11/6/14 picasso quote, wall of gouaches, moroni and next painting prep / by Philip Tarlow

food for thought: a quote from picasso, 1948

i was just going through my archives and came across this photo, shot in 2008. i am standing in front of the east wall of my studio, which is filled with plein air paintings in gouache on paper, all painted that year on site at spanish creek. it was a productive plein air season.

the detail of a moroni (1524-79), below, is a great example of what is meant by the term painterly. i shot it in 2008 at the chicago art institute. just have a look at how he painted the hairs on the dog: superb! 

i'm about to meditate and dive into the drawing for best left unsaid 11, which will be based on the photo on row 2, shot last year at a denver high school.

below, the photo i'll be referring to in best left unsaid 11, currently in preparation.

1:38pm: so i completed the drawing, which i'll now transfer to the canvas so i can begin painting first thing tomorrow. then i plan on going out to north crestone creek for what may be my last foray until the spring, depending on the weather and our travel schedule. this afternoon we're taking our walk up the creek, in about an hour.

re: the composition. this radical cropping and the foreshortening of the figures really turns me on. there's no explanation. it's these features which allow me to feel complete freedom when it comes to brush strokes and color. but it's always important to remember richter's quote. the painting is not ABOUT anything at all, other than marks on a surface:

Theory has nothing to do with a work of art. Pictures which are interpretable, and which contain a meaning, are bad pictures. A picture presents itself as the Unmanageable, the Illogical, the Meaningless. It demonstrates the endless multiplicity of aspects; it takes away our certainty, because it deprives a thing of its meaning and its name. It shows us the thing in all the manifold significance and infinite variety that preclude the emergence of any single meaning and view. gerhard richter, 1964-5



i watched some video of dekooning, one of my heroes, a while ago. i can see how these are the years we artists have the opportunity to tie it all together. WTF, "i have nothing to lose," as a 12 year old middle school student recently said in response to our question about how he was able to create a stellar project after having been a failing student all year.