taking grey 3/the lacemaker further / by Philip Tarlow

2 pm: today i decided to take grey 3/the lacemaker further, based on the work i've done over the past week on 2 other vermeer inspired paintings. this one was the first time i introduced vermeer imagery into my grey series. the entire series has been painted over pre-existing collages. at first, perhaps as a gesture of relief at having painted the ano kato series non stop for over a year, they were all strictly abstract plays on the theme of grey

when vermeer entered the picture, i found his imagery irresistible. having looked lovingly at his paintings in museums around the world for most of my adult life, i'm intimately familiar with them, as well as the work of his dutch 17th c. contemporaries de hooch, et al. the key word here is intimate. the dutch 17th c. genre painters, as they are known, were all about every day, often intimate moments in the lives of their subjects. 

if you take a look at my story page, you will learn that this passion of mine for dutch 17th c. genre painting was brought to life by the work of my former mother-in-law, the late niki karagatsi of athens. she and i went together to hat makers shops, shoe makers, 3rd rate eastern european circuses, athens coffee shops.....where we found subjects to paint. 

so this is definitely a coming together of many phases of my life as an artist. what's new here is the integration and inclusion of abstract elements. some harken back to my student days in new york, before leaving for my 15 year greek adventure. there i was exposed, for the year i spent at the school of visual arts, to the tail end of the abstract expressionist movement. i met some of those painters, such as franz kline, and was deeply impacted by their work. i had to take a big detour, which turned out to be perfect timing, through the rich cultural environment of the athens of the '60's-'70's in order to come full circle and begin to integrate the explosive energy of the abstract expressionist movement.