Posts Tagged ‘Kennedale’

Preparing for my First Festival of 2016

April 14, 2016

Still in a basic sense art cannot be taught, and we do not try to. Yet paradoxically it can be learned, in the beginning from other artists, and then from oneself.

Robert Motherwell




Tomorrow I travel to Kennedale, Texas to participate in my first art festival of 2016. I always look forward to setting up in this pretty municipal park. The venue is a small one, but I’ve had a good following of local patrons in the past, and hopefully I can enjoy the same this time around. I have selected eight watercolors to display from my Laguna Madre experience, and this will be the first time they have been shown in my locale.

I’m bone tired as I’ve spent nearly every night of this past week getting my booth furnishings and inventory in order. But I’m glad not to have fallen behind on the details.

Thanks for reading and I hope I’ll get a chance to post during the festival hours.


Watercoloring Indoors While the Thunderstorms Roll Through

May 12, 2014
Completed Watercolor of the Kennedale, Texas Clock Tower

Completed Watercolor of the Kennedale, Texas Clock Tower

The thunderstorms kept me indoors all afternoon and evening, which was a good thing.  I needed to complete this watercolor so I could return to other obligations beginning to pile up from neglect.  I’m happy with the way the process developed.  There were a few surprises along the way, but I felt that I was able to meet all obstacles and still finish early enough to get a decent night’s sleep, for a change.

Thanks for reading.  I’ll try to post more tomorrow.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Days Immersed in the Arts are Better than Days Without Them

May 12, 2014
Work in Progress on a Small Clock Tower

Work in Progress on a Small Clock Tower

The arts open up a dimension of reality which is otherwise hidden, and they open up our own being for receiving this reality. . . . Only the arts can do this: science, philosophy, moral action and religious devotion cannot.  The artists bring to our senses, and through them to our whole being, something of the depth of our world and of ourselves, something of the mystery of being.”

Paul Tillich, Address given before the National Conference of Church Architects

I have been making studies of this beautiful clock tower in a small park near where I live.  Several years ago, I designed a masthead of this image for an art festival poster.  Now it is time to attempt a real watercolor of the subject.  The setting is Kennedale, Texas where I have enjoyed their Annual Art in the Park for about five years now.  The park is beautifully landscaped and offers a perfect setting for an art venue.’  My booth has always been set up just beneath this clock tower, and I have spent many hours during three-day festival weekends admiring its verticality and sleek lines.  I have also enjoyed gazing at the rose bushes planted beneath.

Though I haven’t posted for awhile, I have been working on a series of watercolors almost nightly.  So far, the paintings are not really far enough along to photograph.  I’m a poor photographer and my pencil renderings that start out the compositions don’t pick up well when I try to post them digitally.  But I have two large watercolors in progress that I will be putting on the blog as soon as they have suffiicent color to make the subjects recognizable.  Both are paintings of local landmarks.

I posted the Paul Tillich quote because I just finished my second day lecturing on his life and work in my high school Philosophy class.  I also enjoy introducing him to twentieth-century art interpretations in my Art History classes because of his insightful remarks about the visual arts.  My soul resonates with his comments on the way art opens up avenues to us not as accessible through other academic disciplines.  Throughout this year, a circle of students have demonstrated this to me weekly as they’ve gathered to discuss art, literature and the vitalities of life.  I am most fortunate to be included in these weekly conversations.

This is an excellent afternoon for painting–outside the Texas skies are very dark and the thunderstorms are rather violent.  I’m glad to be sheltered, and the sounds of the rolling thunder are soothing to me as I pore over this watercolor project.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.



A Quick, 5 x 7″ Watercolor Sketch of a Vintage Fishing Lure

March 31, 2013
5 x 7" Watercolor Sketch of Bomber

5 x 7″ Watercolor Sketch of Bomber

As I come to the close of a satisfying Easter holiday, I reflect on the festive atmosphere I was invited to share with some beautiful friends in north Arlington.  Marvelous friendships were formed, thanks to a remarkable student I was privileged to have in my class back in 1989, my second year of teaching.  How fulfilling to see her again, with her family, her parents, and a large circle of friends and colleagues.

Before returning to school in the morning, I wanted to try and finish this 5 x 7″ sketch I started this morning in the Cave before attending the north Arlington Easter brunch.

I like the watercolor effect of these vintage lures better on a dark background.  Until now, I had always placed them on a white field.  I think in the days ahead (before next weekend’s Art in the Park festival I may try a few more of these smaller watercolor compositions.

Thanks for reading.

