looking back/looking forward / by Philip Tarlow

BELOW: 3 stages of gaze 36, starting on the left at 11:20 am

with gaze 36, 32x32", at about 2:15 pm.

2:21 PM: stopping for the day. usually, at any one of the early stages you see above, i'm tempted to stop and let it be. at that point i sometimes invite mikela to walk over and give me feedback, and she encourages me to keep going. at least i have a record of these stages in the development of all the paintings in my gaze series.

keep in mind, i'm still finding my way with the acrylic medium, which i had sworn earlier in my career never to go near. in part, it was kind of a snobbish, purist thing. and in part it was purely a technical thing, since i am so fond of the painterly and associated sfumato (allowing tones & colors to blend into one another gradually) capacity only available with oil paint. i think one of the things you will see if you scroll through the 23 ...this makes 24...paintings in the series, is an increasing capacity to mimic that sfumato effect, using tricks i've developed over the past year. if nothing else, this is good for ones brain. they say one of the things that keeps the brain vital as one ages is learning new things & switching it up.

the other variable here, as i've mentioned over the past week in my posts, are my ripening cataracts, mildly clouding my vision right now in my right eye. other than a general softening of the image & fewer hard edges, i can't quite put my finger on exactly how else this is affecting my painting, but in reviewing gaze 35, and now gaze 36, i see a distinct difference. and i must say, i like it!



11:24 AM: as anticipated in yesterdays post, an image has appeared in gaze 36, this time inspired by one of the figures in vermeer's christ in the house of mary & martha, which hangs in the national gallery, scotland. this is still a very early stage, but there's a possibility a second image inspired by a different vermeer painting may enter the picture plane.

it's a very windy day, with temperatures just below freezing. snow is falling above 12,000 ft. but the morning clouds have cleared and the sun is shining here at 8,000 ft.

kuan creek  16x66"  oil on linen  dated 3/9/13

i was about to start working on gaze 36 when i ran across this image on my desktop. it was painted in 2013, at a time when i was making a series of creek paintings inspired by smaller plein air paintings done at north crestone creek.

once i start work on gaze 36, i'll post pics of my process, with commentary.