Posts Tagged ‘Levitt Pavilion’

Sedentary in Mind Only?

May 20, 2015
Preparations for a Three-Day Art Festival

Preparations for a Three-Day Art Festival

I envy [painters] because there is so much physical satisfaction in the actual work of painting and sculpture. I’m a physical being and resent this sedentary business of sitting at one’s desk and moving only one’s wrist. I pace, I speak my poems, I get very kinetic when I’m working. . . . When I insist on poetry as a kind of action, I’m thinking very much in these terms–every achieved metaphor in a poem is a gesture of sorts, the equivalent of slashing of a stroke on canvas.

Stanley Kunitz

I loved reading this interview given by poet Stanley Kunitz. He lived in Greenwich Village, and later in Provincetown, enjoying close relationships with Abstract Expressionist painters including Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko and Willem DeKooning. I understand his disjunctive between the sedentary posture of a desk-bound poet and the action painter standing before a mural-size canvas. I knew the action painting posture in my former years. But as a watercolorist, I feel more sedentary and reflective, and certainly don’t burn calories when I’m in the midst of my work.

However, tonight I have been everything but sedentary. There is a three-day festival approaching: Centerstage Festival at the Levitt Performing Arts Pavilion in central Arlington, Texas. I will have to rise early on Friday morning to begin the load-in for the show. Tonight I decided to get out in front of it, instead of waiting for the deadline to bite me on the butt tomorrow evening. I have been working out of three rooms (that explains the burning of calories): printing in one, matting and sleeving in another, organizing and loading in another. This time I have taken an oath not to leave my house with that trashed-out look when I drive away for the festival. So, I’ve had to work harder to keep from tossing discarded items into corners and empty spaces on the floors.

Though I’ve experienced an evening brimming with physical energy, I have every reason to believe that the sedentary will return. Texas has been soggy, slushy, muddy, moldy and swampy with rain for weeks, and the forecast calls for this to continue daily through next Monday. In prior years, this would draw an explosion of profanity from me. Not this time. I have seen more than my fair share of this in Texas. I need to be glad to have a good, sound, waterproof tent. The festival will be on paved streets, not in swampy, grassy parks. I have added a back “porch” to my tent. So, if the rains descend, as forecasted, I will enjoy a thermos of coffee and a stack of books with my journal. If storms chase away all the patrons, as in festivals past, I’ll have three days to reflect, write, and plan for the exciting weeks that lie immediately ahead. I know solitude, and how to appreciate it when it is offered as a gift. And sedentary sounds like a good thing.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Sailing to Byzantium

May 25, 2014

Maypearl Bank

That is no country for old men. The young

In one another’s arms, birds in the trees

—Those dying generations—at their song,

The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,

Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long

Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.

Caught in that sensual music all neglect

Monuments of unageing intellect.

William Butler Yeats, “Sailing to Byzantium”

I am following up the broad lacuna of my blog by acknowledging another grueling week of school (only two weeks left now), followed by a three-day art festival.  I have been watercoloring consistently, but without time or computer access for posting.  My art work is in Booth #11 at the Downtown Arlington Levitt Pavilion Music Festival.  We set up on Friday, opened that afternoon, then I rose early Saturday and drove forty minutes south to the quaint little town of Maypearl, Texas, where I twice painted the Dr. Pepper billboard on the side of an aging hardware store.

This time I looked across the street at what used to be the bank in downtown Maypearl, and devoted my morning hours to cranking out this watercolor en plein air.  I was forced to stop at 1:00 and returnn to Arlington in order to shower, re-pack and get to my festival booth by opening time at 4:00.

As I painted, I thought of these words from the W. B. Yeats poem, and the reality of loss that comes with time passing.  Though it was Saturday, hardly anyone stirred on Main Street in this town as I whiled away the hours painting.  It could just as well have been Edward Hopper’s depression-era Early Sunday Morning.  Nevertheless, I chose to look at this bank building as one of our American “monuments of unageing intellect.”  And as I soaked in the cool breezes of the overcast day and painted the building in the gray light of a Texas morning, I thought of how time passes, yet we find ways to hold fast the memories of things that we knew as stable and dependable, much as the citizens of Maypearl did this bank.

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.


Greetings from the Levitt on Saturday Nig

May 26, 2012

Levitt Pavilion Festival Saturday

Hello from night two of the festival!  Crowds are starting to build, and the music is getting louder, so I’m going to make this quick.  I’m glad to see patrons filling the booths already.  I’m somewhat fatigued with the double-duty: Waxahachie painting by day and Arlington festival sitting by night.  The first day of the paint-out was quite good, and I sold my first painting this morning.  I’m looking even more forward to tomorrow’s activity.

Tonight, the Levitt Pavilion will feature Ray Wylie Hubbard.  The green is already packed with people in their lawn chairs and on their spread blankets.  It also appears that more art is being purchased today than yesterday.  That makes all of us happy.

Inside the Booth

I would love to see you at the Levitt tonight or tomorrow night, if you’re in the area.  Thanks always for reading.

Waxahachie, Texas Paint-Out Under Way

May 26, 2012

Waxahachie Quick Draw Ready to Commence

The “Paint Historic Waxahachie” commenced this morning at 8:30 with a Quick Draw competition.  More than twenty of us set up our easels around the Farmer’s Market south of the square on Rogers Street, and had to paint something en plein air in two hours’ time.  Then the paintings were silent auctioned until noon.  I struggled first to decide on what to paint, and then on the actual painting of it (as usual).  I ran into some trouble with my watercolor getting too wet and soggy, and I was afraid at the end of two hours that I was not going to be able to peel away the masking fluid I had used to highlight tree trunks and limbs.  But, it turned out all right.  Happily, the painting sold, so it now has a home. Here is a picture of it, still on the easel, just as I finished it.  The painting measured 16 x 12″.

