Posts Tagged ‘The Gallery at Redlands’

Morning Watch in the Gallery at Redlands

June 26, 2020
Reading Quietly before Breakfast

Waking at 4:50 on a Friday morning isn’t so bad. While lying in the darkness of the Redlands Hotel, realizing my mind was stirring and not willing to return to sleep, I decided to put in a “full” morning. By 5:30 my gear was packed (I’ll be leaving the hotel and gallery later today) and I found myself nestled in the quiet gallery, surrouded by my recent work and reading Steinbeck. I’m nearly finished with another commission and I’ll post it later today once I’ve decided to sign off on it.

My only reason for writing at this moment is the sudden change of mood I experienced while reading Cannery Row. The scene is hilarious–four bums from Cannery Row are wading in a pond after dark to catch frogs for Doc to sell to labs running tests for cancer. The entire scene gets funnier as they get closer to the moment of ambushing thousands of frogs to put in gunny sacks. But then, I read this:

. . . the frogs heard them coming. The night had been roaring with frog song and then suddenly it was silent.

My entire mood shifted profoundly and I closed the book.

When Dad was ninety years old, he talked reflectively of experiences encountered in the Korean War as though they had happened yesterday. This was two years ago, and I still feel the shudders. He had just been talking in generalities about combat, about what it was like when his platoon lay out in the marshes late at night, silent and waiting.

When the frogs get quiet, it’s time to take your safety off. You got company.

I’m still quavering as I type this. I think it’s time now to travel to the Bird’s Egg Cafe for coffee and breakfast. The morning light is now coming through the gallery and I’m anticipating another day of wonder. When I return I’ll finish this watercolor commission and post it for my readers to see.

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.

Another Crank of the Wheel

June 25, 2020
Early Morning Downtown Palestine

Early morning is a time of magic in Cannery Row. In the gray time after the light has come and before the sun has risen, the Row seems to hang suspended out of time in a silvery light.

John Steinbeck, Cannery Row

Yes, and early morning is a “time of magic” in downtown Palestine as well. The warm silvery light came peeking through the second story window of the Redlands Hotel shortly after 6:00 this morning, accompanied by the clang, clang, clang of the bell two blocks away announcing the arrival of Union Pacific #7159, a bright yellow C44ACM built by General Electric back in 2018. The sassy loco was making a grand entrance and letting me know it was time to get my sorry rear end out of bed and back to the drafting table in The Gallery at Redlands downstairs.

The Gallery at Redlands
Laying out Work for Framing
The drafting table has seen plenty of action this week
Newest Commission in Progress

I started this commission yesterday and hope to have it completed today or tomorrow. My artist friend Elaine Jary is en route to the gallery now to take down her show. Her ETA is two hours plus, so I have some time to work on this painting before we get busy taking down her show and putting my work back up on the walls.

It’s already shaping up to be a busy day. The hotel lobby is bustling with maintenance men and staff pursuing their own tasks. I seem to work better when I know people all around me are busy.

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.

Stream-of-Consciousness from The Gallery at Redlands

June 24, 2020
Rainy Dawn in Downtown Palestine, View from Gallery Window

“Have a wonderful day, young man.”

At sixty-six, the Artist smiled as he turned from the cash register having finished breakfast, and headed for the exit of the Bird’s Egg Café. A gentle rain moistened the pavement of West Palestine Avenue in the gray dawn. Adjusting his hat, he strolled across the parking lot toward his Jeep.

I couldn’t resist that. For as long as I can remember, I have narrated episodes in my everyday life as they occur. My journaling habit insures that I scribble out the narrative, and returning to it later, decide whether or not to use it on the blog or somewhere else. The Bird’s Egg Cafe is my favorite breakfast establishment in Palestine, and they open at 5:30. Since I awoke without an alarm shortly after 4:00, I was glad to know that I could take my first meal in a good “down home” feeling cafe. The waitress/cashier always addresses me as “young man” and it never fails to jar my funny bone. After three years, she still doesn’t know my name, but always looks up with that sign of recognition when I walk in, and she always calls me “young man.” I guess senior citizens like to hear those words of address.

