roiling renewed / icy creek / by Philip Tarlow

icy creek, 18 x 48” mixed media & collage on canvas

6 pm: after working on roiling, below, i felt revved up. i had my colors on the palette & i was ready to go. this canvas has been sitting in a stack of unresolved paintings in a corner of my studio. i snatched it up and lay it on my big table. i was in that action state, where my body takes the lead and i follow. i liberally applied the off white oil colors i had already prepared, then scraped, revealing the layers of collage & acryllic & oil paint below. i grabbed a fat black oil stick & began drawing rocks, glancing now & then at large printouts i have, of my creek photos. the ones i was referring to happened to be early spring images of the rocks & water surrounded by, immersed in, ice. white ice, with bare branches interrupting the starkness of the white, which formed curves around the big rocks like the collar of a white blouse wraps around the neck. it was unexpected. and rewarding.

1:36 PM: i re-evaluated roiling, which is part of my meta-motion series, yesterday & decided it needed to change. for a change! as you will see below, the busyness & confusion of the previous state is transformed into a single, monolithic image of an abstracted rock, with marks that matter more. an under-shadow of the previous state is visible, & lens both color, predominantly blue, and suggestive forms to the overall image.

this appears to be a new phase in the series of abstracted creek-scapes i’ve been engaged in for years. i don’t really want to analyse it. what i can do is identify what is emerging. there is more reliance on the kind of gestural drawing that defines and permeates much of my path as a painter. there seems to be greater certainty in my mark making and my use of color. in this latest painting especially, i can clearly see how i could not have reached this moment without my predecessors. that’s all i’m going to say right now.

here’s the before & after:

i’m still working, so stay tuned.