more work on gaze 35 / by Philip Tarlow

gaze 35, 32x32" at 3pm today

3:51 PM: at the end of my painting day, i'm thinking gaze 35 needs to be hung in the house for evaluation by both of us. especially since this one is somewhat of a departure from the rest of the series. i did a bit more work, being careful not to upset the balance between realist & abstract elements. there's something i've been aspiring to for over a year, since i began the gaze series. to a large degree it's exactly that balance between the biomorphic shapes created "accidentally" by collaging paper onto the surface while the painting is lying flat on a table, largely preventing me from planning or plotting the effect these elements might have on the whole, and the realist elements. as well, it is the successful translation of vermeer-ness to a contemporary idiom. of course henry geldzahler, in his little volume looking at pictures, claims that is a given, since it is being made now. and how can we tell the value of contemporary art? henry said, in the same little book: "if you look and can remember, a day, a week, a month later, the way it's made, the way the forms fit, the color-message of the picture, then it's probably good."






2:24 PM: there's something keeping me from doing my usual radical re-work of this painting. so all i did was some work on the hands & arms, the lute & the maid's apron. the dabs of color from a collaged sheet of paper on which i had been testing my watercolors was bothering me. it popped too much. so that's been pushed back. but most of the major elements and the shapes created by previous collaged areas are intact. they create a counterpoint to vermeer's own carefully weighed and balanced shapes.

as i type this post and glance over at gaze 35, i can see that the maid's right arm needs work, so that's where i'll be going next. all this very frank, very transparent commentary on my process is intentional. unlike some, i feel it's important to de-mystify the process of making art. i don't think that takes away from it's value, and that the attitude that art and artists are on a pedestal is antiquated.