more work on grey 23 / by Philip Tarlow

the eastern sky and the fourteeners from our front door, 8:15pm

8:23 PM: GOODNIGHT, crestone!

grey 23  38x38"  mixed media on canvas, at 2 pm

2:09 PM: mikela strolled over, at my request, and spotted a few areas that needed modification because they were drawing they eye to them, to the detriment of the whole composition. they were 2 areas of off white paper i had collaged on, which mostly worked as shapes but were too stark and needed to be pushed back. so i went back in and accomplished that. i think she was right, so here's where i'll leave it for today as i move on to the re-stretching i spoke about this morning. below are a couple of details.

12:19 PM: as i gazed at grey 23 on my studio wall, something was bugging me. it was too busy and had no real identity. so i dove back in, intuitively going for more white space and keeping my mind out of it by putting on shuffle on my ipod, which is on it's last legs. if you sctoll down a bit and compare this version with the one i posted about an hour ago, you'll see a vast improvement. it breathes now. all the diverse collaged elements contribute to a cohesive whole. it is, as it were, it's own animal...a head-dress-o-pod, lets call it. and, perhaps most important, something of vermeer's mystery has been translated, i like to think, into a contemporary vernacular.

11:25 AM: got to work early enough to make a few important additions to grey 23. it's now more integrated than it was when i ended my painting day yesterday. which means i can get on with the task of un-stretching and re-stretching, described in my earlier post, below. i plan on creating a companion piece for grey 23 and grey 21. all four are destined for gremillion & co. fine art in houston, where thry don't yet have any examples of my grey series.

7:45 AM: i'll be going back in to grey 23 today, and, i hope, doing some un-stretching and re-stretching to remove completed paintings form their masonite backing and stretch new canvas for the next round of the grey series. here's how my studio wall looked as i left for our trail walk yesterday. the paintings on the left & in the center will be re-stretched. on the right is grey 23, which i'll be working on shortly.

BELOW: this time every year our high desert cactus blossom. they don't last more than a few weeks and have a very special, subtle beauty.