the caterpillar by Philip Tarlow

yesterday at dan’s in basalt i spotted this gorgeous caterpillar crawling up the side of one of dan’s new ceramic pieces.

it was in such synchrony with the spirit of the piece that it was hard to believe. it also allowed me to appreciate the beauty of dan’s designs. it keeps blowing me away that this retired doctor, who took up ceramics only 6 years ago, has evolved into a masterful ceramics artist.

pink branch by Philip Tarlow

pink branch 38 x 38” as it looked at 3:15pm today

3:28 PM: the day was broken up with phone calls. once the dust settled, i did more work on pink branch, which is one of the 3 i worked on yesterday. it has a presence. maybe even an identity. our morning creek walk was helpful in refreshing my impressions of the rocks & water, and especially as pertains to this painting, reminding me of the sudden burst of siena which often emerges from the grey-blue-green.

back home by Philip Tarlow

so today i worke don 3 paintings, which you see on my studio wall.2 of the 3 are BELOW. the on eon the left is 42 x 38” and is at the early stages of drawing. on the right, 38 x 36” is a many layered painting which, i think is finding it’s identity. it was a little wierd getting back to work so quickly after a week away. the closer it got to 4 pm, when my mentee was to arrive, the more i got into my groove. it seems, as i told k., that his presence is an you might gather from the image below of what he did today, he’s very good.

7:21 PM: today my mentee, k., arrived at 4pm. i prepared a large piece of paper for him to work on, and provided a book about the mergence of Cubism, with images of the work of picasso & braque.he chose to use the image of a cello, which cannot yet be seen in this photograph of the drawing/painting at the end of the day..

8:32 AM: we arrived back in crestone last night, and i’ll be heading m=to my studio in an hour or two. during our drive from carbondale over the pass to durango, i shot a series of skies, a few of which may be candidates for the sky series of paintings i’ve been contemplating. this is one of them. i’ll continue to blog about todays studio process later in the day.

contemplating next steps while traveling by Philip Tarlow

rocks and water, 2000, 48x48” oil on linen

while we’re on the road for diane mitch bush’s campaign and introducing our educational products into select schools, i’m contemplating the evolution of my paintings.

just look where i was at only 2 years ago, in the misdt of creating my gaze series, many of which were inspired by vermeer. visit my gaze page, link below, to view the entire series.

going further back in time, 18 years ago, in 2000, i was making a series of rocks and water paintings like the one you see ABOVE. as with the current motion and meta-motion series, they were inspired by plein air paintings in gouache on paper, made at one of our local creeks.

i’m considering, while continuing work on the meta-motion paintings, starting a new series inspired by the thousands of skies i’ve photographed over the years. i always knew, as i took the shots, that some of them would become paintings, it just never felt like the right time. so once the midterm elections are over november 4 & i’m back in my studio full time, i’ll launch into it.

starting a new painting: 50 x 48" and whiting over 3 previous meta-motion paintings by Philip Tarlow

purple rock

2:54 PM: today upon entering my studio, all the paintings but one that i’ve been working on seemed far too busy & loud. so i whited over 3, being careful to allow just enough of the previous layers to show though and giving me the surface i desired. i don’t know how much my current blurred vision has to do with it, but what seemed perfectly Ok one day seems like it’s screaming it’s head off the next. this morning before my meditation we both looked at purple rock, which you see here on the right, and it seemed just the right balance. so right now at least, that’s my vision for works to be hung in my may, 2019 space gallery show in denver.

the 3 i whited over, one just partially, are BELOW: left to right: nude figure with rocks, purple rocks II, and roiling.

i’ll wait for them to dry, then go back in, but not too much!

more work on roiling by Philip Tarlow

4:40 PM: and one more thing. i took out some of the red, which was overwhelming the composition. i'll see how it looks in the morning.

4:15 PM: BELOW: and a few more changes, including the introduction of red marks into the roiling composition. 

3:17 PM: roiling looked too busy, so i decided to work into it. it's still too busy, so maybe i'll continue work tomorrow. BELOW: yesterday (left) and today (right)

the introduction of pink has warmed up the entire composition, but she's still not sure yet who she is, sending us somewhat mixed messages. 

back in my studio by Philip Tarlow

quantum rocks at 3pm

3:20 PM: as you can see, i whited over the version you see below; it was far to busy & likely a result of being away form the studio for 2 days. ABOVE:  is how the painting looked moments ago, as i prepare to clean my brushes & go help mikela make some calls to volunteers for the diane mitch bush campaign.

quantum rocks , 38x38" at 2pm

2:17 PM:we returned last night from denver & this morning i continued work on quantum rocks. i discovered on my regular visit with my eye surgeon that i need a new prescription , which explains the blurry vision i've been experiencing. fortunately, the eye that was operated on for glaucoma/cataract is soing great. but a cataract is progressing in the other eye, this the change in my vision. 

BELOW: quantum rocks before & after todays session. it will change again when i resume work tomorrow morning.

starting a new meta-movement painting: "roiling" by Philip Tarlow

                                                       roiling, 38x36"   as it looked at 2pm

today i felt back in the groove following our last trip. it usually takes a few days. this was the last of the whited-over paintings i had, so i'm going to have to consider my next moves. oil pastel plays an important role in this one, with a variety of blues, some purple & orange. inspiration was drawn from a number of photos i shot at the creek; the main one having been shot on our walk a few days ago. 

quantum rocks by Philip Tarlow

12:57: yesterday i had to end my day in the studio at noon, because of the annual lunch event the the Crestone Zen Center. so the only painting i did was to sand & decorate my new found walking stick, which i'll use when we hike up north crestone creek, whch is where i found it. i peeled off the already peeling bark & sanded the top, so it would be smooth to grip. i hadn't intended to decorate it, but as i looked at it freshly oiled (with extra virgin olive oil no less) i remembered being with the aborigines in the australian outback. their totems, sheilds and so on are always beautifully decorated with designs relating, in one way or another, to their songlines.

i used the oil colors that were already on my palette from a few days ago, and just followed my gut, as i do when working on a post-motion series painting.

so now, as soon as the weather clears and the oil paint dries, this walking stick will join us when we walk up the trail. we're hoping to make it up to the lake before the season ends sometime in november. it's about a 4 hour hike each way, we're told. now you may recall we've been promising to hike up to the lake for a couple of years and never made it up. so stay tuned....
















1:13 PM: today i worked on a recently whited over painting from 2014. as with all the paintings i've whited over, it has a surface enriched by the many layers of compositions beneath, and is now titled quantum rocks.

back in my studio, at work on durango & funky rocks by Philip Tarlow

                                                             funky rocks, 38x38"  at 2 pm

12:56 PM: we got back from durango last night & are both back at work on this overcast, early fall-like day. as often happens after being away for 3 days, a change is taking place in how i'm working. while still on the cusp between evocation & abstraction, there is a decided tilt towards abstraction. they evoke more guston & gorky than bonnard & vuillard, i'd say.

inspired as they are by natural forms, they continue to contain figurative allusions throughout: human & animal bodies, limbs, etc. this allows the continued experience of unexpected discoveries i strive for. 

                                                            durango, 36x38"  at 2pm