looking back: the miracle, 1979/ resuming work parade 29 / by Philip Tarlow

4:16PM update: so in this stage parade 29 is close to resolution. it's good that our alamosa trip was pushed back a day to tomorrow. so when i re-enter my studio on saturday morning, i can see the painting with fresh eyes. right now, i'm burnt out & looking forward to an epsom salts bath, dinner and bed. 

quite honestly, this is so different from the rest of the series, with it's geometric shapes and helicopter blades, that i don't really what i've done till i have a little break. i'm beginning to catch glimpses of what the november show in houston will look like, and i'm excited!

parade 29  32x32" in it's current state, at about 1PM, 3/5/15

12:48PM update: here's the current state pf parade 25; inching ever closer to resolution, but some important bits, including a couple of figures that will shift the whole piece are yet to come....





LOOKING BACK: 1979 was the last of the 15 consecutive years i spent living, painting and creating a family in greece. that year, i painted a series of works based upon photos and drawings i had done of nikos the fisherman,on the cycladic island of andros. one beautiful spring day, a fisherman from the small seaside town of corthi showed up on the dock beneath our house. he had just delivered a fresh catch to the local taverna, nonas, owned and operated by a quirky man of the same name.

during the war years, there was no electricity in the mountain villages of andros, and nonas used to deliver huge blocks of ice by donkey and then on his back. nonas was stocky with forearms like tree trunks. he was short tempered and, if provoked, had been known to kick clients out, no matter who they were, if they offended him. his food was fresh and delicious and the setting, right on the water, with a view of the entire bay,,was magical. one of the fisherman who regularly brought him fish caught the previous night, was nikos.

that day, nikos was in the mood to tell me the story of a miracle that had taken place when he was a child in asia minor. cinema was a totally new phenomenon and his parents had taken him to one of the first screenings. it was held in a wooden building newly transformed into a movie theatre, and it was packed. mid way into the film, the projector broke. the lights came on and although there were frantic attempts to repair it, it proved impossible. the disappointed audience, consisting mostly of women and children filed out into the street. when the last person had left, plumes of smoke were seen coming from the building, followed by flames, which rapidly engulfed and consumed the wood structure.

this, nikos said, gesturing dramatically, was the miracle. the patron saint of his town, the Divine Mother, had intervened and made sure all were safely outside the building before the fire broke out. these are just a few of a series of paintings i made of nikos telling the story, one of which is in the estate of my old friend, the late henry geldzahler, who was curator of 20th century art at the met in NYC.

.9AM update: above: yesterday's late afternoon sky as seen form our living room. high winds, cold temperatures and snow are on their way out, and warmer weather is fast approaching. our snow pack was boosted by a series of late winter storms which brought many feet of snow to the peaks, above 12,000 ft.

more once i start work again on parade 29, a bit later in the day.