as usual. i spoke too soon! / by Philip Tarlow

tree resting as it looked moments ago

1:52 PM: my friend sarah in alaska commented earlir “realling having to wrestle with this one.” i responded that they’re all pretty much like that. whenever my mind cuts in, which is a lot, i have to white & scrape out what i’ve just done, pretending not to be aware i’m just waiting for the majik to happen. when it does, you have to recognize it and STOP! what may seem to some to be haphazard marks are actually all part of a seamless whole. anything that’s not jumps out and shouts. this is true just as much in “realist” work. that’s why it’s helpful, no, necessary, to regine and inform our vision. in my mind, this happens most effectively by looking at a lot of great art from all periods. ideally, in person. but not all of us have the luxury of visiting the great museums of the world. when we do happen to have that opportunity, we need to spend time with great paintings. and then go back & look more. this is what my friend david hockney just did. he can afford to take a trip to vienna expressly for the purpose of visiting the breugel exhibition currently on there. i spoke with him a couple of days ago when he was in london & had just returned. he was ecstatic, and when on and on about what a great painter breugel is. and now, now doubt, that experience will show up in his new work. at 82, he has the spirit of a child.

tree resting as it looked moments ago

1pm: continuing work on tree resting. i’ll go back to work as soon as i post this & have a chance to review what i’ve done so far. BELOW: comparative views of the painting at noon and an hour later

tree resting, 32x38” at noon today

12:02 PM: yes, i said yesterday that tree resting had found it’s groove. well, sort of. upon bringing it back to the house & looking critically at it, there was just too much going on, with no focal point. so this morning i whited & scraped over about 3/4 of the painting, and am now working back into it. as has happened with almost all the paintings in this series, what shows through adds tremendously to the richness and mystery of the image. i’m still working & will update later this afternoon. the good news? the crestone mart has finally gotten in my favorite: aldens chocholate chip ice cream. they’re holding one for me & i’ll pick it up later this afternoon. following the root canal, i no longer have sensitivity to cold, so i can really enjoy it!