an unusual day.... / by Philip Tarlow

the area of grey 12 i most worked on today, albeit briefly

12:59 PM: it's been an unusual day. when i arrived at my studio around 10:15 this morning, i could see storm clouds gathering. generally, with this system that's been hanging around south central colorado for longer than usual, the storms don't kick in till sometime after 2 pm. since we both have been missing our afternoon walks up n. crestone creek trail, i suggested to mikela that we leave right away to beat out the rain, then get to work when we got back, around 12:30. a tad late, but i figured i could get some work done & would likely be rejuvenated by the walk.

but it was not meant to be, and light rain commenced just as we approached the spot where we usually park.

so i got to work about 11:30, in a very poor light. i was able to make some changes to the right mid-section of grey 12 which i think are an improvement, but i wasn't in my usual morning flow state, and mind mind was involved more than i would have liked.

however, as i gaze at the painting hanging on my east wall, i feel that, miraculously, my intervention worked and there is more coherence. below are yesterday's and today's (on the right) versions side by side. what's your take? what happens for me in yesterday's version, is that breast-like shape interrupting her shoulder line keeps grabbing my attention, and the penis-like shape directly underneath reads too much like...well, a penis! not that i have a problem with that; it's just that it stops the eye as it glides about the surface. where that collaged piece came from, by the way, is a 1986 hockney poster he gave me back then. i'm sure he'd agree, better to include it in a painting than have it sitting in a drawer! 

if you click on one of the images below to make it full screen, then click the right or left arrow to switch back & forth, you'll get a much better sense of the changes.

detail of a 1982 commissioned portrait in egg tempera

8:23 AM: we just finished watching a john stewart interview. as mikela noted, had he stayed on the show, he could have single handedly shifted the direction of our current political landscape. but he didn't. instead, he's helping abused animals on his 12 acre farm. i said to her, "he's de-toxing." but she didn't buy it. she pointed out that, with his unique talent and energy, he has a responsibility to make a bigger difference. much bigger. we need him. it's like pablo casals deciding to teach marching band.

i'll be heading over to my studio shortly and continue the conversation from there.