to using in my work. I laid down the light green wash before painting the horse over it, so you can see the green in his legs. I also allowed some of the blue sky to show through on his body. Just experimenting with some ideas . . .

It’s past 10 p.m. now as I complet this. It’s been one of those days with many, many interruptions to my blogging attempt. But at least I finally got all of it down before retiring to bed. Tomorrow is another day and I still have much work left to do for Texas Wesleyan University. I’m glad to be back in the classroom, but will find ways to continue making the art and writing about it. Thank you always for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Saturday Morning at the Redlands

August 14, 2021
8:00 Morning Sun Capping the Sacred Heart East Tower

Used to not feel couple of years ago hardly worth it to complete the sentence and then it got so try as I might I couldn’t and it developed into something that way, see, so now in place of that I just complete the thought whatever I’ve learned, you know, like I see it complete whatever thought comes, see, instead of trying to make myself hurry back to where I should be here, and also . . .

Jack Kerouac, Visions of Cody

My Saturday morning commenced in a manner similar to the word salad from the mouth of Kerouac’s friend Neal Cassady (Cody in the book) posted above. I awoke a liltle before 7:00, and as I lay there, thoughts and images stumbled through my waking mind, a veritable cacophony of sights and sounds. As I lay there wondering, the bells of Sacred Heart across the street from the Redlands, tolled nine times for the 7:00 hour. That isn’t unusual. It tolled eight times for 7:00 a few mornings ago.

Two days ago, I blogged my surprise as I looked out the gallery window and saw workmen on a rising scaffold changing out the signs above the gallery window. The Queen Street Grille across the lobby from me will celebrate a grand re-opening with a new chef next weekend. When the new sign went up, my Gallery sign ended up inside the gallery, and we finally found a place to display it.

My goal today is to have six new watercolors framed and presented in the gallery. The fifth is well underway and I still need to make up my mind what to do for the sixth.

I finished the first vaquero last night and intend to complete the second one today.

Next Friday, August 20 at 7:00 pm, we will host our Gallery Talk with Wayne White and Stacy Campbell. More details will be released next week. We hope you’ll join us for a night of quality art discussion and plenty of laughs as well. Those two never disappoint.

Stacy and Wayne

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.

Multi-Tasking in The Gallery at Redlands

August 11, 2021

All men, by nature, desire to know.

Aristotle, Metaphysics

Warm, positive thoughts lifted me from my bed on the second floor of The Redlands Hotel this morning. Leonard Cohen’s opening words from “Anthem”:

The birds they sang
At the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don’t dwell on what has passed away
Or what is yet to be

Just the sound of that music in my head prodded me to face a new day and a new task as naturally as birds begin each morning with lively song. My online Humanities course for the coming fall semester has been on my mind daily while continuing to assemble the content. But this morning when I re-opened my files and notes, I felt I was writing a new chapter. And in fact, I am. Aristotle’s Metaphysics is reading like a brand-new text to me now, though I have ploughed through its pages for thirty years.

Currently I am dividing my time between Aristotle and the new paintings I have in progress on the drafting table. I would normally call this a conflict, but over breakfast I enjoyed a Ted Talk presentation on Youtube by Tim Harford: “A Powerful Way to Unleash Your Natural Creativity.” In the presentation, he presents his perspective on Slow-Motion Multi-Tasking, with intriguing examples from the work of Einstein, Darwin, Michael Crichton and Twyla Tharp. He convinced me that is alright to multi-task so long as I learn to slow it down and let one task help feed the other rather than conflict.

Reading, writing, composing, painting . . . and several people have already come into the gallery offering pleasant conversations. All of this is working together nicely, and I feel that the world is affirming today. We need more of that. Once I get more progress done on the paintings, I’ll post them for readers to see. In the meantime I thank you always for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.


August 10, 2021
Cropped Image from one of my larger watercolors

Years ago I created a watercolor on a full-size sheet of paper depicting the Fort Worth cattle drive that occurs twice a day in the stockyards. I awoke this morning with an idea about cropping out a vaquero in the composition to see if I could create a decent piece with just him in the shot against a Southwest backdrop.

Beginnings of a 5 x 7″ watercolor study

If I can pull off a decent 5 x 7″ study of this, then I’ll move up to an 8 x 10″ painting in hopes of creating something presentable in a frame.

Thanks for reading.

Business Opening Back up Around Gallery at Redlands

August 10, 2021
Queen Street Grille Re-Opening for Lunch Today

Queen Street Grille curtailed its activity lately with the departure of their chef a few weeks ago. Today a new cook has opened the restaurant for lunch. The evening menu is still light as we wait for a new chef to assume duties around August 20. It’s great to see more people coming into the hotel now for dining. The bar is still keeping its regular hours as well.

We have moved things around in the gallery as new art has arrived to replace the pieces recently sold. I still plan to stay on the premises at least until tomorrow. I’ve enjoyed renewing acquaintances with friends in the neighborhood I haven’t seen lately.

Planning for the “Wayne & Stacy” Show next week!

Barring a COVID roadblock, we’re scheduled for our next Gallery Talk for Friday night August 20 at 7 p.m. Wayne will travel from Bonne Terre, Missouri and Stacy will come from Bedford, Texas. Together they will share their perspectives (and humor) about the creative dynamics the artist experiences. You won’t want to miss this event in The Gallery at Redlands.

I hope later today to present some new work online as I continue my own creative pursuits. For the moment, it’s geting a little busy in the gallery so I’ll need to sign off for now . . .