Tetsis / by Philip Tarlow

10:17 AM: sitting in starbucks in edwards, remembering the great greek painter, panayiotis tetsis, who died a few days ago at 91. he was a friend, although i wouldn't say we were close friends. the last time i saw him was on andros, where he was having a show at the goulandris museum. when we sat down for coffee in the square, he was, as usual, in his expansive mode, long arms swinging when he told a story, a look of deep observation in his glance, his shock of grey hair blowing in the mild meltemi blowing that day. his large oil landscapes were stunning. very rare to see large landscapes that have the intimacy of small format paintings. no brush marks wasted, none unconscious, all essential.

i was moved when he showed up at my 2006 and 2010 shows at skoufa gallery in athens. as always, generous and spot on with his observations and comments, he was an uplifting presence, always. this photo, which was posted on facebook, eloquently reveals the depth of his passion for painting, and how he made the greek landscape his own. it takes BIG balls to do what you see him doing here. thank you, tetsi.

4:46 PMtetsis has inspired me to resume my plein air paintings starting next month. i took a one year break, and now i feel ready to dive back in. i can't wait to get back out there with my rocks and the roaring creek and the fresh new leaves popping out. this time, instead of working on linen, i plan on using american easel wood painting panels. they can be gessoed, but i'm going to see what it's like working straight onto the wood. that will also allow me to collage onto the wood before starting to work. i have no idea how it will go, but i know the grey series will influence how i work on the new plein air paintings. i always have to take a 6 week break from late june through the end of july, when our mosquito season comes to an end.