Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ping Pong

Philip Koch, Adirondack Lake, Late August, oil on panel, 10 x 7 1/2", 2012

When I was a kid I had a pretty large bedroom. This was where my family set up a ping pong table. We played a lot even though none of us were particularly good. I think we all liked the sound of a good long volley more than anything else- ping, bounce, pong, bounce, ping, and on it went, a curious dance between the two paddles.

I got to thinking about this as I started going back into this painting, one I'd thought I'd finished last month. It's a new painting I based on a vine charcoal drawing I did last fall up on Lake Placid in the Adirondack Mountains of northernmost New York State.  I really liked how the new oil looked but kept wondering how it might work with a lighter sky. 

Not wanting  to risk the delicate balance it had achieved, I decided to paint a second version with some big variations in the sky's color. So off I went into the  new panel. From the get go it seemed to have a mind of its own, plunging off into a much cooler set of colors. It worked well in this new direction so I loosened the reins and pretty much let the painting start finding its own way.




Philip Koch, Adirondack Lake, Late September, oil on panel, 10 x 7 1/2", 2012

The funny thing is some of the design features in the second panel worked so well I sheepishly re-installed them in the first painting. And the opposite, taking some little feature from the original and putting it in the second version. This went on for a few days, with me bouncing back and forth. You might think this would have left me in the end with two identical paintings. Instead each of the panels developed early on its own distinct personality. 

What an artist has to do is treat a developing painting almost as if it is a person with an emerging individuality. If you're open to it you can watch the developing ideas forming and nurture the ones that seem to genuinely help the painting. My wife's a therapist and often she's told me how her job isn't to impose her wisdom on a patient but rather help them along to figure out for themselves what's best. Painting's not so different.

What's intriguing to me is that so often I find myself benefiting from having two related but not identical versions of a painting to bounce off of as I figure out what each needs to become complete.

Here's the drawing that began all this.



Philip Koch, Adirondack Forest, vine charcoal, 12 x 9", 2011.

Actually I like painting more than ping pong. Of course I'm a much better artist that I am a ping pong athlete. But remembering those casual childhood games of ping pong provides me a better mental picture of what I do in my studio. That's a good thing.

Often I tell my students that painting isn't something one comes to understand  so much as something one experiences. I doubt many people claim they "understand" ping pong, but lots of people have played the game. Those who have surrendered themselves to the curious rhythms of the game with its distinctive movements and sounds. I think that's an attitude that would help a lot of people get a feeling for what painting is all about.

P.S. My old website Philipkoch.com unfortunately will go dark at midnight on Saturday, June 30, 2012. A new site, Philipkoch.org has been posted. Over the next few days its content and design will grow to reach the level of the old site.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Great New Video on Major Hopper Exhibition

















Edward Hopper, Dead Tree and Side of the Lombard House, watercolor, 1931, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid

What so many find exciting about Hopper is that he breathed new life into the whole tradition of American landscape painting. The starkly elegant watercolor above is a good example. 

A great new spanish language video on the major Edward Hopper retrospective exhibition at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid features a little footage of my current exhibit (through July1, 2012) at the  Edward Hopper House Art Center in Nyack, NY. 

The video’s producers traveled to New York to gather background material on Hopper’s life and work and went up to Nyack, NY to film Hopper's boyhood home and interview Carole Perry the Art Center's Director.  Two  brief views of my show Inside Edward Hopper's Truro Studio installed in Hopper’s bedroom appear at about minute  3:39 in this beautifully produced overview of Hoppper’s art. It is probably the best video on Hopper yet produced, even for those who don’t speak the language.


The Hopper watercolor is one you don't usually see. It's a marvelous example of Hopper's  delight in almost wacky juxtapositions. See how he plays up the contrast between the house and the tree by lightening up the shadows in the architecture and darkening them in the tree trunk. He seems to want the forms to feel so different that they collide. Yet he's smart enough to know he has to still hint at some kind of link between them. And sure enough, the windows and shutters and some small shadows on the shingles are painted in with the colors of the tree's bark. 

Hopper helped us see how things really are instead of how we commonly think of them. I don't think Hopper set out to "be wierd" with his work. Rather it's that he just noticed things other people had overlooked, realized they contained surprises that were important, and found a way to give them concrete form in his paintings. If anyone ever gave us friendly reminders that it's worth it to keep your eyes open, he did.

The big Hopper exhibition in Madrid runs through September 16.

