Posts Tagged ‘Korean war’

My Latest Greeting Card, Honoring Dad

July 21, 2015
Watercolor of Dad's Bronze Star

Watercolor of Dad’s Bronze Star

A heart-felt thanks to those of you who have honored my dad with your personal messages. I still have two weeks before meeting him at the airport with a mailbag to present him, filled with notes from my friends honoring him for his Korean War service. He will be returning from Washington D.C. on the Freedom Honor Flight after viewing the war monument.

I’ve just completed a 5 x 7″ watercolor of Dad’s bronze star medal awarded for valor during his tour. I have framed it and wrapped it as a gift to include in the mailbag. There are greeting cards also printed with this image on the front, the inside blank for messages still pending.

If you are still interested in writing my dad, then you could send whatever you wish printed inside the card to me. He was Staff Sgt. Jerry Tripp. I cannot thank you enough for this. The outpouring of support has already been deeply stirring.

Thank you so much,


Early Morning Gleanings

July 21, 2015
Drawing and Collage

Drawing and Collage

A book should be a vein of gold ore, as the sentence is a diamond found in the sand, or a pearl fished out of the sea.

Henry David Thoreau, Journal, March 26, 1842

Good morning! It is rare for me to wake before 6:00 on a summer morning, when there is no appointment. But it seemed, as I sat in my study before the dawn light broke, that my appointment was actually with Thoreau. His journals are magnificent, his skill in writing matched only by his depth of thought. Indeed, I am mining gold every time I turn to his pages to read. I had fancied that I would give the entire morning to reading, writing and reflection, but somehow this young mind has inspired me to get to work on a task that I laid down a week ago–to make greeting cards for my father who will be honored as a Korean War veteran in a couple of weeks. (See “Tribue for my Dad, a Korean War Veteran” eleven days ago.)  Many readers have sent greetings to him which I will print on the insides of custom cards I am making. And now, I am in the mood to resume the creation of cards. Incidentally, I have posted an image at the top of a collage I created many years ago when I was making more collages and turning them into greeting cards.

More later . . . thanks for spending this part of the morning with me.

I make art in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

The Enrichment of Life Cycles

July 14, 2015
Staff Sgt. Jerry Tripp

Staff Sgt. Jerry Tripp

It is a common point from which I start; for there again and again I shall return.


All things, indeed, are subjected to a rotary motion, either gradual and partial or rapid and complete, from the planet and system to the simplest shellfish and pebbles on the beach; as if all beauty resulted from an object turning on its own axis, or others turning about it.

Henry David Thoreau, Journal, March 15, 1842

Contrary to the negative perspective of life as a vicious cycle, I argue that life naturally moves in a circle, and there is beauty in that. One of my favorite Emerson essays is “Circles.” As an artist, I am always cycling back to work I’ve done in years past, and even revisiting advice I was handed in high school by skilled and sensitive art teachers. This past week, I revisited a chronic issue I face in my personal practice–I simply do not draw enough. I have returned to the sketchbook, hoping that this time it might “take”. Sketchbook artists I have always held in the highest reverence, but the practice, I have never myself followed faithfully since high school. Picasso was always going back to his earliest sketchbooks, seeking inspiration and ideas to redo. I regret that I only possess one sketchbook from my high school years, though I used up many. Above I am posting my first attempt to draw a portrait of my dad from a photo taken around 1952 when he served in Korea. I have put out a request for friends to write tribute letters to him that I’ll transfer to custom greeting cards, and deliver August 4. My task now is to create a series of cards with pencil portraits of him on the front and the typed greetings inside from my friends. Already a good number have arrived and I have saved them all.

Back to the circle idea, my perspective of our present culture perceives people as goal-directed, setting out personal objectives and trying to meet them in a straight line. Any expression like “vicious cycle” or “spinning my wheels” is an expression of frustration when I hear it. I am not going to set out my personal biography at this juncture, but I can summarize it as a circuitous odyssey, and one that I am regretting less as I get older. The philosopher Hegel saw history, not just as a straight line, but as a circular series of movements we now label as thesis, antithesis, synthesis. The synthesis then becomes the new thesis. When I look at that model, I see history as a spiral, and though it goes in circles, it nevertheless is going somewhere. When I go back to pick up an idea from my personal past, I am not the same person that first encountered that experience, and after revisiting it, I am no longer the same person who went back to take a look.

Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth that around every circle another can be drawn; that there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning; that there is always another dawn risen on mid-noon, and under every deep a lower deep opens.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Circles”

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.