12/25/14 diving back in to parade 18 / by Philip Tarlow

3:36 PM update: intensely frustrated with my attempts to resolve this painting, i turned to collage, using mostly cut up pieces of old paper palettes i've saved from previous paintings, as well as a piece of a WSJ article on watches sent to me by my friend louis in houston. right now, looking at the small image on the screen, i am reminded of persian miniatures.

essentially, i think that what happened is that i dropped out the occasional collages i had been making when the mood struck me. in focusing my attention just on these 16x16" paintings of various events as seen from above, i was losing the playfulness and that wonderful feeling of not knowing what might emerge that i have when working on collages. i am at a loss to say where i'll go from here. i do have some images i've singled out that are more conducive to painterly solutions. so i may base parade 19 on one of them, & sit with this one, hang it in the house and see how i feel about it in the morning.

if this makes any sense to you, i am grateful to be confused; to have the guts to paper and paint over the work i had done & strike out in a new direction. i am certainly not the first contemporary painter to fuse realist and abstract elements. but, honestly, at my age i feel both gratitude & excitement that i can flirt with possible failure and still feel that i've had a great day in my studio. it all comes down, once again to process. as janis joplin once said at the end of a song, "if you're waitin' till tomorrow man, you gotta enjoy what you got TODAY man, there is no tomorrow, man. because, as we realized yesterday on the bus, it's all the same fucking day, m-a-a-an............"

and it's christmas! right about now, when i was a kid in valley stream, my family would be headed out for the traditional chinese meal that american, and especially new york jews have been having for decades on christmas. it all started when we realized this was an ideal solution if you wanted to keep jewish dietary laws, since the chinese don't use dairy in their cooking, and jewish dietary rules dictate that meat and dairy should not be eaten together.

if you do celebrate christmas, i hope you had a good one.

expecting snow tonight.

i'm struggling with this one. i have a conflict between the "subject matter" and the pure spatial & compositional factors. it might very well end up in the trash! more later; i have about another good hour to work before the light gets dodgy.

i deliberately hung parade 18 in a spot in our house where i could look at it during our dinner last night. while bantering with our guests my eye wandered frequently to the painting. you can see it on the wall on the upper left of the photo. by the end of the evening, it was clear to me: as much as i love the unfinished aesthetic, the painting needs more work. it's unresolved. so that's what i'm up to on this christmas day. i'll post pics at the next stage for your review.