Reading Cannery Row and taking in the sounds of a town waking up fills me with a satisfying stream-of-consciousness, and I’m beginning this blog impulsively in that manner.

He looked up a little nervously as Mack entered. It was not that trouble always came in with Mack but something always entered with him.

John Steinbeck, Cannery Row

This passage made me laugh out loud. I could say that about so many parishioners entering my study during those pastoral years, or students coming into the classroom during the teaching years. Honestly, no one from the Palestine community fits that description (yet!), but how funny to recall all those people throughout the years who had their ways of entering the room, transforming the moment into an Event.

Traffic is picking up now around the hotel and I have started on a new commission that I would like to complete no later than tomorrow. Work has stacked up on me and it’s a good feeling knowing there is plenty more art to pursue on the horizon.

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.

Pre-Dawn in the Gallery

June 22, 2020
Gallery at Redlands

Over a period of years Doc dug himself into Cannery Row to an extent not even he suspected. He became the fountain of philosophy and science and art. . . . He lived in a world of wonders, of excitement.

John Steinbeck, Cannery Row

4:04 a.m. Really? The Redlands Hotel was quiet by 9:00 last night. Weary from the day’s events and road trip, I trudged upstairs and was asleep by 10:00. The suites here at the Redlands are wonderfully sound-insulated. The Union Pacific railyards are two blocks away and the sound of the occasional freight coming through town is little more than a rumble, more of a gentle feel than a disturbing sound.

One thing I certainly did not expect from this new day was to be seated in the gallery at 4:40 with it still dark outside. Nevertheless, looking out my favorite window to the world before sitting at the desk flooded me with the finest memories of this special town of Palestine.

The City of Palestine of course does not fit the shabby, grungy descriptions of Steinbeck’s Cannery Row. But the historic downtown section holding the Redlands Hotel, Carnegie Library building, Chamber of Commerce, Sacred Heart Church and of course the Union Pacific railyard has offered daily narratives to me that would compete with any Steinbeck novel. As I’ve stated before, I really miss the radio guys who used to broadcast out of this gallery in the mornings, and at this particular moment I’m saddened to look up at the space where they used to sit, drink coffee, laugh when they were not “live”, and fill this room with a warm communal feel. Right now, no one moves through the lobby, and they won’t for several more hours. But I do anticipate with gladness the arrival of hotel employees and those working the offices upstairs later. In many ways I experience the warm vibe of this town the way Doc felt when he worked daily at Cannery Row.

The day is full of promise, I brought plenty of work to pursue while staying here for a spell. Later today, Elaine Jary plans to come down and take her work that’s been on display here since February. Then I’ll re-hang my work that will include new framed pieces not seen here before.

Time to get to work. Thanks always for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

New Work in Progress . . .

February 29, 2020
Plein Air Study of Caprock Canyon (still in progress)

In old Rome the public roads beginning at the Forum proceeded north, south, east, west, to the centre of every province of the empire, making each market-town of Persia, Spain, and Britain pervious to the soldiers of the capital: so out of the human heart go, as it were, highways to the heart of every object in nature, to reduce it under the dominion of man. A man is a bundle of relations, a knot of roots, whose flower and fruitage is the world.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “History”

One of my Palestine friends yesterday asked me if I felt like a gypsy always on the move. Good question. My response was that I really enjoy life as it’s been since retirement, dividing my time between Palestine, Arlington, east and west Texas. I feel also that my subject matter in painting has been just as diverse as my destinations in travel, and the quote from Emerson above illustrates the way I feel these days. Hence, I am never bored in my choices of painting or of reading. Currently I am working on some canyon scenes from west Texas, abandoned lead mines from the mineral area belt of Missouri and even the Grand Canyon which still floods my imagination though it has been half a year since I visited there.

Remnants of St. Joe Mine in Park Hills, Missouri
Beginnings of a Grand Canyon Experiment

The Gallery at Redlands has witnessed considerable activity since this morning, and I am interested in seeing what the evening restaurant traffic brings. Meanwhile, I’m going to get back to the drafting table and see if I can make some good decisions on these recent works I’ve started.

