mid day plein air / significant progress on gaze 34 / by Philip Tarlow

3:23 PM: you might have thought: "tarlow's tuckered out; no way he can work on gaze 34 after his mid day creek adventure. no way!" think again. sometimes you get on a roll. it has little to do with how well you slept or how tired you might be after making 2 plein air paintings at the creek.

so i dove in, first doing a scrumble, then working into it very lightly. i was moved to make a series of calligraphic marks in matte green which echo the writing on one of my favorite fayum paintings. the artist wrote, in ancient greek script, some details about the sitter. they are strung across her beautiful neck like beads, and work perfectly as part of the composition. like that, i dipped my fan brush in a darkish green acrylic i had mixed and began making calligraphic marks, riffing off my fayum painter buddy. this is how i envision a successful gaze series painting. we'll see how i feel about it in the morning. gotta get going; mikela & i are going to walk up to tashi gomang stupa and go right by the spot where i was painting just a few hours ago.

2:12 PM: when i arrivedin the studio i felt a strong hit that i should go to the creek and make plein air gouaches. rather than go up to north crestone creek, i went to a site i haven't frequented in about 9 years: willow creek at the trailhead to tashi gomang stupa. i made dozens of plein air gouaches at that location in 2008-9. i discovered it's changed for the better! a large and beautiful tree has fallen across the creek, creating a new and exciting composition as seen from the spot i usually choose to sit. it's not an ideal spot as far as convenience however. no flat ground for my chair & little table, so everything could tumble into the creek if i'm not careful. as well, i have to sit in the sun, which is a drag. the work i did today is quite different from what i did 9 years ago. it's too early to say exactly what that difference is, but when i have time i'll post a few side by side so you can judge for yourselves.

now i'm going to do a bit of work on gaze 34, although i'm feeling a bit tired from my latest creek adventure. pics when available.