Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Observation and Childhood Reverie












Here's one of my newest oil paintings. It is titled The Sea and it's small, 6 1/2 x 13". Working at that size allows for lots of playful experimentation. Even so, I worked on it for months.

The origin is a plein air vine charcoal drawing I did four years ago of the Porcupine Islands up on Mt. Desert Island in Acadia National Park in Maine (see post below). That drawing got put away for a couple of years- long enough for my original impression of the place to fade. Once I unearthed the drawing again a few years later, my imagination saw it in a different light. What had been Maine islands recalled to me my childhood in upstate New York where I spent huge chunks of time gazing at the then to me ocean-like Lake Ontario. Children often are the closest of us to the art spirit. Carl Jung thought so.

And now in my sixties, I find reconsidering my on-the-spot drawings through the remembered eye of my childhood can chart the best road forward. As the oil progressed, some of the specifics of the place evolved away from observable fact to create a new place more in keeping with my state of mind. Most of my best paintings are like that.

Now I'm working on a larger studio version on this image. 

The original drawing is now on display as part of the seven museum national touring exhibition
Unbroken Thread: The Art of Philip Koch currently at Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis, MA through August 16.

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