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Showing posts from March, 2015

What Edward Hopper and Charles Burchfield Showed Me

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At my gallery talk last Friday evening on my current exhibition at Edward Hopper House Art Center in Nyack, NY I spoke about my development as a painter. Above is a photo taken before the crowd arrived of me standing with my painting The Voyage of Memory, oil on canvas, 38 x 38". That's a favorite of mine that combines some serious notes of my personal history with a tip of my hat to Thomas Cole, the great grandfather of American landscape painting. Putting elements like that together is a bit unusual in today's art world. There was a time when I wouldn't have had the temerity to paint like that.
Beginners start at the beginning. 
When I began painting it was in the then tiny studio art department at Oberlin College. I quickly pieced together what I thought were the essentials of the modern art story: contemporary art had evolved more or less in a straight line from the first Impressionists, then the Cubists, then the Abstract Expressionists. Armed with this reading of …

Touring Edward Hopper House Art Center's Koch Show

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In preparation for my Artist Gallery Talk this Friday evening (March 6 at 7:00 p.m., free) at the Edward Hopper House Art Center in Nyack, NY I've been looking at my works that are hanging in their current show Philip Koch: Landscapes and Hopper Interiors. Here are some more images of works in the show with a little bit of background for each one:


Hopper's Beach, Looking North, vine charcoal, 9 x 12", 2007. I drew this with my French easel set up on the beach on Cape Cod Bay, right below Hopper's Truro, MA studio. This sand dune in real life is enormous and deeply impressive. Nonetheless, Hopper never painted it, preferring to search longer and more widely to find just the right sources to trigger his painting imagination. Working where Hopper painted over the years I've learned to respect his extreme powers of selectivity. In them is a key to making art that moves beyond surface appeal to achieve real depth.





Edward Hopper's Truro Studio Kitchen, vine charcoal, …