Waxahachie Quick Draw complete

I’ve returned to the house to do some quick business for my festival booth tonight, and to organize and pack some food for the event.  I will be at the Arlington Levitt Pavilion from 4:30-10:30 again this evening.  Music will be brought by Ray Wylie Hubbard.  Thousands of people packed the place last night to hear Michael Martin Murphey.  We expect enormous crowds again tonight (and hopefully a substantial number of art patrons).

Thanks for reading.

Greetings from the Levitt Pavilion in Arlington!

May 25, 2012

Tripp’s Booth at the Arlington Levitt Pavilion

I’m very pleased to find Internet access here at the Levitt Pavilion festival!  It was a hot afternoon for setting up, but the booths were provided, along with some globe lighting.  They gave me permission to install my own track lighting as well, and invited me to take over the space in the booth behind me that did not rent.  So . . . I have 10 x 20 feet to work with, plenty of area space, and excellent storage in the rear.  We are set up on a street that has been closed, the asphalt is level, and the two area rugs I laid down have nicely covered all the heavy cables that were run to provide electricity from nearby generators.

I’m very pleased to bring out about a dozen watercolors that have not been made public before, along with several limited edition and special edition giclee prints.  Dozens of new greeting cards have also been processed, many of them reproductions of work I have not yet put before the public.

Tonight’s music features Michael Martin Murphey.  When he sings “Wildfire,” I’ll get chills–my band played “Wildfire” at the very first gig we ever did.  I’ll never forget that night, and what joy it brought to me (though we were scared half to death).   “Wildfire” was one of our best songs.   So . . . I’ll be looking forward to that song later tonight, and will re-live the memories with gratitude.

Festivals are fun.  I’m glad the Texas temperatures are slowly dropping, the breezes are picking up, the crowds are gathering, and I’m feeling pretty serene.  I’m looking forward to this weekend.

Thanks for reading.

Three-Day Festival Begins this Afternoon

May 25, 2012

1950 Chevrolet Delivery Sedan

I am bringing this watercolor back out into public view after a brief hiatus.  The art festival at the Levitt Pavilion in Arlington, Texas begins at 4:30 this afternoon, and will continue nightly through Sunday.  I drove my Jeep to school, fully loaded, and will leave directly for the festival grounds once I get out of school today.  I am ready and anxious  for another festival after being out of the circuit for over a month.  This weekend promises to be interesting: the ten-day Paint Historic Waxahachie officially opens Saturday morning, so I will journey to Waxahachie to take part in the two-hour “Quick Draw” competition, two blocks south of the town square at the feed store and historic railroad depots.  Around noon, I will begin my second plein air watercolor of some scenic site in that quaint town.  Then, by 4:30, I’ll be back in my Arlington booth for the second evening of the Levitt Pavilion art and music festival.  Sunday will be the same schedule.  Then, all next week, I will do school by day, and Waxahachie by afternoon-evening, creating as many plein air watercolors as possible for the competition and sale to take place on the following weekend.

The posted watercolor is of a 1950 Chevy Sedan Delivery that I found in a field north of Hillsboro, along Highway 77.  The owner proved to be a very gracious and accommodating man, inviting me onto his property to paint this vintage car along with several others he had lined up in his pasture.  I was fascinated from the beginning with the layers of color and texture all over this vehicle, as well as the way the later afternoon light was playing off the wild grasses that surrounded it.  I loved the stand of trees and fencing in the background as well.  I believe this was my first watercolor that was larger than mid-size.  It fills nearly an entire sheet of D’Arches cold-pressed 140-pound paper.  This is my fourth painting of this subject, the first three being smaller, plein air sketches made in an attempt to “get it right.”  I hope this original painting finds a good home some day.  If not, then perhaps I will custom frame it and hang it in my own space.  I do enjoy looking at it and remembering those idyllic late afternoons in that Hillsboro pasture, far away from the town.  There was a real peace and solitude in the country that I seldom find in my working lifestyle.

Thanks for reading.  If you are local, I would love to see you at the Levitt, or in Waxahachie.  It looks like we have a splendid holiday weekend approaching, for the enjoyment of the arts.


An Andy Warhol Twist to my Catholic Architectural Watercolor

May 23, 2012

Saint Ignatius Academy (red)

I just received my limited edition giclee prints of my recent watercolor of Saint Ignatius.  The printer, a Photoshop veteran, decided to have some fun with variations on my print, and this is what resulted.  I love the variations Andy Warhol did with his reproductions, and I find it amusing to know that he faithfully attended Catholic mass, (and I seem to recall that he visited his local parish frequently to pray in silence).  At any rate, I wish to post these images.  I will be bringing them into the public view during this holiday weekend at Arlington, Texas’s Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts.  They are holding their first ever art festival, in conjunction with Friday through Sunday night concerts featuring Michael Martin Murphey, Ray Wiley Hubbard and Asleep at the Wheel.  The event is 5:30-10:30 nightly, and is free to the public.  I would love to see any of you there who can make it.  I have been guaranteed a prime booth location.

Saint Ignatius Academy (yellow)

Here is the “Yellow Warhol” variation on my theme.

Saint Ignatius Academy (sepia)

. . . and the “Sepia” look gives it a nice antique, vintage appearance (perhaps my personal favorite).

Saint Ignatius Academy (orange)

. . . and finally my orange version.

Thanks for reading.