motion 25 is born by Philip Tarlow

3:27 PM: based upon this 6/9/14  16x16" plein air oil, motion 25, like motion 23 & 24, is balanced between representation & calligraphic abstraction. rather than utilizing an under-drawing, as i did in all motion series paintings 1 through 22, i am recreating the smaller plein air painting on a larger scale. all the spontaneous marks made in the original plein air paintings are translated into studio-speak, moving more towards signs and symbols for rocks & water. on the right is the original 16x16" plein air painting.

second day of work on motion 24 by Philip Tarlow

2:34 PM: today started out as a sunny morning, but it rapidly evolved into a cloudy, stormy day. winds were blowing at gale force for an hour or so, as thunderstorms moved up from the southwest. so  far we've only had a small amount of rain, but more is in the forecast for later this afternoon.

despite the failing light, i was able to get some good work done on motion 24. i stayed mostly true to the 6/9/14 plein air oil, which is 16x16." of course i made adjustments dictated mostly by the larger dimensions. a 16x16" painting doesn't translate to a larger scale without some important changes. also, the brisk, spontaneous movement of the brush on the smaller scale and the the immediacy of the moment out there at the creek are tricky to translate into a studio setting. i also noticed that the canvas i used for the original, while it was portrait linen, was a different brand, and the white of the canvas is slightly greyed. the portrait linen i'm using for the larger version is made by artfix, and is significantly whiter & brighter. this makes the transitions from the delicate tones in much of the painting to the white of the canvas more stark & puts more emphasis on the negative spaces, of which there are many. 

you can see this in the photos below,  where the original plein air oil is on the left & the new large painting on the right.

starting work on motion 24 by Philip Tarlow

3:19 PM:here's where i'm stopping for the day, as the wind picks up, the skies darken and it sure looks like we might get a thunderstorm, as predicted. although motion 24 is not yet complete, she's already singing.

i'll clean my brushes, make my political calls & head back to the house, where mikela is suffering with an intense flu. she's definitely going to get the flu shot next year. my doc recommended it & i'm very glad i lestened to him.

1:31 PM: i began work on motion 24 this morning, it's based upon this 6/9/14 plein air oil, which is 16x16" motion 24 is 48x48" and, unlike motion 23 is being painted on artfix fine portrait linen, which is very expensive & has 4 coats of primer. the difference from the previous painting, which was on cotton canvas, is vast. vast, i say! the sensitivity with which it takes my brush strokes is stunning. it's like the painting is painting itself.

i'll continue working till 3:30, when i'll make about an hour of calls to supporters of diane bush, asking them if they're up for making calls or doing door knocking in support of her candidacy. she's running for congress in our district & is, in our opinion by far the best candidate.

motion 24 is born.... by Philip Tarlow

1:41 PM: as i await my mentee, k., who will arrive at 2:30, i'm stretching another canvas for motion 24. this one will. like motion 23, be a larger version (38x38") of one of my 2014 plsin air oils. it will be drawn form one of the 16x16" paintings you see behind me on the wall. i haven't yet decided which one i'll choose. what's different about this one is that i'm using the expensive roll of portrait linen rather than cotton. i want to see what the difference is from motion 23, which was painted on cotton canvas,

continued work on motion 23 by Philip Tarlow

                                                                                motion 23  36x38"  oil on canvas

3:14 PM: i brought it back to the house for a few minutes to get mikela's feedback which, as always was very perceptive & spot on. it took only 10 minutes to make the changes she suggested. 

this is the first time i'm doing something like this: making a larger version of one of my plein air oils, without making any significant changes. clearly, when you see the two together, there are differences, as you can see BELOW. the 16x16" version is on the left, the 36x38" one i just painted on the right.

1:53 PM: i'm continuing to work on motion 23, which is based on a 10/7/14 plein air oil. it's interesting dealing with issues of scale, and i'm not yet sure it will be successful. i'll continue for another hour or two, then give you my complete comments & observations.

working on motion 23; a larger version of plein air 10/7/14 by Philip Tarlow

2:37 PM: today i began work on something different in my motion series: a larger version of a previous plein air oil. but this time, instead of riffing & creating something quite different, i'm actually making a larger version of the original 16x16" plein air oil painted in 2014.

it's an interesting experiment, and one that's a lot more fun for me than i had expected. it may well lead to a new direction in my motion series, but it's a bit too early to tell.mi'm already getting a lot of value studying this earlier plein air painting & connecting with the spontaneity of what happens when i'm out at the creek, but in the relative peace & quiet of my studio,

3 new plein air gouaches by Philip Tarlow

5:20 pm: i ventured out to the creek today for the first time in a long felt so good, i can't begin to tell you. i remembered why i'm making so many paintings based upon my experience of the creek; it simply feels like paradise! and today was an especially sweet day; no wind, perfect temperatue & humidity, and the light was amazing. not yet that harsh overhead summer light. rather, a soft yet sharp & crystal clear light that bathed the rocks, water & branches in a liquid glow.

i made 3 gouaches, stopping short, perhaps a little too short, of overworking them. lots of white space. if you make the image full screen & look in the lower right corner, you will see the exact time each one was painted.

stretching a 38x36 in. canvas for the largest plein air painting i've done by Philip Tarlow

1:54 PM: today, which by the way is my birthday, i stretched a 38x36" canvas, with the intention of making the largest plein air painting i've ever done. it's for a gallery in denver. they saw a 16x16" plein air, which is normally the size i use for plein air paintings in oil, and asked if i could make a larger version with these dimensions.

if i were to be standing out in a field or on some flat, easily accessible location, it wouldn't be such a challenge. but the creek-side locations i prefer are in rugged terrain, not easy to access or find a flat piece of ground for the easel. the coming days are forecast to be warm, in the '70's, with none of the very high winds we've been having over the past few weeks, and which are typical this time of year in our valley. stay tuned & i might just venture out tomorrow!

continuing work on potential commission by Philip Tarlow

7:30 PM: today i continued to search for and select paintings from many different periods & series for a potential commission for a number of site specific paintings destined for a large home in boulder. it's been an adventure, exploring forgotten realms of my work over the past few decades & trying them out on some of the walls, which i photgraphed on our recent trip. BELOW are some of those paintings. i haven't had time to identify each one & provide labels with dimensions, medium, etc.

evaluating possibilities for a commission by Philip Tarlow

4 PM: i spent today evaluating options for a potential series of commissioned paintings for a home we visited a few days ago. in doing so, i re-visited some of the work i've done since about 2014. BELOW are some of the paintings i'm considering for specific walls in this large home. The views from above paintings are part of a 2015 series titled ano kato, or topsy turvy in greek. the entire series can be viewed by clicking on the link below: