3/18/14 2 collages; 1 larger one on canvas 38x38" / by Philip Tarlow

after two months of making small collages on paper, i have transitioned to a larger surface. i didn't feel ready for this until yesterday, when mikela helped me to cut the canvas (i have tendonitis in my right arm & it's painful to do by myself), which i stretched and found waiting for me when i entered the studio this morning.

while the process of attaching paper to canvas is different from paper on paper, and somewhat trickier, it does kind of feel like moving from a studio apartment to a 3 bedroom. space is abundant. my whole body is more involved. the calligraphic marks underlying the completed painting are more physically gestural. i can no longer cradle the surface in my hands; it rests horizontally on a pair of metal sawhorses. and of course the image carries further, so that when i walk back the full length of my studio: 40 feet, the full impact is more powerful than it is being only a few feet away, as with the smaller collages on paper..

most interestingly, the energy of working bigger carried over immediately from the larger to the smaller surface, creating a more sweeping, spacious composition. less precious i might say. expanding the small piece of paper. if you only see the smaller one on your computer screen, it's easier to imagine it being much larger.

i wish i had about ten or twenty canvases stretched and ready to work on. i can do this, but it will take a little time, and i'm impatient.

i love going back and forth between the smaller works on paper and the larger canvases. it exercises my mind as well as my body. stretches me; opens my vision. without thinking about it, i opened moby dick last night and read random pages. i encountered melville's unique way of transmitting the vastness and power and  of the oceans. somewhere in today's paintings lies the white whale.

NOTE: perpetual, shown below on the left, has been revised. see my 3/22/14 blog for details