there are the mountains! / by Philip Tarlow

3:36 PM: i’m leaving landscape with pink trees as is, at least for now. it’s just too fresh to mess with.

i started work today on there are the mountains! on the canvas i stretched yesterday. thus far, it’s a drawing and has no oil paint. as a kid i had a darkroom, and this is what it felt like when the image began appearing in the tray of developer liquid.

since i do believe, & i’m not alone in this, that paintings & drawings are living, breathing entities, i feel increasingly that we need to give them space; as you would a child learning to speak or walk. so in starting a new painting in this way, what it bils down to is taking it slow. giving it space.

my mentee k. just arrived, so i interrupted my writing to suggest a path he could take today. he liked the idea, so instead of painting in oils today, he’s using gouache & watercolor to make a study of a taiga watercolor titled wonderous scenery of matsu.

since we’ll be gone all day tuesday, when i’ll be having cataract surgery in denver, i was feeling a bit rushed. like oh, i’ve got to complete this before we leave. when we get back tuesday night, it will be at least 3-4 days or more before i’m able to get back to work. can’t really say when my vision will be good enough to paint, but probably by the end of the week or the weekend.

of course there’s no rush, and yhere’s no reason i need to complete this new painting before we leave. in any event, it will let me know. perhaps as i lay sleeping tonight!

the title: there are the mountains! comes from a japanese poem incorporated into one of the taiga scrolls i’ve been studying. we feel that way every day in our home, with its views of the sangre de christo mountains.