revisiting "turtle island" / by Philip Tarlow

4:56 PM: just as i was about to leave the studio, i cast a glance at the painting and it just seemed too busy. so i put all my stuff down and got to work! i surrounded the central areas with warm grey acrylic, so that when i completed my mini-rework, i could look at it & not have that gnawing feeling that it just wasn't right. i quickly photographed it with my iphone, since there was no time to doit properly with my big nikon. and here's ho wit looks now. you can compare with the image below to see the difference.

DETAIL of the lower right portion of the painting

3 PM: a did another hour of work on turtle island, most noticeably on the lower right portion of the painting. that green shape at the bottom right was looking separate form the rest of the painting and needed to be broken up. in addition, the green in the middle right portion was too strong, and was pulling the eye away form the rest of the composition, so that got pushed back. i'll see how i feel about it tomorrow. it's possible i may go to the creek tomorrow morning to paint plein air, and if so, i'll encounter turtle island once i'm back, around noon.

BELOW: before (left) and after the changes

12:54 PM: as i mentioned in yesterdays post, when i looked at turtle island hanging next to a few of the other late summer paintings, it wasn't cutting it. so this morning, and admittedly with some trepidation, i went back into it, trying not to be attached to any of its more beautiful passages.

it's become a very different painting, and the turtle like image that gave the painting it's name is gone. as i gaze at it now, i can see there's more to be done. so after posting this i may resume work on it. but i do like where it's headed. the forms are more clearly defined; the colors warmer, almost tropical, which is unusual considering my normally earth toned palette. while the turtle has left, other images suggest themselves. there are clear references to trees, tree trunks, rocks and water. i have an array of plein air paintings i've made recently, plus a few older collages on paper that i'm looking at as i work. 

BELOW, turtle island before the changes (left) and how it looked moments ago.