P.S. Want to remind people that in the next couple of days my art website philipkoch.com will move over to a new web address: 
philipkoch.org


Friday, June 22, 2012

Freezing to Death


Here I am two weeks ago working on a drawing on the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Maine's Acadia National Park. The wind was blowing like crazy and I was only able to set up the easel by finding a dense stand of little pines to shield me. It was COLD. We had just had a heat wave down in Maryland before we left and neither my wife nor I could bring ourselves to pack winter coats and gloves. Silly us.

Often when I'm out working like this passers by will stop to watch for a minute. Especially when the weather is, ahem, challenging, as it was, they're likely to ask "why don't you take a photograph and work from that instead of freezing?" They have a point, but I've come to understand it takes even the best painters time to discover what it is they need to say with each painting. Drawing and painting from direct observation by its nature proceeds very slowly. Ours is a language of near infinite subtlety. If you stand outside and take in the space and light with all your senses, including your goose-fleshed skin, you simply understand the landscape better. 

So many of our decisions as artists come from our unconscious side. Frequently when I'm later examining one of my pieces that has been successful I'll notice something good I hadn't been aware I was doing-  like an inventive linking of shapes on opposite sides of the composition. Lots of times it's the best thing in the painting. So as for the cold, the wind, rain, heat, bugs etc. I say, to quote a certain former President, "Bring it on..." 

You know our ancestors lived outdoors all the time. Maybe one of the jobs of contemporary landscape painters is to help remind us we really are in our bones outdoor critters. 




Much of the time while we were up there it rained. I was able to get out of the rental car and set up my French easel some of the times. Here's one of the results, Cadillac Mountain #4, vine charcoal, 9 x 12", 2012. I was lower down the mountain for this one, as the summit had by then turned into a wind tunnel. But that's fine as I loved this view. There's a sensation of looking up towards the top of a peak that stirs me up in a way I like. Often New England mountains are covered with groves of deciduous trees that early in the season cover the slopes with the most delicate light yellow greens. Here a few taller pines stick their dark heads up punctuating the scene's rhythm. 

















And here's another vine charcoal, Cadillac Mountain #5, 6 1/2 x 13", 2012, done even lower down the mountain and looking back toward the mainland. I wanted to reverse the tones one usually sees of the tall foreground pines being darker than the distant mountains (which they were). So I consciously lightened them up and pushed the distance darker.

What counts in carving out landscape space is to make the front feel different than the background. That can mean changing the dark and light tones of course. If I end up pursuing this design in oil paints, I'm sure to pick a set of colors for the distance that will be in opposition to the color of the front forms. When you think about it, that's all we painters have to work with- making differences that amount to something. It's not a big tool bag, but when you see what a Rembrandt or a Degas could do with it, you realize it's enough.

P.S.

Most likely early next week I'm going to have to switch my website philipkoch.com over to its new web address:
philipkoch.org
Please come visit us in our new digital quarters.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Field Guide to Avant Garde Art





Winslow Homer (American, 1836-1910) Fishwives
Homer is great and I think I'll never every get over him. Here's one of the watercolors he made while living for several years among the fishing people in a small English seacoast town. These were hardworking people who took enormous risks to go out onto uncertain waters to make a living. To Homer, they seemed heroic, both the men and the women. 

In fact often Homer seems to make the females the real center of the community. Here two women and a child cast a perhaps wary eye out into the rough seas to see how their fishermen are doing. We don't see their faces yet there's an undeniable purpose and common bond between these women. Homer gives them expressive power in a whole number of ways. But maybe best of all is the wonderfully inventive little "keyhole" of light ocean we see squeezed between their two hips. The women's bodies and that piece of water dance perfectly together to form a three part chord.  

Homer and Hopper had looked long and hard at the work of the painters that had gone before them. They learned from what they saw, internalizing an awesomely vivid language of color and shapes that we simply call "painting." As one starts to look at their work one can feel it is from another time, but that is is still quietly glowing with a subtle energy. The longer one looks, the more one sees. And the more these artists from the past seem to be alive and ready to talk with us with something important to say.



OK, are you ready to shift your gears...


Paul McCarthy is an American sculptor, installation and video artist born in Los Angeles in 1945. This is a photo from a mixed media installation from 1966. His work has received considerable attention in recent years.

The McCarthy piece seems much more tongue-in-cheek, more meant to amuse and cast one back into a reverie of old western movies or TV shows. It also seems to come from a different planet than the Homer and Hopper. McCarthy's sculpture looks a little like the kind of drawings I was making when I was twelve or thirteen. And maybe that's the point. It's bawdy and funny, but it isn't an image I'm particularly eager to linger on. I don't have to. The art world is a big tent, so big that no one can ever see all the painting, sculpture or video that has been produced.

