2/25/14 2 new collages today / by Philip Tarlow

i worked on these all day, plus a third which i was too exhausted to complete. as usually happens, the "clincher" element was introduced at the very end of the process. in both cases, it involves the bolder red and blue marks, cut from calligraphic warm-up exercises i had been doing a few mornings ago. about 80% of those exercises never get used in a collage, but i need them available to select when the moment is right. and that moment, thank god, is always a surprise. 

so if you wanted to say i'm addicted to this process of making small scale collages, it's the surprise factor the contributes heavily. there's always a thin line….too obvious; too precious; too predictable; colors that don't work; not enough space; not enough movement……and suddenly, after many hours usually, it all clicks.

so when people ask, as they always do, "how long does it take you to do one of these?" the answer could be 6 hours. but the real answer is "decades." 

on the bottom row left, an early stage of the 3 collages (i didn't have the energy to complete the long narrow one). bottom right, a drawing i made while looking at my plein air paintings on my studio wall, with the intention of cutting it up for possible inclusion in one or more of the pieces.

a selection of these collages will be exhibited in houston in late may. i'm about ready to move on to larger paintings on canvas, incorporating all i've learned making these smaller guys. but the truth is, this is the is the scale i love most; something i can hold in my arms.