Thanks always for reading and please check out my website www.davidtrippart.com.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Sunday Morning Bliss

November 24, 2019

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Beginning of an Evergreen Snowscape, 14h x 16w” watercolor

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Psalm 1:1-4 (King James Version)

Decades ago, while serving in the Protestant pastoral ministry, this passage took deep root within me, and the words I still recite by heart, though my application of the message is not the same as orthodox churchmen would generally apply. While working on this snow scene in The Gallery at Redlands this quiet Sunday morning, these words come back to me, and I feel the impulse to unpack them the way they speak to me in recent years:

This is how I paraphrase–Serene is the one who doesn’t waste time listening to cable news or responding to social media chatter. His serenity resides in the beauty of an artful world, and in that splendor, s/he meditates day and night. And this one will be like a tree planted beside still waters, sending roots down deep. The quiet one’s works will flourish. As for the social media obsessives–they are driven by winds of social change, with no root and no fruit. Their days shall be spastic and their joys fleeting.

This morning, I am grateful for life, for strength, and the ability to respond to beautiful sights surrounding me and quality thoughts penetrating my consciousness. Soon, Cindy and Gary will arrive and I am so looking forward to spending a couple of days with them, working on this film documentary.

Thanks for reading.

Shultz reduced

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Saturday Night in the Gallery

October 26, 2019

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Palestine Victorian. 8 x 10″  $150 with white mat

It’s not what you put in but what you leave out that counts.

Andrew Wyeth

Palestine, Texas has been chilly all day, but the crowds still came out for the annual Hot Pepper Festival. I chose to stay warm inside the gallery, and brought this 8 x 10″ watercolor to a close. After spending hours detailing the part of the Victorian home that most commanded my attention, I decided to fall back on my favorite Andrew Wyeth compositional dictum that the strength of a composition depends on what you omit, allowing the viewer room for imagination in viewing. Frequently I choose to leave the peripheral elements blank, believing that the viewer will then focus on the portion of the subject that first caught my eye and held my fascination.

The Redlands Hotel has already installed many of my watercolors in the Queen St Grille, across the lobby. Tonight they have selected three more to hang in the side room of the Queen St Bar. I’m proud to see my work hanging throughout the hotel now.

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Tonight as I paint in the gallery, I am listening to an adaptation of the original broadcast of H. G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds.  This 1938 CBS radio broadcast is being reenacted before a live audience at the Nickel Manor down the street from the Redlands Hotel. Smooth Rock 93.5 is carrying the broadcast and Alan Wade is in the studio now making the sure the radio signal is steady. Listening to this chilling broadcast is quite an experience and makes me wish now to re-read the novel. Having read it in junior high, I’m confident that there is so much more I could enjoy from the text in my later years. Here is the link to the Palestine broadcast event:  https://www.visitpalestine.com/events/2019/hg-wells-the-war-of-the-worlds-live-radio20191026_19453156590346373319748.jpg

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While listening to the broadcast, I’ve been chipping away at a number of compositions begun this past summer while vacationing in Sedona, Arizona. The gallery has experienced quite a number of patrons passing through, and the conversations have been most enjoyable.

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.

A Weed by the Wall

October 16, 2019

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Saturday at Edom Art Festival

To-day I am full of thoughts, and can write what I please. I see no reason why I should not have the same thought, the same power of expression to-morrow. What I write, whilst I write it, seems the most natural thing in the world: but yesterday I saw a dreary vacuity in this direction in which now I see so much; and a month hence, I doubt not, I shall wonder who he was that wrote so many continuous pages. Alas for this infirm faith, this will not strenuous, this vast ebb of a vast flow! I am God in nature; I am a weed by the wall.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Circles”

This morning, while reading Harold Bloom’s The Daemon Knows: Literary Greatness and the American Sublime, I came across one of my favorite Emerson musings from his engaging essay “Circles.” Not long after his 1836 catapult into the spotlight of American fame, he began writing about these rhythms, the ebb and flow that creative spirits know so well. We cannot be in that creative flow all the time; there is always the balancing rhythm of repose, stagnation, or stasis. I know that experience in creative rhythms as well as emotional highs followed by exhaustion.

