Posts Tagged ‘ocean’

Memories Arriving in Layers, Like Waves

July 19, 2014
Relaxing on the Oregon Coast among the Rocks

Relaxing on the Oregon Coast among the Rocks, July 26, 1992

The ocean is the ultimate earth mother,I mean the constant change of the tides, its relation to the moon, the sound of it rolling back and forth—it’s almost too beautiful.  And I regard being on the water during the summer as my substitute for a Parisian café, and I can sit there by the hour.  It is certainly not profound, but it’s—I enjoy it.  All artists are voyeurs, not people of action.

Robert Motherwell (interview)

Sleep did not come easily last night.  My mind continually drifted over what I had been reading in Moby Dick.  Decades ago, I scoffed that I had probably been a whaler in a former life.  The legend of Moby Dick has always resonated with me, as have thoughts about life in nineteenth-century New England, though I have never even been to the coast in that region; Concord, Massachusetts is as close as I ever got.  

When I awoke this morning, my first thoughts recalled a 1990 summer afternoon in rural Waxahachie, Texas, when I gazed across a vast field bathed in the golden glow of the afternoon sun.  I was spending the day at an annual Renaissance Festival, Scarborough Faire, and as my mind drifted, I heard the voice of a storyteller entertaining an audience of children with a seafaring tale.  He was shouting in the dialect that I was reading in those days from Herman Melville short stories, and recalling that sound today makes me think of the settings in New Bedford and Nantucket.  I felt on that afternoon in 1990 that I was being transported far back to another era, another space, and the undulating meadow before me was turning into a rolling ocean.

Growing up in the Midwest, I never even saw an ocean until I was thirty-eight years old, in 1992.  I landed in the Pacific Northwest for a five-week study in New England Transcendentalism at Oregon State University.  My plane touched down in Portland, and my rental car took me westward to the coast for that first look at the vast, sprawling Pacific.  Above, I have posted a photo taken of me on Sunday, July 26, as I relaxed for a day on the coast, reading from Emerson and Thoreau, and listening to the thunder of the tides crashing against the cliffs that enclosed me.

Throughout this Saturday, I have not shaken off these deep feelings induced by Melville and personal memories.  I pulled my volumes of journals and read all my handwritten entries from that month spent in Oregon, as well as the dawn I sat on the beach in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, six years later, translating The Iliad and reading from Thoreau’s Walden.  Today has been a day of ocean memories, and I have gladly been enveloped by an ocean of space and time–no appointments, no agenda–just reading, reflecting, recalling.

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.



David Slight paints his Third Watercolor in my Garage

March 16, 2011

Sail Away

My name is David Slight.  I am sitting in David Tripp’s “studio” as it is and continuing on my own personal water color development under Dave’s watchful eye.  Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young in one ear, on a record player no less,  and Dave Tripp’s tutelage in the other.  Bliss!!!  With the development of this talent, I am seriously considering a blog site of my own.  This is my third water color to finish under Dave’s encouragement and critique and already I am finding myself trying to experiment on my own and figure things out without having to stop him in his work to ask, “What do I do next?”  Several times during this watercolor setting he would look up and ask, “Focused?”  I am not sure I even answered.  Amazingly  I have found myself lost in this art and time essentially vanished for the afternoon.  My last question to him today was, “When do you call it finished?”  I am not sure he had an answer for me, but I am calling this one finished and already looking forward to study under David some more.

Hi!  I’m David Tripp, and I approved this ad!  I’ll be posting my stuff in due time, but wanted to encourage Dave to “send his stuff up the flagpole” and feel the thrill of blogging one’s art endeavors.

Sketching Los Angeles Palm Trees, January 22, 2011

January 22, 2011

Manhattan Beach Blvd., Los Angeles

Los Angeles Palms

I’m in the midst of a fabulous four-day conference in Los Angeles.  I’m training for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program which will be coming to my high school in 2012.  After the conclusion to today’s sessions, I took the trolley from the Sheraton Gateway Hotel near the LAX airport to Manhattan Beach, with about an hour of sun left.  After struggling with a row of storefronts, I decided to abandon the architectural sketches and see if I could generate something with a row of palm trees along the boulevard.

I was thinking of the principles of painting expounded by the 6th-century Chinese historian Xie He.  I’m not sure that I’m translating his ideas correctly, but from #1 and #3 I have come up with this idea of trying to capture the essence, of the subject under scrutiny.  I only had about ten minutes of daylight left when I began these two watercolor sketches, but I think by working quickly I was able to get more quality onto the page than I did with my first palm tree attempt yesterday at poolside.  Hopefully tomorrow I can give it one more try before returning to Texas.  The attempt I found very rewarding, the sun was pleasant, and the breeze coming off the Pacific was scintillating, to say the least.

Thanks for reading.