yesterday's sunset / fnal version of grey 20?/ the hat shop / by Philip Tarlow

1:30 PM: this may be the final version of grey 20, contingent upon a 24 hour review once i bring it to the house this afternoon. so it may be time to start a new one. just that little bit of blue on the lower left seems to have snapped everything into place. one way i can tell it's working is by the fact that that little bit of red peeking out just to the right of her lips has now found it's place in the composition, and seems like one of those elements without which the entire paiinting would suffer.

 DETAIL of  grey 20  at 1:30 PM

DETAIL of grey 20 at 1:30 PM

12:03 PM: i did some more work on grey 20 just now, reducing the intensity of the brownish elements on the left to create more balance and allow the right portion, with the face, to pop a bit more. as always, what i'm aiming for is a painting that sings as a painterly even, without any one feature dominating, allowing the eye to roam over the surface resting periodically on a particular stroke or constellation of strokes.

before australian aboriginal art became fashionable, the aborigine artists would never hang their work, and it was not unusual for them to use a painting on the canvas provided them by dealers in sydney as a blanket at night. that makes me smile.

BELOW: LEFT-yesterday's version RIGHT: today

10:19 AM: in 1967, my former mother-in-law, the great greek painter niki karagatsi and i often sallied forth to piraeus looking for subjects to paint. at that time in it's history, piraeus was still a city with it's own inimitable flavor and character. much of the neoclassical architecture was intact. the port, with it's open market was living poetry. on this particular morning, we found a hat makers shop. it was an environment where vuillard would have felt completely at home. and that's how this painting came about. only 3 years into my 15 year experience in greece, i was thrilled to be in this indescribably alive environment having as my companion and guide niki karagatsi.

there were to be many days like this. piraeus; athens; andros; chania in crete were all rich environments for our celebration of the beauty in the everyday.

7:43 AM: yesterday, as the system that's been affecting our weather for the last week began moving out, sunset was special. the atmosphere, cleansed by says of snow & rain, was crystal clear, even more so than usual.