Looking back over my blogs, I realize that I last posted on Friday, while waiting out a rainstorm so I could set up my booth for the Edom Art Festival. Now, four days have passed, and it seems like only a matter of hours. Yet, I feel that I packed a month’s worth of experiences in those few days.

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Two Views of my Booth

I cannot say enough about the loveliness of the festival and the gorgeous weather both days–bright sun and cool temperatures. What pleased me the most was that my booth was packed most of Saturday during business hours. Generally, during a festival, there are those down times when no one is dropping by to shop. But Saturday, the booth was occupied nearly the entire day with anywhere from two-to-eight shoppers, and my heart overflowed with good feelings, knowing there was some kind of meaningful connection between the viewers and my paintings.

Since the festival, I have already been back to Palestine, home to Arlington, over to Fort Worth to teach my Tuesday morning Humanities class, and now I’m back in the gallery in Palestine. There is much to do, but it feels good this morning not to be chasing a deadline. The only major chore before me is putting the gallery back together as I have unloaded my festival gear and paintings. It is time to make the gallery look like a gallery again instead of a storeroom in need of tidying.

The text from Emerson is very timely this day. In recent weeks I have vacillated between creative explosions and hiatus. Right now, I feel that I am at rest (and gratefully so) but at the same time feel this surge of ideas waiting for new expression. There are a number of watercolor and drawing ideas in me that I would like to get out, and hope to, as soon as I put this gallery back together. I always loved the Frank Lloyd Wright remark, boasting that he could merely shake buildings out of his sleeve. There are times when I feel that about paintings, and it’s a sublime feeling. Yet, at my age, I also am very aware of those dormant periods, and they no longer trouble me. I know that the body needs rest as well as exercise, sleep as well as travel. Likewise, the creative bursts will naturally be balanced with times of repose.

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I usually enjoy a good book while sitting through seven-hour days at art festivals. On Saturday, the booth was filled with patrons all day, so reading was out of the question. But on Sunday, during church hours, the festival grounds were quite empty, so I opened my backpack to discover that I had not packed any books! No art supplies either. So . . . with a ballpoint pen I entertained myself the first few hours by scribbling out tree sketches in my journal while posting random thoughts. It reminded me of a recent pledge to try and push myself in the Leonardo da Vinci direction of keeping sketchbook/journals. Maybe I’ll get there. I like the way my mind wanders back and forth between ideas and images, and hope that I’ll develop a habit of moving back and forth between drawing and writing. At any rate, it was a wonderful way to pass the time for a couple of hours Sunday morning.

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Queen St. Grille, Adjacent to The Gallery at Redlands

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New Installations at Queen St Grille

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I am honored that The Redlands Hotel has invited me to extend my gallery work into the restaurant across the lobby. Jean and Mike have been gracious in allowing me to store my excess paintings on the fifth floor of the hotel. Now they will have better exposure hanging in this lovely dining area. The Gallery at Redlands is also getting a facelift as some water damage was sustained on one of our walls due to an air conditioner malfunction. Today will be divided between repairs and reinstallation in the gallery and the new possibilities excite me.

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Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to explore.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Adjusting the Sails to Catch the Wind

September 22, 2019

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Early Sunday Morning in the Gallery at Redlands

The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes . . . 

The Gospel According to John 3:8

Thirty-two years have passed since I pastored a church, nine years since I stood behind any pulpit. Nevertheless I still read with fulfilment from my Greek New Testament, grateful that a seminary drilled the fluency of that language into me. And on many Sunday mornings (and other mornings as well), I open those pages and pore over the texts, always finding passages that impact my life, though the orientation has profoundly altered.

A week ago, I stood before the Society of Watercolor Artists in Fort Worth at the University of North Texas Health Science Center and was warmly received as I tried (I never feel that I have hit the mark) to address this inspiration aspect of making art.  After months of pressure, I felt sudden release when that public event was over, but knew that I would not be able to lay to rest this curiosity about the nature of inspiration. And now this morning, waking at 6:00 though the alarm was set for 7:00, these thoughts about the creative impulse continue to visit me and will not rest. The clock now says 8:45, so I have now surged for nearly three hours with these notions, have scribbled unceasingly in my journal, and will now see if I can make any sense as I pour this windstorm into the blog.

