back to gaze 35 with fresh energy / by Philip Tarlow

2:32 PM: i needed a break from gaze 35 which, not unlike most of the paintings in my gaze series, has gone through many permutations, each layer enriching the next. this morning i scrumbled over the previous version, using the same painting for inspiration (the love letter) but zooming in on the face of the mistress, who is showing the letter to her maid. still evident under the scrumble is the previous layer showing the mistress with her lute. this lends a certain unexpected poetry to the entire image, which i like. so i stopped here for the day, and we'll see how i feel about it tomorrow morning.

i had been despairing a bit that my passion for the gaze series had ebbed. you can never know what's brewing however, and the key is to persist without being pushy. when i saw my eye surgeon last week, he continued me on a reduced schedule of 2 kinds of drops to reduce the swelling behind my retina, which had already improved considerably, one of them dilates my pupil and that lasts almost 24 hours. this is resulting in continued blurry vision in my right eye, which is a drag but is not keeping me from working. i'm trusting there's some deeper reason for this having to do with the quality and progress of my painting. even so, it sometimes just seems like a big pain in the ass! 2.5 more weeks till my next visit and, if all goes well, i'll be able to discontinue the drops and finally experience clear vision.

at the same time, i'm reaching out in an attempt to organize an exhibition of the gaze series in washington, d.c. to coincide with the opening of the vermeer show at the national gallery in october. if his expenses are paid, my old friend gary, who is an internationally acclaimed rembrandt and vermeer scholar and author, has agreed to fly over from amsterdam to give a joint presentation with me at the gallery hosting my show. all this takes a lot of planning, and there's no certainty it will happen.