When I was a young artist I felt the need to look at everything in the art world. Certainly if something was in Art News magazine or in a major art museum it must have something to teach me I figured. But time passed and I found myself developing favorites and wanting to specialize my enthusiasms. Frank Stella and Mark Rothko, abstract painters who were fashionable in the late 1960's were early heroes. I tried to make paintings like theirs. And not too much later than that I fell under the spell of Edward Hopper and the romance of 19th century landscape. So I changed again, but this time it stuck.

I see a great deal of art that tries hard to do something innovative, generally it's described as avant garde art. Much of it doesn't work really well, some of it is downright oppressively awful. But every now and then I see something that surprises me in a way I like. 

I also see lots of landscape paintings because I seek them out (can't help myself). If I were to ask myself whether I've seen more unsuccessful landscape paintings or more avant garde pieces of art that were failures, I'm not sure what the answer would be. 

Obviously it is hard to do work that is really outstanding. Maybe the small mountains of art that didn't quite make it are the price we have to pay for the occasional over the top masterpiece.

If I could offer any advice to artists or to lovers of art about how to negotiate one's way among all the contending schools of thought in the arts it would be:

-realize that people aren't all exactly alike and are not going to all respond to the same things.

-don't feel responsible to have an opinion about every piece of art that's ever been made.

-understand that when you hate a piece of art by someone it's OK. You are also clearing a place in your heart for   you to fall in love with something else.

-if you're an artist you can't bark up every tree. Pick tree that feels best for you and bark yourself   hoarse.

Reminder:
My art website philipkoch.com is going to be moving to a new web address near the end of June- philipkoch.org
Please make a note of it.





Monday, June 18, 2012

Finding Keys to the Lock


Remember childhood anxieties?  In grade school I worried every day about my school locker. A lot of the time the darned thing wouldn't open. The lockers were old and the combination locks didn't work very well for a lot of us kids. Aways I worried at the end of the day it would make me miss the school bus that would take me home. Why couldn't they just give us each a key?

When I was a little kid there was a print of a Winslow Homer (Am. 1836-1910) watercolor hanging above the couch in our living room. I didn't like it much and can remember sitting on the floor at three years old thinking he should have made his forms more detailed. I actually thought that when I grew up should I choose to I could paint much better watercolors than this Homer fellow. Still it had an amazing ability to make me look at it.  The whole business troubled me.

Over the years that print of the Homer watercolor got better all by itself. 

Above is a Homer watercolor that's new to me, Burnt Mountain now in the Addison Gallery of American Art. It's got a wonderful darkly glowing quality to its murky purple greys. Homer made so many works on paper. Here was an artist who painted hundreds of major oils that surely took him months to execute. Yet he would fine the time to do countless works on paper too.  I believe he felt making them opened a door for him to a more expressive way of seeing. 

When I first started seriously painting and would visit art museums I had a dark secret. I didn't like the galleries filled with oil paintings. They seemed to resist me somehow. But I was curiously attracted instead to the galleries showing works on paper. For reasons I don't fully understand drawings and watercolors showed me more of their secrets than the oil paintings. They seemed eager to share with  me their little delights of composition. Over time my eyes grew accustomed to the weightiness of oil paintings and I came to enjoy them as easily as works on paper. But I remember it was art on paper, whether that first Homer painting in my childhood home or those drawing shows in museums, that served as the key. Maybe for all of us our task is to find what it is that will open the doors that are locked to us.

To this day, drawing on paper plays a huge role in helping me make my oil paintings. To make art you have to try things you don't really know how to do. I find I worry less about jumping off into the unknown when I work on paper. If it works, great, and if not, all I've lost is a piece of paper. It frees you up in a way the heavy, sturdy, and expensive materials of oil painting don't.  I think Winslow Homer felt the same way.

Here's a photo I took of my easels in my studio last week. On the right are two pastels and on the left easel are two in progress oil paintings I'm working up based on those pastels. The images are of Edward Hopper's bedroom in Nyack, NY. My exhibit Inside Edward Hopper's Truro Studio: Paintings by Philip Koch is currently hanging in this room in what's now the Edward Hopper House Art Center (through July 1).



This is the source for the two pastels, a vine charcoal drawing I did on location standing in the doorway to Hopper's Nyack bedroom back in April. 