From childhood I have been visited by a restless surge to create. Drawing was the only skill I possessed (rather, it possessed me), and I held on and rode this mustang all the way through my Bachelor’s degree. But then my life took a different tack, the Protestant pastoral ministry, and I rode that one all the way through completion of the Ph.D., ten more years. Soon after, I returned to the visual arts, but had to make a living. Twenty-eight years later, retiring with a pension, I at long last have found luxurious leisure to slow the pace and gaze more fixedly at this phenomenon.

Prior to the pastoral ministry, I used the word “inspiration” to describe one’s impetus to create. In church circles, I found that word to be charged with an unfortunate flavor that restricted it to writers of the biblical texts. So I had to lay it aside. Preachers weren’t inspired; to say such while in the “fellowship” would be heresy. So, I had to find other words to describe the compulsion to preach, to testify, to witness, etc.

Now that I am back in the artistic community, it is OK to say artists are “inspired.” The word for “spirit” in the New Testament writings can also be translated as “wind” or “breath”, and the verbs describing its action are “move”, “blow”, etc. I love the richness of these metaphors, and quoted one of them at the opening of this entry. A reference in 2 Peter 1:21 addressed those who were “moved” by the spirit. As an artist and a student of art history, I am always stirred when I read journals left behind by the likes of Delacroix, Gauguin, Henri and others who spoke of this stirring that they could not flee; they had to make art. I know how that feels. I understand that restlessness. I don’t know when the winds will blow, but I know I want to adjust my sails to catch the forces once they stir.

In ministerial circles before, and artistic circles now, I have heard, and continue to hear those who address their work merely as a task. For the task they have been trained. For the task, they have been equipped. And for the task, they simply do what is expected of them. And I am bemused every time I hear someone speak of that task as though it were merely work, drudgery, a means of earning a wage. I simply cannot identify with that. I have known employment in the past when I felt indifferent and sometimes abhorrent of what was demanded of me. I simply cannot feel that way about making art. There is a force, a wind, that drives me to create, and when I cannot fulfill that drive (either because I have other things that demand my attention, or when  actually making art I am clumsy in my technique), I feel genuine, deep-seated frustration and failure.

I have a circle of precious artistic spirits that I meet with periodically for the purpose of discussing our art and encouraging one another. And I will never be able to describe the profound joy I feel when in their presence. Aside from that small circle, I find the artistic enterprise a solitary one, and since I am for the most part an introvert, I don’t find that a lonely existence at all. However, I hope one day I can find the key to speaking publicly about this inspiration that blows through the artist, compelling him/her to create, whether it’s visual, literary, musical, performance or oratorical. I overwhelmingly love the notion of that creative wind that blows through personalities and makes creation possible. And as I once hoped to be a worthy vessel in the ministry, so I now wish to be worthy when making art or called upon to inspire other artists as they engage in this precious endeavor.

The abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock is laid to rest in a cemetery on Long Island. At that location is an inscription that reads:

Artists and poets are the raw nerve ends of humanity. By themselves they can do little to save humanity. Without them there would be little worth saving.

The time now is 9:40. Perhaps I can now return to making art. 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.

 

Painting Nostalgia

September 21, 2019

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Latest Addition to Turvey’s Corner 63050

Saturday has been a splendid day for painting and visiting with friends here in Palestine. The gallery has provided a wonderful space for creating and I’m thankful for all those who have made this possible. Tomorrow I plan to take this painting into the Queen St Grille during brunch (11-2) and see if I can complete it. I have another pair of paintings in progress that I might choose to rotate in and out of the circle as I make painting decisions.

If you have a moment, check out the Queen St Grille on the recently updated website for the Redlands Hotel–http://redlandshistoricinn.com/dine.html

It’s been a nice, relaxing evening here in Palestine. 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.