working into yesterdays motion 15 oil over-painting by Philip Tarlow


2:19 PM: stage 4 of motion 15, at 2pm.

the painting now has an identity: a jumbled whizz- razz of motion, suggesting but not describing the creek, it's movement & vibrancy. an eventful day it has been, and it's only 2:30! but i got an early start & worked almost non-stop. mikela strolled over about an hour ago, gave some predictably spot on feedback and headed back. 

deKooning certainly looms large these days, as the MOMA catalogue has been my morning matcha tea & toast reading material.and now for my clean up followed by a political meeting. my first glance tomorrow morning will give me the answer as to whether more work is required.
















12:26 PM: stage 3 of motion 15 at 12:30pm

                     motion 15, 38x36" as it looked at 11 am

11:21 AM: stage 2 of motion 15, at about 11am.







10:31 AM: in working into stage 1 of the oil over-painting for motion 15, i'm referring to this 10/12/13 plein air creek study in oil on canvas. updates will be posted as they occur.

completing motion 15 under-drawing, starting oil over-painting, looking at deKooning by Philip Tarlow

                                   motion 15 at 2:30 pm

2:30 PM: so i did stage 1 of the motion 15 over-painting. so far, following the discoveries i made in motion 14, it's much lighter in tone and more atmospheric than the earlier paintings in the series. this undoubtedly has something to do with my daily delve into deKooning, but it's also how i'm feeling these days. greys and pale yellows dominate, and shapes emerge from the clouds of off-whites with no sharp edges. my 10th c. chinese landscape buddies also come to mind. and my recent plein air experience with K. also enters in. i kind of saw the creek through his eyes, and it was pure energy.

1:13 PM: motion 15 under-drawing at 1pm:








11:58 AM: as i move towards completion of motion 15 under-drawing, ideas for directions i might take when i start the over-painting are flooding my awareness.

i'll post updates as the work continues. 

           deKooning, untitled, 1945, 23x29"

        deKooning in the 4th ave.. studio, november, 1946













11:34 AM: i expect to get a lot done today. mikela & i are usually on the same track, and she's having a grreat day. i was looking once again at the deKooning catalogue this morning and am posting a couple of shots from that beautiful volume.

continuing the motion 15 under-drawing by Philip Tarlow

10:52 AM: i was able to get more done than i thought before having to leave for political meetings. this is the current state, to be continued tomorrow morning.








8:09 AM: i have a very small window to work on the motion 15 under-drawing this morning, since we have political obligations most of today. i'll post any new changes to the drawing, which now looks like this.

starting the motion 15 under-drawing & plein air at the creek by Philip Tarlow

5:10 PM: this morning i started work on the under-drawing for the new motion 15. i got this far when i heard a knock on the door. it was my mentee, K. who had arrived for our creek adventure. as i told him, i've always gone out to paint at the creek alone. so this was a brand new experience.



                                3/17/18 plein air by K.

we went to the start of the tashi gomang stupa, got out collapsable tables, stools, painting materials & sat down to paint. K had never used gouache before, so i gave him a 2 minute lesson and off he went. I'm very impressed with what he did. gotta help make dinner; more soon....

BELOW: just look at K's very first gouache painting! 

a minor tweak to motion 14 by Philip Tarlow

11:36 AM:upon entering my studio, motion 14 looked resolved. not only resolved, but in an interesting and new way, compared with the previous paintings in the series. i called mikela over for an opinion and she fully agreed, except for one area on the mid-right, which she felt needed something in that area of the composition to keep it from creating the appearance of straight line. 

if you click on the left image below to make it full screen, then click right to move to the tweaked painting, i think you'll see just how important that small change was to the entire composition.

so now, on to motion 16, for which i'm about to stretch the canvas.

                            before tweak                                                        after tweak

a 90 degree flip, white-over & re-draw by Philip Tarlow

                                     motion 14 at 3 pm

3PM: it's unusual for me to leave a painting in such a state. but it got cloudy & dark & i need to make the p.o. before it closes at 3:45. so now i have something to look forward to tomorrow. see ya then,my friends.

now that i look at it from 30 feet, it's definitely got something....something i rarely allow to happen without quickly moving towards greater resolution. could it be this is resolution? i'll know in the morning...