I Would Rather Be Fly Fishing

April 5, 2012

I Would Rather Be Fly Fishing

Again, I admit a blog hiatus.  After last weekend’s three-day art festival, I was exhausted, returning to school at 7:35 the next morning, still ill from the allergy symptoms suffered last week, and totally run-down. I’ve spent most of this week in school and in bed, with little in between.

Two days ago, tornadoes destroyed over 400 homes in my city, coming within 1/4 mile of my house.  Surrounded by destruction, and looking at the faces of many of my students who have lost their homes, I’m devastated at this turn of fortune.  There is no describing the loss that I see all around me now.  There is so much pain.

I think I have finished this watercolor sketch that I began while in my booth at the last festival (Kennedale’s Art in the Park).  While my Art I students are finishing an assignment before sailing into the three-day weekend, I’ve been at my desk fiddling with it.  I changed the color of my shirt in order to make me stick out a little more.  Also I darkened and salted the water more for contrast and drybrushed lightly more weeds about my feet and landing net.  More tree foliage needed to be drybrushed as well.  I think I have done about all I can.  The setting of this sketch is Troublesome Creek, northwest of Denver, and east of the town of Kremmling.  The creek flows into the Colorado River.  Trophy trout cruise those waters, and I have pulled out dozens of them–rainbows, brookies, cutthroats and browns.  I even hit a grandslam the last time I visited there (all four species caught in the same day).

Soon, I hope to pursue a series of watercolors on the fly fishing theme.  I have dozens and dozens of digital photos on file that I have taken over the years during my own excursions to Colorado, north Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas in search of trout.  I am looking over a museum catalog I purchased on Winslow Homer’s fly fishing watercolors.  I attended that show when it came to Fort Worth’s Amon Carter Museum, and saw another major retrospective of his watercolors at the Art Institute of Chicago a few years ago.  I need to  devote more time to studying his techniques.

I miss Colorado so much that I ache.  It has been two summers since I last enjoyed those mountain streams and the thrill of painting the front range.  I wish to God I could get there this summer, but I’ll have to wait and see.

Tomorrow I will visit Malakoff, Texas for the first time and experiment with some plein air painting.  I am thrilled to have been invited to teach a two-day workshop there next Thursday and Friday.  I’m going there tomorrow to “scout” the town so I can know in advance what kind of landmarks my workshop participants can sketch in watercolor.  I really hope to meet some of the participants tomorrow when I get there.

Though I have been under the weather for a considerable time (and doing very little blogging) I have been immersed in the writings of Paul Gauguin (The Writings of a Savage).  I don’t have the itch to go to Tahiti, but I would love to adopt his “savage” lifestyle in the mountains of Colorado, if only I could go there for awhile.  I have no foolish ideas about living off the land and the trout I catch–I would be satisfied with canned goods.  But I would love to study the color and light there, the mountains, rock formations, streams and Aspens.  I really need to find new directions in my work.  I hate it when I feel that I am doing “hack” work, whipping out watercolors for the trade.  I’m only happy when I’m a student of this craft, always learning new things.

Thanks for reading.


Final Day of Kennedale’s Art in the Park

April 1, 2012

Kennedale final day of festival

The Texas sun is brutal today.  I’ll be glad when this show finally closes at 5:00.  I regret that my 7:35 class in the morning will be coming on early and fast.

This festival has been slower than others.  It has provided quality, quiet, isolated time for me to kick out a pair of watercolor sketches, posted yesterday.  I have also taken advantage of reading time.  In our A. P. Art History class, we are working through the 19th century.  I have been captivated for years by the work and the  mind of Eugene Delacroix, a Romantic painter from France.  During this festival, I have opened and read for the first time from his Journal, and have been amazed at his observations.

On April 13, 1853, he recorded this:  One always has to spoil a picture a little bit, in order to finish it.  The last touches, which are given to bring about harmony among the parts, take away from the freshness.  In order to appear before the public one has to cut away all the happy negligences which are the passion of the artist.

I have wrestled with that reality my entire artistic life.  I could not begin to count the number of my watercolors that, to me, were better while in progress than when completed and signed.  The vignette look, with all the empty space surrounding the composition, is something I lifted from the Andrew Wyeth drybrush renderings that I admired since I was a dreamy high school student.  Yet, I have to force myself to stop before I get to the perimeter of my compositions.  I still have not mustered the courage to pause, reflect, evaluate over the days, then just sigh, and say: “I’m calling this one finished.”

I’m looking forward to gleaning more from Delacroix.

Thanks for reading.

