more poetry, more taiga / by Philip Tarlow

purple rock II as it looked at the end of my painting day today.

4PM: i got a very late start today, and was in doubt as to whether i’d be able to put brush to canvas at all. this was due to a presentation/proposal i needed to put together for a prospective client that needed to go out today.

at work an hour ago on purple rock II

so when i finally was able to send it off, it was tricky to switch gears. what i did was to gather all the strands of doubt and physical/mental exhaustion and weave them into that space i need to be in. anxious to continue the experiment i began yesterday: overlaying the existing purple rock II painting with marks inspired by taiga’s 18 th c. calligraphy, which also include the figure of a bull & some almost-comic-book figures representing the uzumasa festival.

as it turns out, this abstracted creek-scape on a neutral beige ground is an ideal setting for my take on this 18th century hanging scroll. after all, it’s a landscape painting based upon decades of studying our local creek, it’s rocks, branches and rushing water. and that’s pretty much what taiga & his buddies did, except that some of them were poets, and their poems often became a living, breathing part of those paintings. i am tempted, once this one is complete, to try this with some of the other paintings in this series, particularly the long narrow verticals that approximate the space of hanging scrolls.