Arlington artist David Tripp describes his quest as one of capturing onto canvas the world he sees in his mind, and that is not unlike the role of a writer. Akin to David, we too apprehend, interpret, report out our vision in a variety of literary forms.
For David, his current art form is watercolor, which happens to be my favorite medium, and is how David and I first connected at a recent Arlington art festival. There is a natural feel to watercolors, a gentleness, a transparency as your eye sifts through the layers of paint and water and meaning, and David’s technique is exquisite.
Thumb through the art that he brings to a festival and you will find paintings of old buildings, abandoned service stations, relics of yesteryear. Since 2017 he has been focusing on the structures that reflect the past of the Texas State Railroad, as well as the historical sites and artifacts of the little town of Palestine, Texas.
I have learned other fascinating things about David, including his formal education in art, his high school and college teaching credentials, his endowments and honors of various types. Students at Martin High School see his art daily in the murals painted throughout their building. David’s art is available at various festivals and The Gallery at Redlands in Palestine is now the permanent home for his collection.
All this is of interest as I learn about David and observe him through my writer’s eyes . . . but what enthralls me most is his philosophical approach to the role of artist — capturing onto canvas what he perceives with his artist’s eyes, processes through his artist’s mind.
In one of his blogs he quotes a passage from Goethe: “The beginning and the end of all literary activity is the reproduction of the world that surrounds me by means of the world that is in me, all things being grasped, related, molded, and reconstructed in personal form and an original manner.”
Clearly this process applies to artists as well as writers.
I shared the quote with our family philosopher, my brother Del McAmis, who was equally fascinated, and responded with his own deconstruction of the phrase.
“We think there is a one-on-one relationship between the objective world and how we see it, but that is very naïve. We don’t just ‘see’ things – we mold them and reconstruct them according to our own psychology. . . . The great writer [and I should add to Del’s note, the great artist] is one who can ‘mold and reconstruct’ his or her experiences into an understanding that enlightens others.”
And so it begins – my quest to learn more about David, his art, his creative ideology, his deep and grounded thoughts about life, at least partially coming from his scholarly education in not only art, but philosophy and religion.
But that is for another exploration, in which I have apparently been joined by brother Del. Hold on, David Tripp – inquisitive minds want to know more about you.
— Jonnie Martin