2 new plein air gouaches and the early stages of 11-24-17 collage / by Philip Tarlow

4:49 PM: this morning i started 11-24-17 collage by making a quick sketch in gouache of a photo i shot several weeks ago of one of our team members. i then cut it up and ,along with a quick gouache study of a chinese landscape and began mounting them on a 15x20" piece of 300lb cold press paper. it has an appealing simplicity right now. as always, my challenge tomorrow will be to retain that elegant simplicity while adding elements that, ideally, enrich the composition and therefore the experience of the viewer.

Mikela & I went up to the creek this afternoon so I could paint plein air. It was 63F, breaking the previous record for this date of 58F. I dressed warmly, knowing that, even at 63 degrees, it can get chilly sitting in one spot for over an hour. As we approached, the wind suddenly picked up. Mikela took a trail walk and, as I started painting, the wind began gusting to 40mph! I stuck it out, barely.

the two gouache paintings that emerged have clearly been influenced by the series of collages i've been making over the past few weeks. the focus is less on representing or reproducing the elements of the creek-scape realistically, and more on riffing on what i observe before me. i've done that in previous gouache plein air paintings, in this case, riff trumps allegiance to subject matter.