/revising katarachtes: 50x48” & new rules continued by Philip Tarlow

3:11 PM: and here she is at 3 pm. gotta run; we’re walking up the trail soon. those grey marks may need to be lighter….

katarachtes, 50x48” at 3pm

revising katarachtes, 50x48” at around 2 pm

2 PM: decided to leave new rules alone for a day or two and work on revising the way-too-busy katarachtes. as work continues for another hour or so, i’ll post updated pics.

11:51 AM: feeling a tad better today. fuzziness gone but still can’t chew on the root canal tooth without pain. mikela made a delicious pumpkin soup for me last night, with enough left over to have in the studio for lunch.

so i got to work earlier & made some important changes to new rules. BELOW is a comparative view, with what i did this morning on top & yesterdays version below. the second canvas from the left has been significantly de-cluttered, and a band of light grey has appeared above & below, allowing the eye to perceive all 4 canvasses, for the first time, as one painting. rock forms have been sketched in across all 4 canvasses, using my fan brushes as a hats off to my ever present 10th century chinese masters of calligraphy & landscape. motion, which is the title of this series, is introduced & the viewer is invited to fill in the blanks, so to speak. it’s what you might call, if you like to invent & play with words as i do, a kinetic-frizz-about-

new rules 16x80 “ as it looked moments ago after this mornings changes

new rules at 3:30 pm yesterday

fooling around with new rules by Philip Tarlow

new rules, 16x80” (4 canvasses 16x20” each)

2:41 PM: post root canal i’m feeling kind of shaky, and can’t chew on the molar that had the root canal. doc says it might take a few days for the traumatized ligaments holding the tooth in place to calm down. so, since i can’t chew on the other side either because 2 molars are missing & awaiting an implant, it’s yoghurt & soups all the way, baby.

i did want very much to re-engage with new rules however, so i fooled around with the placement of the canvasses, going from a square to a long & narrow solution. a couple were turned upside down; a move i seem to like, and some connective tissue, one might call it, was added sparingly to create some continuity. when it was too obvious, i scraped it out, which, on this artfix portrait linen, creates some delicious smears not possible on other canvasses.

i know this is not the final state, but it’s interesting to look at. maybe even slightly compelling, creating more questions than it provides answers for. hopefully, i’ll feel better tomorrow & be able to have a more productive day.

new rules gets bigger by Philip Tarlow

2:21 PM: i tried an experiement & placed all 4 16x20” canvases precariously on the easel. if the experiment continues, i’ll probably have to attach the stretcher bars together to make it easier to work on them. on the other hand, i want the freedom to shuffle the deck & move them around. originally, my intention was to make 12 paintings, all 16x20” and show them at my may exhibition 4 across & 3 down, like a puzzle with interchangeable pieces.

right now these 4 are moving in the direction of one image divided into 4. that’s not really what i want, so i won’t be back in my studio till thursday, since we’re at the school working with the kids tomorrow, then driving to boulder for yet another root canal on wednesday. lets see how i feel about this on thursday.

new rules, 16x20" by Philip Tarlow

new rules mixed media on linen 16x20”


2:27 PM: yesterday i couldn’t do a thing. exhausted from all the travel. lack of a good sleep, etc. today i stretched a smaller canvas: 16x20” with the thought of doing a bunch this size which will be shown as a mosaic, along with the larger pieces in the may show. possibly 12 of them in 3 rows of 4. in keeping with my abstract random (according to gregorc’s mind style model) nature, this painting is titled new rules. when i randomly opened henry geldzahler’s looking at pictures, “ that was one of the first phrases my eye landed on.

in the future, some wise-ass will likely find a hidden meaning in this title. there is none, so you can relax & enjoy the painting.

more drawings made at bonfire café in carbondale by Philip Tarlow

fresh snow this morning in snowmass

7:57 AM: yesterday we spent another few hours at the bonfire café in carbondale, where mikela helped orient new volunteers, giving instructions on how and where to canvas. it was a snowy day, so many of them will be going out today (including us) in clearer, relatively warmer weather to knock on doors & pass out literature. it’s interesting to observe life at the bonfire. there are almsot always small groups playing games; either chess or card games or other board games i never heard of. some are reading, some doing homework or other kinds of work and some are just having old fashioned conversations! on the right is a friend’s daughter on her computer.

