ongoing work on icy creek & creek creatures / looking at my "ano kato" series / by Philip Tarlow

4 PM: i was able to do more work on creek creatures before running out of steam. i think it has improved from the earlier version, and seems to be more in alignment with the suite of 6, which you can find in my 2/24 post, or at the top of the motion page. click on the link below to visit that page.

creek creatures, 16x20” as it at the end of my painting day today

icy creek 18x48” oil & collage on canvas 2017-19

creek creatures, 16x20” as it looked moments ago

2:27 PM: after watching a little of the cohen testamony & becoming profoundly bored, i came over to the studio & got back to wor. i re-engaged with icy creek, which i haven’t done any work on for about 2 weeks, and creek creatures, which i did work on yesterday. they are both still in flux, and icy creek has so many layers (it originally started out as a collage) that i have doubts as to weather it will ever be exhibited. but it’s a good testing ground, and my doubts as to whether it will ever be shown increase my capacity to take chances. creek creatures will likely undergo more changes before the day is over, and i may start work on a 32x36” stretched canvas which has a siena ground.

8:07 am: this morning, along with millions of other americans, we’re making an exception to our normal routine of starting our day by getting to work. this is usually prime time for us both. but we’re watching the testamony of michael cohen instead.

his testamony has not yet started, so i’m going to give an overview of my ano kato series, which some of you may not have looked at.

the series began with and was inspired by the painting you see ABOVE, titled parade, which was was created in 2009 and shown the following year in my solo exhibition at skoufa gallery in the kolonaki district of athens, greece. it is now in a private collection in athens.

parade was based upon a photo i shot afew years earlier from the 2nd floor balcony of skoufa gallery. a parade celebrating an important greek holiday was passing through skoufa street. as i looked down from the balcony, i was struck by the scene, enhansed by the sounds of the live music and enlivened by the crowds of onlookers. in that moments, i recognized how excited i was by this view from above and began immediately envisioning a painting based upon this moment. at the time, i didn’t envision that it might become an entire series of paintings.

in order to paint the views from above you see here, foreshortening is required. here’s a definition of foreshortening by marion boddy-evans:

foreshortening is a technique used in perspective to create the illusion of an object receding strongly into the distance or background. the illusion is created by the object appearing shorter than it is in reality, making it seem compressed. 

people often comment on how difficult they imagine it is to paint foreshortened figures. not if you love it! and i do. BELOW are 3 examples of foreshortened figures from paintings in the series

once i completed parade, i looked through my files and found a large number of photos that i had shot from above looking down, over a period of years. some were shot in museums; mainly moma and the metropolitan museums in nyc as well as the denver museum of art and the new, at the time acrpolis museum in athens. i launched into paintings based upon these photos before clearly cognizing that this was going to become a series, or coming up with the title: ano kato.

site-2-8-15 parade 25 detail 1.jpg
site-2-27-15 oarade 24 stage 1-detail 1.jpg

the process of making these paintings and painting all the foreshortened figures has been fully documented. looking back, i can see, from my current vantage point, how i could create an updated series, in which many of the figures are left in this state of becoming.

almost all the paintings in this series are now at gremillion & co. fine art in houston, where they were shown in a solo exhibition in 2010. and some are in private collections in houston, texas.