I'm just returned from a week in Maine's Acadia National Park where I made what I hope will be a whole lot of "keys" to make possible some new large, ambitious oil paintings. Here's Cadillac Mountain III, vine charcoal, 9 x 12", 2012.


I started this post with a watercolor by Winslow Homer and then moved on to show some of my Edward Hopper themed work. Very much in the Homer tradition, Hopper did enormous numbers of works on paper from quick compositional sketches for his oils to watercolor compositions like this  investigation of a ship's hull and factory. You can see into his thinking as he sizes up this very complicated jumble of unrelated forms. How can I make sense of this he asked himself? 



What he did was experiment. Segregating most of the cooler blue greys and tans up into the foreground he reserved his warmest rust colors for just the far distance. Was the source really like that? Probably not. But Hopper knew his job was to evoke the feeling the place had for him. He was willing to try moves he had no guarantee would work. So he tried unlocking the problem by working on a modest scale on paper. Hopper is never described as a playful man, but to me that's exactly what he is when he works on paper. There he's willing to just follow a whim to see where it would lead him. 

P.S. Philip Koch's website , currently at philipkoch.com will be moving at the end of June to a new address:
philipkoch.org
Please make a note of it.








Thursday, June 14, 2012

Housecleaning, Death, and Some Great Paintings

Now here's a real cheer-you-up image!

I did a double take over my morning coffee. It's an oil by the 19th century French painter Millet, Death and the Woodcutter. Like so many paintings by Millet it's a little masterpiece of intriguing silhouettes and an elegant balancing of warm against cool color, but most of all it's really creepy.

Perhaps I'm just in a somber mood because the Apple Corporation is pulling the plug on my website hosting service at the end of June. We've had a good run for the last 5 years or so. Philipkoch.com will still be operational until near the end of the month, but after that it looks like we may have to switch over to a new domain name for my website: philipkoch.org

I'm still hopeful we can arrange to keep the current web address, but unless you hear otherwise, you might want to make a note that my art website will migrate over to the .org world. (Heck, I've always longed to run a major non-profit organization anyway).

On the same website that startled me this morning with the grim reaper (artknowledgenews.com which sends out a great series of art exhibit press releases with cool images every morning) I stumbled across a much friendlier winter landscape by a not so well known landscape painter Dale Nichols (a native of Nebraska, 1904-1995). 

Nichols' painting packs a lot into a landscape. Like so many paintings from the 1930's, the artist models a heavily stated sense of volume into almost every form, and shines in the light from low down near the horizon. It makes for a slightly other-worldly quality I find really appealing (if one honestly looks one finds reality is more strange and unexpected than we think. Otherworldly-ness is often truthfulness to how things feel).



Nichols also does an adept balancing act between his geometric buildings and the more rounded geometry of snowbanks and distant hillsides. Charles Burchfield's watercolor paintings often do this as well, but Nichols working in oil has an extra sense of solidity.

Speaking of solidity, here's one of the most un-solid of paintings, a beautifully luminous and airy winter landscape by the French 19th century artist Camille Pissarro (also stumbled upon on artknowledgenews.com this morning). Pissarro could be a very fine painter and is in the top of his form here. Look at all the different levels of cool greys he employs- from jet black to light grey hints of distant foliage. Pissarro was willing to spend the hours grinding away on his palette to mix just the right chords of colors.

One of the real keys to this painting's success is a drawing move. Pissarro had a deft and sure hand in drawing in the dark trunks of the three or four closest trees- each brings to the painting its own personality. Almost like ballet dancers, they all tell their tale through their own unique gestures as your eye travels up and down their trunks. It seems a simple thing that Pissarro has accomplished here, yet if you look at the tree trunks in paintings by lesser artists you're confronted with either dreadful monotony or just unconvincing and improbable tree trunks that won't hold your eye's interest. Pissarro reminds us there is a poetry to living forms and knows how to show it to you.























While Pissarro could turn out a masterpiece like this oil painting, he wasn't a stranger to creative difficulty. Years ago I read a biography of Pissarro written by one of his sons, also a painter, who quoted from a letter his dad had written him. Apparently Pissarro was going through a bad patch with his paintings and had turned them all around to face his studio wall. Pissarro confesses to his son in the letter that he hadn't the courage to turn any of them around to take even a peek at any of his "little monsters."

