motion 27 revived, or, pt expressionist meets pt intimist, or...out of control / by Philip Tarlow

4:18 PM: well, it didn't take long to bring motion 27-a back to the house, hang it & rapidly determine that it doesn't work. so, despite my seemingly convincing statement earlier this morning, i probbaly should not have messed with it. so tomorrow i'll bring it back to the studio & see what i can do to revive it and, ideally transform it into a better painting than it was when i started work this morning. as a reminder, here's what it looked like this morning. if you compare the 2 images below, showing yesterdays & todays versions, yesterdays version is a much more coherent, not to mention sensitive. but i don't regret what i did today. part of the learning curve.

i do feel that i can pull it off, especially since tomorrow if forecast to be about 10F cooler. harder to work in the heat, even with my swamp cooler.

3:15 PM: i worked on both motion 27 & 27-a in tandem today. not yet clear on the results, and it was a little painful to let go of yesterdays sensitive, bonnard-like version of motion 27-a, but i just had to do it.

BELOW is motion 27-a at the end of my painting day, and below that, motion 27.

                                                                                 motion 27-a at 3pm today

                                                                                   motion 27 at 3pm today


10:45 AM: yesterdays adventure felt a tad precious, after the fact. oh, the little cross hatching; the gradual build of delicate boldness.


so this morning i literally grabbed the failed, or so i thought motion 27 and dove into it, placing it flat on my work table & applying scoops of titanium zinc white with palette knives. my expressionist self came to life as i swirled the paint into shapes mimicking the roiling creek water, then scraped, then made bold tree branch marks with brushes, again scraping while delighting in my WTF attitude.

too much control is as deadly as too out of control. where the two meet, new shades of beauty may emerge, sometimes giving the controlling mind food for new ways of controlling the process! a process that won't be controlled because by it's nature, it is out of control.

what needs, however, to be understood by the uninitiated is that, underlying all this is the drawing. the value, the weight of ones marks all go back to the drawing, the draftsmanship. most kids have it. then they lose or forget it. then if they're lucky, the return to it, informed and enriched by the awareness and knowledge of the history of art.