Guided Tour: Philip Koch Exhibit at Art Essex Gallery, Part One

    Philip Koch at the Art Essex Gallery opening
    of the exhibit May 17.

Through June 7, 2014 Art Essex Gallery in Essex, CT has a wonderful show of 15 of my oil paintings on display. One of my collectors contacted me to say they wouldn't be able to make it to Connecticut and asked if I could give a "tour" of the show on this blog. Here are the first five paintings, starting with some of the smaller oils.

I'll follow up in the next couple of days with the remaining ten pieces.

There's a funny story about the the smallest painting in the show above, Lupines, oil on panel, 6 x 4 1/2". I was up in Maine on the first morning of a 5 day painting trip near Boothbay Harbor. Came upon a terrific small pine-studded island about 50 yards off shore. Excited, I immediately dove in and two hours later had a very promising 24" wide oil more than half completed. The next morning I was pumped as I returned to the spot to finish it.  But Maine is justifiably famous for its capricious fog. My little island, though only a stone's throw from where I stood, had disappeared behind a dense white veil. Never once over the remaining four days was it to reappear. 

So I pivoted around and painted a close up of the early summer blossoms of the lupines right in back of my easel. Though I never saw my island again that week, the lupines, viewed from only a few feet away, remained steady dependable models.

Forest Stream, oil on panel, 9 x 6", was painted near my studio in Maryland in high summer. On a dazzlingly bright day a stream winding its way through an open field abruptly disappears as it plunges into a dense forest. I wondered how long it stayed in the leafy shadows before emerging once again into the open.

Schoodic, oil on panel, 7 x 10 1/2" was painted half way up Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park in Maine. It's a view looking north across Frenchman's Bay toward the Schoodic Peninsula. It was early morning and the sun was battling it out
with the fog banks coming in off the ocean. Happily it contiuned to clear as I worked.

Sonnet I, oil on panel, 6 1/2 x 13". Last Fall we drove out to the Schoodic Peninsula and looked south back towards the mountains on Mt. Desert Island. The taller peak at the right is Cadillac Mountain.

Quiet Shore: Silver, oil on panel, 7 x 10 1/2". A tidal estuary off the Atlantic, painted on a misty morning that transformed the usual deep greens of the foliage into an array of silvery greys.

Here's the book that's out in the gallery with the paintings with a short artist's statement and my resume.

To be continued...


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