Little Monsters- now there's a phrase to gladden the heart of any artist who's lost a battle to make a painting come together and look like something. I'm not happy to learn Pissarro struggled, but I am happy to know I'm in good company when I have to work so hard to make some of my more stubborn paintings behave themselves. I don't seek out difficulty in the studio, but it is a sign an artist is trying to stretch and grow with his or her work. When you're trying to chart new territory you have to take the wrong turn now and again. It isn't the fun part as much as it's the dues you pay to learn how to do something great.

Often I tell my students that painting is hard until it's easy, and then it gets ready to be hard again. Maybe that's not a particularly snappy way to put it, but I find it's an accurate account of the creative endeavor. I'd hasten to tell any artist to be sure to stop and enjoy it when the painting goes well. It's a reward you've earned.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Roughing It for Art in Acadia National Park


OK, it doesn't look all that rough I suppose.I spent last week up in Maine in Acadia National Park. Have been going there to paint pretty much annually since I first went with Alice there to honeymoon in 1982. Seeing it for the first time back then I immediately felt a great attachment to it's almost fantastic rocky and cold topography  It reminded me of my boyhood home on the shore of Lake Ontario.  I think all artists discover certain motifs or places that just grab them. It's more important that that kind of head-over-heals romance happen than that we understand exactly why. Making a painting after all is a love affair, and I fell in love with Maine.The state is funny- she offers unparalleled landscape opportunities with one hand and dishes out some of the most challenging weather with the other. Those of us artists who insist on working from direct observation instead of relying on photography are a high risk population when we go up there.On our honeymoon we stayed in the absolutely cheapest place we could find, a run down motel in Bar Harbor that in addition to us was host to 5 million ants. We became well acquainted with that eager little species that week.It's 30 years later and thankfully our finances no longer dictate sharing quarters with all those six legged friends. This time around it rained for at least part of every day we were there, so having a comfortable place to get out of the weather loomed very large. As luck would have it a convention of bird enthusiasts had filled our usual B&B so the owner kindly referred us to their friend Mark Dresser who runs the charming The Maples Inn just down the street. Much as I like B&B's the quarters can be a little cramped if you're trying to do some art in the room when the weather is bad. Obviously a clairvoyant genius, Mark booked us into his Siver Maple Suite that had an attached sitting room (note the nice chairs). It made for a perfect little studio for me to finish up the vine charcoal drawings I had begun outdoors.Here I am the morning we left showing off the completed drawings. I did eleven pieces (only ten are pictured- one is a little camera shy and kept running behind the bureau.  What can you do?).
I've always done my best work when I can begin a piece outdoors where the unexpected contrasts and collisions of forms usually suggest more surprising compositions than we're likely to invent relying only on our imagination. But that same overabundance of possibilities can get you into trouble- it's like trying to take a sip of water from a raging fire hose. I need to bring the work back inside and study it against an empty wall to really see what I've done. Inevitably the work looks different once back inside, and freed from outdoor distractions, I can see best what I need to do to finish a piece off.

One of the other things I've learned is that if you have limited time on a painting excursion working on a modest scale makes the most sense. In my case I ended up sitting in the front seat of my rental car
for most of the drawings, often working through the rhythmic swipe of the windshield wipers. It's tight in a confined space like that. But that's the price you pay for being able to work even in driving rain. I also brought one of my French easels for when the weather decided to cooperate.

Here's one of the new drawings, a vine charcoal, 9 x 12". It's done about a third of the way up Cadillac Mountain looking due north into Frenchman's Bay. What attracted me were the wiggling patterns of smooth reflective water that appear as a subtle gold against a more leaden grey surface of the Bay. The color feel for the whole scene was a restrained yellow against a silver grey, most of it held into the lighter tones. I am very eager to try this in color, probably starting out with some small scale soft pastel drawings on artist's sandpaper. Then if all goes well I'll investigate the idea in oils.



And this is another 9 x 12" vine charcoal, this one done on the road from Bar Harbor over to Southwest  Harbor. While I was working on it my wife Alice went for a walk and surprised a wet looking otter that was skulking across the road (I was busy working so I missed it- Alice has all the fun).




Here I am working the last day we were there. It had finally cleared for the afternoon and I set up near the Cadillac Mountain summit looking southeast past the Cranberry Islands out to the sea. This was one of those times when having a portable easel made all the difference. Had I had to sit on the ground I would have ended up with an uncomfortably wet behind and with the lowered point of view I'd have had half of my subject blocked out by the foreground bushes. 






Years ago when I began landscape painting I used to sit on the ground and prop my painting up against the back of my paint box. It all worked fine most of the time. Except...

