Posts Tagged ‘Homer’

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 the Finish of a Commission

February 2, 2019

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. . . some of the words you’ll find within yourself,

the rest some daemon will inspire you to say.

Homer, The Odyssey

While taking breaks from my painting to read from Homer’s Odyssey, I was arrested by these words Athena spoke to Telemachus when he feared that, as a youth, he did not know the proper words with which to address King Nestor. The reference to the daemon reminded me of a book I still haven’t completed reading: Allan Bloom’s The Daemon Knows. In this work, Bloom quotes an obscure reference from one of Emerson’s journals, claiming that the daemon knows where the idea is going to go. Throughout the work, Bloom extols the virtues of intuition and daring to go outside the box. He argues that we don’t know if our efforts will produce a work of genius. Nevertheless, we continue to push, continue to love the work.

I find all of this refreshing when I find myself struggling with a watercolor. With the one in progress above, I have encountered countless problems that I have not been schooled to address, and I have had to remain focused on the task. So far, nothing has happened to upset me, and the patron came in to look at it today and was pleased with the direction it is taking. Her sentiments freed me considerably, so now I am working on it with much more confidence. All the same, however, I still don’t really know what it is that makes a composition “work”, and I continue to feel this concern that I will make the wrong moves and the piece will “miss.” Even at this age, I must learn to trust my instinct and push onward.

This day has been a soothing balm, reading and painting in the gallery and greeting patrons. Soon, I’ll get to listen to my radio friend, Kevin Harris, perform a solo gig here in Palestine. Afterward, I plan to return and work late in the gallery, as the Red Fire Grille stays open late on Saturday night, and sometimes a good number of patrons come into the gallery. And who knows, maybe I’ll finish this painting tonight!

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to learn.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog, reminding myself I am never alone.

 

 

Odyssean Wanderings

February 2, 2019

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Time Divided Between Painting and Reading

Why, dear child, what craziness got into your head?

Why bent on rambling over the face of the earth?

Homer, The Odyssey

Saturday morning finds me well-rested, and working in The Gallery at Redlands. My attention moves back and forth between a commissioned watercolor and the reading of Homer’s Odyssey. The reading always seems timely, as this morning I came across the passage of the elderly nurse grieving at the news that Telemachus was about to set sail to distant Sparta and Pylos in search of his father Odysseus. She wonders why he is bent on rambling.

As I am now composing my own memoir, imspired by Julia Cameron’s It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again, I acknowledge that I have always been a wanderer at heart, though I managed to hold down the same job for twenty-eight years. Still, I always had the urge to travel, and since retiring, that gift has been offered to me. Having spent a week in west Texas, I made the five-and-a-half hour drive home to spend a few days, and then found myself moving back and forth between Palestine and Arlington (two-hour drive), as I celebrated the birthday of a dear friend in Palestine, returned to Arlington to work as district Spelling Bee pronouncer for my twenty-fifth year, and then come back down to spend the rest of the weekend working in the gallery, my sacred space.

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Celebrating Ron Darr’s Birthday at the Red Fire Grille

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Gallery at Redlands with Smooth Rock 93.5 FM Broadcasting

The morning after Ron’s birthday celebration, we had fun meeting the Smooth Rock broadcasting team. Kevin and Marc welcomed my friends to the station and visited with them for a long stretch of the morning.  Driving back to Arlington, I rose early the next morning for a Spelling Bee, featuring two competitions that stretched from 8:30-3:30. When it was over, the children were exhausted as was I, and I still had a two-hour drive ahead of me, as I chose to return to The Gallery at Redlands to spend the weekend.

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Posing with One of the Champions

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Posing with a Co-Champion and his Sister who went Deep into the Competition

Outside, Palestine is dark and overcast–the perfect environment for coffee, books and painting, from my perspective. Tonight, Kevin Harris will be doing a solo acoustic gig at Bishops Barbecue. I look forward to attending that event. In the meantime, I plan to enjoy the Saturday calm in the gallery.

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.