Troublesome Creek Fly Fishing–2nd Watercolor Attempt

March 31, 2012

Troublesome Creek Fly Fishing, #2

I am nearing the end of day two of Art in the Park.  The sun just dropped  beneath the horizon, so I can no longer tinker with this watercolor.  But I am more enthused with the way it’s developing than the first that I did earlier today.  I am enjoying the effects of the salt in the water and foliage, and I like how the masquepen worked on the tree limbs and trunks.  I would have liked to have devoted more time to the fly fisherman, but, as I said, it’s darkened now, and I dare not try to watercolor under dim evening light.

I’m exhausted by two consecutive weekend festivals.  I supposed I’ve gotten too old to keep up the pace.  My allergies are a little better, but I’m still not at 100%.  But it feels good to be fiddling with watercolor again, and I do enjoy the festival atmosphere.  Tomorrow we’ll close at 5:00.

Thanks always for reading.

Saturday at Art in the Park, Kennedale, Texas

March 31, 2012

Troublesome Creek Fly Fishing

Today is Saturday at Kennedale Texas.  I’m participating in Art in the Park.  The weather is absolutely beautiful, but the attendance is quite thin, so I have plenty of time to do watercolor in the booth.  I started and finished this one today, and if the crowds don’t pick up soon, it looks as though I’ll start (and perhaps finish) a second piece.  I worked from a photo that my guide shot of me angling a 24″ Cutthroat Trout at Troublesome Creek in Kremmling, Colorado, northwest of Denver.

The sun is so bright outside that I can barely see this image on my laptop.  If I find out later that it is badly reproduced, I’ll clean it up and re-post it.  I use Photoshop to sharpen my photos, but honestly, I cannot see anything in this bright light today.

Besides watercoloring, I am reading with great delight the Journals of the Romantic painter Eugene Delacroix.  The man’s mind (as well as his paintbrush) excites me to no end.  He has made me feel like such a featherweight in my journal endeavors over the past few decades.  I am determined to find a way to discuss my theories on watercolor with the exactitude that he did with his oils.  For sure, I do not travel the exotic lands that he did, but still I am enough of a road trip warrior that I can surely penetrate these odyssey experiments better with the written word, and with a watercolor block and camera in hand.  I can’t wait for the summer season to come around so I can see about putting some of this to work.

Thanks for reading.  I think I’ll start another fly fishing watercolor sketch.

Thanks for reading.

Blogging Live from Kennedale, Texas–Art in the Park

March 30, 2012

Art in the Park, Kennedale, Texas

I send you greetings, live (yes, live) from Art in the Park, Kennedale, Texas.  Happily I have wireless access, compliments of the nearby public library.  And they assured the artists that the access would be in place until after closing time every night of the festival.  It’s wonderful, being able for the first time to blog live from my booth.  It was a humid day for set-up, and I soaked two sets of clothes.  But I am cool and dry now, the festival gates have opened, and I’m just waiting for patrons.

The art scene is heating up.  I have fifteen framed watercolors hanging in DeSoto City Hall as of yesterday.  They will remain on view through the month of April.  I have another exhibition coming up at Arlington Museum of Art, with the artists reception on April 20.  Today begins a three-day festival (I”m still tired from the three-day festival last weekend).  We will close tonight, and it is my earnest intention to get a full night’s rest.  I’m still puny from the allergy sickness that has dragged me down all last week.  Perhaps tomorrow I’ll have enough in me to begin a watercolor on site.  It’s been a week.

Thanks for reading.

The Next Art Festival

March 28, 2012

Tripp Watercoloring at Festival

At the time of this writing, I am still very sick and debilitated by allergies.  But I have little room to stop (though I have slept a total of 20 hours during the last two sleep cycles).  I still need sleep.

Tomorrow (Thursday) I will be taking fifteen framed watercolors to DeSoto City Hall for an exhibition to last through the month of April.  Day-after-tomorrow, I load in for the Art in the Park Festival at Kennedale, Texas which will last three days.  Right now, I groan at the fact of raising my 10 x 10′ tent!  “But maybe in 48 hours I’ll be up to the task.

I will lead a two-day plein air watercolor workshop in Malakoff, Texas on April 12-13.  The watercolor society there seems to be a very active, aggressive bunch, and I cannot wait to meet them.

On April 20, I will be at the Artist’s Reception for the 5 x 5 Exhibit at the Arlington Museum of Art.  This will be my first time featured in an art museum show.

On April 21, my band has a gig at J. Gilligan’s in Arlington for a benefit.  So, we have to schedule some rehearsals to be ready for that as well.

My dance card is really filling up!  I have such a desire to return to the studio to pursue watercolor, but I am so sick right now, that all I want to do is crawl into bed.  And yet, at the time of this writing, I’m not even halfway through the school day.  Bummer.