SITE-3-15-18 MOTION 14 re-draw-CROP.jpg

12:38 PM: what i did yesterday was good but not good enough. i kind of knew that even before entering the studio this morning. so i flipped it 90 degrees & covered it with an off-white, then scraped off the excess & started drawing into it with warm grey oil stick, which you see here. 

updates will be posted as they occur.

1st plein air of 2018, starting the motion 14 over-painting by Philip Tarlow

                     3/14/18 plein air gouache on paper

5:34 PM: back at the creek again, back at the creek again, thank god almighty,  i'm back at the creek again!!!

it was an especially mild day, with temperatures reaching 58F & very little wind. the creek was in a beautiful state, with just enough ice to create elegant curviliniar white shapes contrasing with the deep greenish-blue-brown of the creek, peppered with water-worn siena-orange rocks. there were no humans about, but i was surprised, considering it's only mid march, to find flying insects annoying me.

admittedly, whilst the remainder of my body was warm enough, after 15 minutes or so, my butt started getting cold. so next time i'll bring something to place on top of the little 3 legged canvas stool i sit on. 

 oh, the joy of it! oh, the richness....and the spring frangrances haven't even kicked in yet! the buds; the pale green emerging leaves; the mosses & grasses...

motion 14 as i stop painting at at 2 pm

1:40 PM: i'm stopping here for the day to have time for clean up before heading to the creek. todays plein air(s) will be gouache on paper, but i placed an order earlier for 50  16" stretcher bars which will allow me to stretch 12 16" square canvases to use for painting plein air starting in a week or so.

it definitely was an advantage, having to stop so early. i didn't overwork it.






SITE-3-14-18 MOTION noon.jpg







noon: although it's partly cloudy, today is a better day to venture out to the creek. so i started the over-painting on motion 14, and the time constraint of having to head out in a fe whours will keep me focused & conscious. taking it slow, taking it easy while listening to neil young, who i'm especially hooked on lately.

slow & easy does it, philip. "don't let it bring you down..."

"find someone who's turning, and you will come around....."

completing the motion 14 under-drawing by Philip Tarlow

4:31 PM: the weather turned a bit chilly & cloudy, so i'm going to wait till tomorrow to go out to the creek.


1:32 PM: i completed the motion 14 under-drawing & am ready to start the over-painting in oil. but first, i'm preparing to venture out to the creek for my first 2018 plein air adventure. i'm taking gouache colors today, which makes sense for a first foray, and i'll get into oils later in the spring.





BELOW are candidates for the over-painting in oil. all are 16x16" oil on linen.

continuing motion 14 under-drawing by Philip Tarlow

3:40 PM: this under-drawing is progressing slowly. it's giving me ideas about future dedicated under-drawings on large sheets of paper, which could be a part of the mix once this series is shown in houston. 






12:43 PM: here's the current state of the motion 14 under-drawing.













8:38 AM: these images are reminders of the direction and aesthetic that i find most compelling right now, as i enter day 2 of the motion 14 drawing. at the same time, i'm preparing my materials to venture out to the creek for the start of my 2018 spring plein air series. initially, it will be gouache on paper, but oil and or acyllic will follow later on.

starting on the left: guston, guston, gorky & zhao mengfu (ca. 1300 ad, chinese)

starting prep work on motion 14 by Philip Tarlow

starting the under-drawing for motion 14

4:06 PM: i stretched a new 36x36" canvas (portrait linen), keyed it out to smooth out a few wrinkles, which i hate, & started the colored pencil drawing, which i'll be working on for at least a few more days before i start painting in oil. the image i'm using for the under-drawing is a close up shot of rocks & water from one of our walks this past fall.

motion 13  36x36"





12:54 PM: upon entering the studio & giving motion 12 & 13 the usual first glance, they appeared resolved. so the next step is to bring them over to the house this afternoon & see how they hold up on the walls there.

motion 12  36x36"





BELOW:  are some iphone pics i shot this morning, and i'll post pics of my prep work stretching the canvas & starting the drawing for motion 14, which looks like it too will be 36x36."


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