back in my studio-a closer look at parade 23 / by Philip Tarlow

3PM update: i just completed the drawing for parade 26, which will be 12x60". so now i have 3 future parade drawings completed & tomorrow i'll tweak parade 23.

detail of parade 23

this morning when i arrived at my studio, i glanced at the 60x60" parade 23 to determine, after 24 hours away, what if anything needs to be done to resolve the painting. i re-shot some details of the figures, which you see below. of particular interest, in terms of completion and resolution, is the figure sketched in red oil pencil. i had considered leaving this figure as is, but today it became clear that it needs to be painted in. since i didn't get a great sleep last night, i'll do it tomorrow. 

but it's interesting to have a close look at some of the figures in this painting. in these detailed shots, especially if you click on them to view full screen, several things become apparent.

the first has to do the painterliness; the gestural freedom in the brush strokes which indicate but do not describe shoe or hair or jeans. the white ground of the portrait linen is almost always visible beneath the strokes, giving the figures a luminescence and airiness indicating a certain lack of solidity. they appear, as in life when one glances around a room or, in this case, a museum, a fugitive quality of suspended movement.  this quality, added to my sheer delight in the way my brush, skates and  glides over this quadruple primed french portrait linen, is a big part of the emotional engagement that fuels my persistence, which is required to navigate all the stages involved in producing the finished painting. part of my impetus in writing this blog is to provide you with an intimate look into this process. my hope is that some of you will be able to make it to my november show in houston to see them up close.