Philip Koch, Equinox, oil on panel, 30 x 45", 2008
Some of my paintings come directly from imagination, but for this is happen they have to lean heavily on some vivid memories.
When I was a boy growing up on the south shore of Lake Ontario I would sometimes be awakened by the sound of loud and incessant honking. It was the migrating geese heading north to Canada in the spring and back south in the fall. I'd walk down to the shore and see them by the thousands. To me this was magical. Unlike the birds, I was stuck living in one spot while the birds seemed a most privileged species to travel so far and wide. I wondered what they saw.
This painting was stitched together from that memory and several others as well. Right after I received my MFA degree in painting I got a job teaching painting in Washington State at what's now called Central Washington University in eastern foothills of the Cascade Mountains. With 1000' tall mountains ringing the town it was spring down in the valley while the snow covered the hills.
Years later when I took a painting trip to the Arizona desert I was stunned by the sight of the pyramid-like San Francisco Peaks outside the lovely town of Flagstaff. They found their way into the background.
So where is the bird in Equinox going. Really anywhere the imagination takes us- into the future, returning to our past. We are not able to literally fly, but with both our eyes and heart open wide, we too sail through a world filled with wonders.