the durango journey / by Philip Tarlow

durango, 36x38” as it looked at the end of my painting day today

1:51 PM: the painting titled durango, (36x38”), had already undergone a radical transformation, and i can’t seem to find an image of it as it looked just before starting work today. thus far, since this morning it has gone through 4 stages, which can be seen below, with the earliest on the left.

obviously what’s happening here is a progressive simplification. i finally realized i had to ditch the log, which plays a role in almost all of the most recent motion series paintings. in observing the evolution of my own work, i am gaining a deeper understanding of the work of the great masters i admire. that holds true especially right now for matisse. i’ve been looking at matisse in morocco, published on the occasion of the 1990-91 exhibition in the usa & russia, of his paintings & drawings executed in 1912-13 during his two visits to morocco. i especially relate to the drawings in his sketchbooks from that period, since i have kept travel sketchbooks my entire life, and i know the process of having only a few moments to capture a figure in motion, and how it forces us to focus on essence.