sixth month, day 2 / by Philip Tarlow

2:49 PM: gotta get movin’ so we can take our trail walk before the predicted thunderstorms arrive at about 6pm. so i’ll write more about the work i did today later. here’s the painting as it looked moments ago. as you can tell if you look at the painting on yesterdays blog, i did quite a bit of work. when we get back late this afternoon, i’ll tell you, amongst other things, the role coffee played.

6:23 PM: GREAT trail walk in a thunderstorm with light to moderate rain & heavenly frangrances. we did hear a few louds cracks of thunder with a flash or two of lightning. the wet rocks bared their chests & glistened with their greys, tans, subtle oranges & subtle violets. oh, how fortinate to live amongst these rocks. the rock people.

so, back to sixth month. i’ve been looking at, making copies of taiga for years. i’ve never seen his paintings in person, and am sad i couldn’t be at his museum show in kyoto last year. this series allows me to insert myself, in a way, into his oevre in a way that would be otherwise impossible. i’m digging deep into my mark making & sensitivity to form & color to make this series of paintings. this is only the second, and already i’m exploding with enthusiasm and appreciation of who taiga was and is as a calligrapher & painter. the more i riff on his series of paintings of the 12 months of the year, the more i see parallels not only with our crestone/baca landscape, but with my particular visual language, as it has evolved over decades.

so i promised to talk about the role of coffee in my work this morning. i fancy myself a master brewer. i research types of raw beans, then i roast them within 48 hours of brewing & brew using one of my three ss moka pots, both beautifully constructed in italy. i don’t actually drink coffe, since it upsets my intestines. or it used to. today i decided to give it another try. so i made a very small amount in the smaller moka pot i keep in the studio. i added a little unsweetened soy milk & gave it a try. within 10 minues, the buzz kicked in. at first, i didn’t know what to do with that surge of energy. then i figured out that i needed to get busy painting. while it lasted….about 2-3 hours, it really did support me in getting some good work done. my intestines seemed fine, so i’m going to give it a shot again tomorrow.