One of the mysterious cosmic principles of landscape painting is that nobody ever comes by to look when the painting is going really well. I'm convinced they wait out of sight behind thick bushes until they see by your expression that you're struggling. Somehow they know just when it is that you've become convinced that you might have been an artist once, but now you've forgotten everything and it's hopeless. Then out they come from their hiding places, all smiles,  and ask the dreaded question "Art you an artist?" at exactly the moment it's finally clear to all that that's exactly what you're not.

Once years ago I was painting sitting on the ground when a little girl came by and stood over me and watched me silently. After a minute she piped up asking "How old are you?" and I answered that I was 24. She replied "Well, I'm only eight and I'm already a much better artist than you." After the encounter with that little girl (whose neck I am glad to report I resisted the urge to strangle) I resolved to at least be able to work standing up in case more short little critics like that girl were in my future. With a nifty folding portable easel I figured I would at least look more the part of a real artist regardless of how the painting was going. So I bought an easel and funny thing, the paintings started going better. I always tell my students that good tools make you talented. Maybe it's true.







Thursday, June 7, 2012

My Paintings Re-Installed in Edward Hopper's Bedroom



The Edward Hopper House Art Center in Nyack, NY moved my exhibit Inside Edward Hopper's Truro Studio: Paintings by Philip Koch upstairs from one of their first floor galleries to hang in Hopper's bedroom. Carole Perry, Hopper House's Director, told me they've never before mounted one of their scheduled exhibits in this room. (Carole also kindly sent me these photos of the bedroom installation).

I get the biggest kick out of this. 

Both Hopper and his mother were born in this room ( though not at the same time, obviously). Hopper slept in this room until he was nearly thirty. That's funny for me to think about as I left home at 18 and never lived there again. No doubt the Hopper family functioned differently than mine. Hopper was legendarily socially awkward and a generally a very remote personality.  Most artists aren't like that.  I often wonder about the family dynamics in that house during Hopper's formative childhood years. As neither Hopper nor his only sister had children, there's probably nobody around today who really knows much about that.  

What we do have as living clues to Hopper's personality of course are his paintings, and they reveal very much. They show us a man whose eyes and heart were wide open to the world.





As I've written in several previous blog posts, I believe the quality of the light and the striking views out the room's windows toward the Hudson River and the town of Nyack offer a critical key to grasping Hopper's remarkable paintings. (Above is his oil Seven A.M. widely thought to have been inspired by a local storefront just down the street from Hopper's home).

Regular readers of this blog know Hopper was the big influence on me that caused me as a young artist to switch from painting abstractions to working as a realist painter. His work so impressed me that once I'd seen it there was no turning back. So here we have my own paintings on display in the room where the artist who most inspired and shaped my direction came of age himself. To exhibit in this special place is deeply meaningful to me and a very great honor.

The show will continue at Hopper House Art Center through July 1, 2012.

In the photograph that began this post, here's the painting hanging at the far left, Edward Hopper's Truro Studio Bedroom, oil on panel, 24 x 12", 2012.



Here's another view of the Nyack bedroom. That's one of the windows that looks out over North Broadway, one of the main streets in downtown Nyack. It offers an entrancing glimpse of the Hudson River just a block away.



Above at the far left is a poster describing my involvement with Hopper's Cape Cod painting studio over the years. My current exhibit is an intimate grouping of the paintings I've made during my 13 residencies in that Cape Cod studio. All are views of its interior. Here's the poster-



Moving to the right, here is the next painting, Entryway, Edward Hopper's Truro Studio Kitchen-



Continuing to the right, my oil  Morning Truro Studio-



And my oil at the far right, Edward Hopper's Truro Studio Kitchen-




Normally the upstairs level of the Hopper House Art Center is closed to the public. Re-installing my exhibit up in Hopper's bedroom provides visitors to the Hopper House an extra bonus. Here's a little sign in the hallway directing visitors up the stairs to see the bedroom and the new display.





And here's the view from the upstairs hallway of Hopper's bedroom with three of my oils hanging in the corner above a child's highchair that was in Hopper's family and may well have been used to feed little Edward. 




I just returned last night from Maine where Alice and I spent a week on Mount Desert Island. It was a painting excursion as well as a 30th anniversary celebration of our honeymoon in the same place. Back in 1982 on the Island we hit a batch of cold and often rainy weather. The art gods obliged and served up a similar dose for us this time too. The funny thing is I had a ball and the painting went really well. Go figure...






















I'll have a new blog post about the trip to Maine and the work I did there shortly.