from oil to acrylic & collage / by Philip Tarlow

4:40 PM: after returning from my eye appointment in alamosa, i've decided to listen to what my gut has been telling me for weeks, ever since i launched into the interior series. whenever i return to the house from the studio and encounter one of my gaze series paintings in the entryway, i actually feel a longing for the freedoms working on that series afforded me.

what do i mean by that? look for a moment at this detail of a gaze series painting: the calligraphic marks in the hair; the integration of collaged maps, a collaged piece of brown paper and the image painted in acrylic and scrumbled (a word i made up to describe my process of repeatedly scraping over the freshly painted surface and painting back into it).

imagine the physicality of all this. on my feet, now painting, now collaging, now scraping...imagine the adventure and unpredictability. i never knew when i entered my studio what would happen, where the process would take me. it's hard to go back once you've been there. the gaze series experience allowed me to integrate all of the skills i had built up over decades: my work in egg tempera, watercolor, oil, collage. my plein air paintings, my paintings of construction workers, my studies based on chinese and japanese calligraphy....

so i'm at a crossroads. i'm going to follow my gut and dive back in to making paintings, large and small, in acrylic and collage. however they won't be limited to the large faces of my gaze series. i am not an abstract painter, so they won't be abstractions. they will be based upon some form of recognizable imagery. that's all i can say right now, and that's a lot!