Posts Tagged ‘The Gallery at Redlands’

Fits and Starts

August 10, 2020
Working at my Study Desk

Throughout the entire summer all he did was work in fits and starts, sketching-in part of a picture, leaving it on the slightest pretext, without any attempt at perseverence. His feverish passion for work which once used to get him out of his bed at dawn to wrestle with his rebellious painting, seemed to have departed and given way to indifference and idleness.

Emile Zola, The Masterpiece

The timing of this morning’s leisure reading was extraordinary. Closing my book, I went to the table in my studio and immediately began scribbling out new stories for my book. I will soon introduce a third member to add to the Hank and Randy cycles; several short stories have been written about him already. I’m now looking for a way to bring him into their orbit. As I wrote, however, several other ideas and projects hatched in my mind and it was all I could do to sketch them out quickly in my journal. Then I received this text from my friend Dian Darr:

My mind is like my internet browser. I have 19 tabs open, 5 are frozen, and I have no idea where the music is coming from.

That perfectly described my morning, that along with the text of the artist in Zola’s Masterpiece. As I worked on my stories this morning, I had jazz playing from a Youtube channel on my laptop. And then, when I approached one of the commissions I’ve been working on, I turned on audiobooks to Comanche Empire and began listening to the narration.

Despite the spastic description of my morning activity, the day has been shaping up magnificently. I only pause from my commission work to post this quick note on the blog. I’ll close with pictures from my new studio as well as the two commissions I have in progress:

My entire Saturday was spent in Palestine at The Gallery at Redlands. It was a remarkable day and I so enjoyed renewing many friendships. But honestly, the day was so fast-paced, from 10 a.m. till 9 p.m. when I left to return home, that I never opened a book, never wrote in my journal, and of course didn’t even blog. But here are some pictures of the newly reconfigured gallery collection:

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.

New Image Added to Turvey’s Corner 63050

August 7, 2020

This early August morning has been delicious. I entered the studio early for what I absurdly label “executive time.” While reading Zola’s The Masterpiece, I lingered over the lyrical depictions of the artist and lover’s excursion to Le Havre. Zola painted the northern French landscape with a luscious brush, describing sun, atmosphere and lovely rolling hills. And as I read, the sound of a lawn mower in our neighborhood transformed me back in Proustian fashion to my childhood August mornings, waking up and lying in bed lazily in High Ridge, Missouri. We had no air conditioning in the house so we slept with our bedroom windows open. And as I lay there, I would listen to the sounds of a distant lawnmower, children shouting as they played outside, the voice of a radio broadcaster on KXOK, the popular St. Louis AM station.

The visitation was a warm one, stimulating me to return to the manuscript of Turvey’s Corner 63050. Going through files of my art work from years gone by, I came across the watercolor posted at the top of this blog, and decided to insert it into one of the chapters I’ve recently revised.

The chapter now reads as follows:

Winter in Turvey’s Corner 63050

Early morning polar winds snapped through the narrow valley of Turvey’s Corner, a Missouri town still sleeping through the harsh winter. George Singleton emerged from the Terra Lounge bar with his snow shovel and leaned forward into the frigid air. Overnight winds had hardened the drifts across the walkway and he felt the sting in his cheeks as the wind cut across his face. As he bent to his task, a loud cacophonous whistle from a Frisco Railroad F9 diesel signaled its approach to the crossing, half a block from the tavern, and George felt beneath his boots the vibrations of the thundering freight cars as they rolled by. Assorted box cars and rusting reefer cars crawled through the town, the bells continuing to clang with lights alternately blinking at the crossing.

Turning his head, George looked back up the empty street to regather his thoughts. It was a sixteen-degree December morning in Turvey’s Corner, and his mind was numb to the possibilities of anything memorable happening on this particular day. The Korean Conflict was two years behind him, the 38th parallel over 7,000 miles away. But Randy, his first-born son, not yet a year old, slumbered in a dark bedroom on the second story above. These thoughts caused George to smile in the face of the frozen morning, forgetting the stiffness in his lower back.

George had just opened a new chapter in his life. Striving to put the madness of the war conflict behind him and determining not to return to the shores of the Mississippi River in southeast Missouri to resume the impoverished tenant farm life that had raised him, he set his compass toward St. Louis in search of a better life. For two years he had served his country overseas. Now returning, he wondered if his country, his government, really had anything to offer him. The Missouri motto he was forced to memorize in the country school salus populi supreme lex esto (let the welfare of the people be the supreme law) never penetrated to his center of belief. Convinced of the need to provide for his own welfare and that of his new family, he came to Turvey’s Corner, invested the army pay he had sent home to his folks for two years in this tavern property, and was determined to make it work.

Turvey’s Corner, population 582, was situated on Highway 30, twenty-three miles southwest of St. Louis. Historic Route 66 lay a few miles north of town but was beginning to deteriorate with the arrival of Interstate 44 that bypassed the once thriving midwestern towns. George was O.K. with that, however. In the army he had lived a life surrounded by hordes of men in close quarters. He was ready to carve out a livelihood in a town that time would likely forget.

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It’s time to turn my attention to a pair of commissions I’ve been working on for awhile now. Tomorrow (Saturday) I’ll return to Palestine to work in The Gallery at Redlands for the day and evening.

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.

Studio Solitude

August 6, 2020
Early Start in the Studio

Very well then, as you please. Withdraw from the world, wrap yourself in mystery, I won’t stop you.”

Emile Zola, The Masterpiece

In recent communications with my artist friends, I note the common thread of our talks–the coronavirus has given us the excuse to avoid public activity and to indulge in the delicious solitude of the studio, doing what we love best–exploring possibilities in art.

My plan is to show current paintings in progress as they take shape, but at this point they are still in the very early stages of construction. One of my commissions is to paint trout flies, 8 x 10″, something I’ve wanted to attempt for at least ten years but never got around to doing. And I must say, the experience has so withdrawn me into a monastic state, that I feel the taunt posted above, Zola needling Cezanne about his need for privacy.

Over the past two days, so many ideas have surged through me that I’m wanting to engage in multiple experiments. In this little project, I’ve been pulling out all the stops–spritzing the paper and adding salt and stale bread crumbs for texturing, using fine, pointed brushes, sharpened graphite and colored pencils, watercolor pencils, tech pens, masquig pens–the works! And I feel like a kid in the sandbox attempting his first intricate sand castle with multiple stories, corridors and labyrinth configurations. Right now, I’m trying to solve the puzzle of overlapping hackles–I’ve been opening my art books to study closely the way Albrecht Dürer and Andrew Wyeth handled long stem grasses in transparent watercolor. It’s wonderful having my art library in the same room as my studio, and various work stations to pursue scattered yet related projects. I am feeling confident that these experiments are going to pay off, and I’ll continue to post photos as this painting develops.

The major problem I encountered with the trout fly commission was finding photos of flies large enough to scrutinize the details. Images I Googled off the Internet and printed always pixilated horribly when I enlarged them. How surprised I was when I took my own smart phone (Samsung Galaxy S10+) and photographed a size 12 elk hair caddis from my own fly box, cleaned up the image on my laptop, enlarged it to 8 x 10″ and printed it on my own printer. The image is sharp and the color is good. So, on my drafting table, I have both the 8 x 10″ photo I made, and the actual tiny fly lying there for me to study.

I have decided to spend all day Saturday in The Gallery at Redlands in Palestine. I have missed working there and so look forward to seeing my friends again. If you’re in the area, I’d love to see you. I should be in the gallery by 10 and will stay through the dinner hour that evening before returning home.

Gotta get back to work! 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.

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.