the integration of poetry, painting & calligraphy / by Philip Tarlow

DETAIL of fisherman. the poem reads: "red leaves west of the village reflect evening rays/ yellow reeds on a sandy bank cast early moon shadows/lightly stirring his oar/thinking of returning gome/he puts aside his fishing pole, and will catch no more"

1:28 PM: on this, our first day back from my eye adventure in denver, i looked to picasso's 1940 drawings and to wu zhen (1280-1354 AD) for courage & inspiration. wu zhen was a recluse, never achieving success or fame in his lifetime. after his death, he became known as one of the Four Great Masters of the late yuan dynasty. his work is characterized by informality and spontaneity. here's an example; a detail of a work titled simply fisherman, ca. 1350.

after learning that, in addition to a cataract in my right eye, i also have glaucoma in that eye, and that i'm going to have surgery addressing both issues, i was shaken. this obviously is a big deal for an artist.

so i was delighted and lifted that i oculd enter my studio the very next day with fresh energy and begin working again on gaze 34. i tracked todays process more closely than usual, resulting in the series of photos you see below, chronologically arranged. notice that , in the final image, i'm using a branch i found this past fall on the trail to dig and scratch into the still wet paint.

the painting will likely transform tomorrow, but i find it interesting that the detail emerging from todays calligraphic play is her eye. 

i feel a strong affinity with these ancient chinese artists and their capacity to seamlessly integrate poetry, painting and calligraphy in a way that has not been accomplished before or since their flowering.