drawings at the lions eye center/continuing work on gaze 37/wild duck / by Philip Tarlow

4:16 PM: WILD DUCK, a small gouache i just did based on a photo my son dimitri sent me, shot on andros. the wild duck, from a nearby inlet called yialia, showed up as dimirtri and his cast were rehearsing for the play!







2:38 PM: enlivened by our morning trail walk, (we had been taking out walks in the afternoon) i began the drawing, based on a detail of vermeer's the milkmaid. it's a freeing feeling to have something other than a large face filling the picture space! i have always loved the still life, so this brings me full circle to something i did a lot of during my years in greece. in a way, the riffing i often speak of, akin to jazz, comes more naturally when there's no face; just a loaf of bread & a pitcher of milk. 

the collaged elements add something i could never make up. their colors, the biomorphic shapes push the image past vermeer, into new territory. when i made the underpainting of abstract gestural strokes and patterns yesterday, i kind of knew where it was going & how it would work with the drawing/painting i did today. where will it go tomorrow?

1:02 PM: i did some collaging this morning on gaze 37, and am preparing to draw the image. some of the collaged pieces you see are taken from paintings on paper done by 7 & 8 year old kids who were making large gouache paintings on the floor of my studio last year. the rest are from vintage '50's maps of the maine wilderness, given to me by my friend dan. i'll post more pics once i've started the drawing.

8 AM: as we sat in the waiting room of the rocky mountain lions eye center awaiting my refraction appointment for new, accurate progressive glasses,, exactly 4 months after my glaucoma/cataract surgery, i made 3 drawings.

i love, and have always loved, making drawings of people who are waiting. in greece, it was the passengers on the ferry to & from the island of andros. here at home, it is often people in doctors waiting rooms, airports, schools...you have a limited amount of time before they change positions, which creates an immediacy and urgency, in the good sense. it's a device, one could argue, for getting you out of your planning, scheming mind and directly into present time. personally, this allows me time go straight to my instinctive eye-hand coordination, developed and honed over decades of drawing and painting form life.