one last tweak to gaze 35 / by Philip Tarlow

4:26: i realized last night that i had gone a bit too far in pushing back the black area to the left of the head in gaze 35. so i very gently modified it to create a bit more contrast, without throwing off the delicate balance of the painting. BELOW left is the painting as it looked this morning, and on the right, how it after slightly darkening the black

lately i've been looking at this gaze painting (below left) , which was the first in the series. the more i looked, the more i found wrong with it. whereas with the successful ones, it's just the opposite. so, after making the small adjustment to gaze 35, i scrumbled  gaze 1 and began painting into it. thus far, there is a similar ghost image as appears in gaze 35. but i usually regret repeating a solution i discovered in a previous painting; these discoveries have to just happen. you can't force them. a good friend just messaged me on facebook that "it looks finished to me." maybe she was right, but it's too late now! so here's what it looked like, on the left, and how it looks now. i kind of feel like i'm infusing the older versions with all that i've learned along the way, which includes how to work more sensitively with acrylics as well as how to introduce levels of ambiguity while capitalizing on the suggestive biomorphic forms created by collaged areas of paper.

compositionally at least, i feel the painting has improved. the yellow area to the right of the figure in the earlier version was dead space. filler.....let's see how things unfold tomorrow.