there was only one mother who, when she noticed i was making a drawing of her daughter, requested that i stop. you see the beginnings of the drawing on the lower left, with a new drawing of a kid in a cool hat superimposed on top.

so these trips we’ve been making to parts of colorado we’ve never seen, to support candidate for cd3 diane mitch bush, will be ending tomorrow, when the election takes place. will she win

on the road again by Philip Tarlow

7:37 PM: this morning at the bonfire café in carbondale, colorado, mikela oriented volunteers for the diane mitch bush campaign on how to canvas. then we did 2 hours of canvassing, knocking on 41 doors in silt, colorado.

while we were at bonfire, i made 3 drawings. but my favorite place to make drawings while we’er on the road is h&h in edwards, where we’ll be on wednesday-thursday to work with the kids at the middle school.

katarachtes goes blue by Philip Tarlow

katarachtes, 50x48” as it looked at 11am


11:23 AM: the very first thing i did this morning, following a restless strange-dream-filled night, was to unhesitatingly squeeze some cerulean blue onto my palette and, using my favorite fan brush, apply it to some areas, especially on the top portion. following my matcha tea & toast with feta, i added some touches of yellow ochre. more could follow, but i do like the calligraphic greys with accents of color. i like it a lot. it’s early still, so lets see how the rest of my day goes, under brilliant sunshine.

one might say that what is currently emerging in my work is the essence of my decades long love affair with our creeks and with my 10th c. chinese calligrapher/landscape painter buddies.

more work on katarachtes this morning by Philip Tarlow

katarachtes as it looked at the end of my painting day today

DETAIL of katarachtes at 4:15 PM

4:27 PM: i worked into katarachtes this afternoon, creating a contrasting bright white in the midst of all that grey. it did accomplish my goal of having the painting pop more. the dominanat color remains warm grey, broken by bursts of subdued purples, reds & oranges.

it’s helpful to view a detail like this one, which gives more of a sense of the calligraphic marks i added this morning, mainly in the upper portion.

2:14 PM: i was going to let katarachtes sit & marinate & start a new painting. but i couldn’t help myself, and made some rather chinese-reminiscent changes. they involve one of my fan brushes & dark grey oil paint.

katarachtes at 2 pm today

just now i was re-visiting looking at pictures, the little (4.25x2.75 inches) book by my old friend henry geldzahler, in which he wrote a sweet dedication in 1991, just 3 years before he died of liver cancer. i was wondering what his feedback would have been were he able to see this stage of katarachtes. when it began to go chinese on me, i also remembered mikela’s mom ceil. i never met her, but have heard stories form mikela about how deeply she loved chinese art. so i invited her into my studio space and asked her to join in the fun.

DETAIL of kataqrachtes at 2pm

after looking at it over the past hour, i see it needs more pop. that could happen today, but the skies have darkened again, so i might wait till tomorrow morning.

to read more about henry, visit my story page & scroll down a bit:https://philip-tarlow.squarespace.com/config/pages

resuming work on katarachtes by Philip Tarlow

DETAIL: katarachtes at 5:30 PM today

today, following a morning actionlab 360 meeting at the house, i migrated to my studio. i stretched a new 32x38” piece of portrait linen. i’ve been missing the unique surface provided by this extraordinary, albeit expensice, frech linen, which has 4 coats of priming. i was waiting for my mentee, k., who wasn’t able to make it today. so, despite the overcast skies, which made it necessary to work by artificial light, i resumed work on katarachtes, 50x48.”

i eliminated the pink tone surrounding the central image of abstracted rocks & water. as always, i won’t know until tomorrow morning what happened this afternoon. but at first glance, it seems easier to look at. at the same time it’s stronger, punchier. katarachtes is greatly relieved to be out of the p

resuming work on pink branch by Philip Tarlow

3:35 PM: now that we’re back home, i resumed work on pink branch. the last time i worked on it was september 19. it’s in transition, and while there are some sweet passages, it’s nowhere near resolution. my time in the studio will be limited until the election on november 6th, after which i should be able to find my rhythm.