A Southern Inspiration for Some Northern Paintings

Philip Koch, From Day to Night,  oil on panel, 6 1/2 x 13", 2015

Sometimes the Muse just comes and whispers in your ear with her blessings and her marching orders. Happened to me last month.

My wife and I had taken a few days to tour Virginia. We hit  the Nichols Gallery in Barboursville that carries my paintings and visited several Art Museums (that's me with an Edward Hopper at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk below). The Chryler was new to us and was a big surprise. I had no idea of its amazing Permanent Collection. Came back full of energy and determination to do a whole lot of new paintings.

A driving trip to visit new art museums can blow some cobwebs out of one's head. And we had a ball. 

My painting at the top of this post is a re-imagining of the Penobscot Bay in Maine, one of my favorite painting themes. There's something about the coast of Maine that feels like I've stepped out of time. When I paint it I often fall in to a fantasy that I'm painting the beginning of the world. So it is here.

Philip Koch, Mountains: Rust, oil on panel, 10 x 15", 2015

The last few years I've also been spending considerable time in the mountains of the Northeast- the Adirondacks, the Green and White Mountain ranges, and mountains of Maine. Above is a new studio invention based on on my mental mountain climbing.

And below is a view from half way up the tallest mountain on the East Coast of the US, Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park in Maine. I thought the colors turned out to suggest the most peaceful feeling of morning.

Philip Koch, Frenchman's Bay, oil on panel, 6 1/2 x 13", 2015

These panoramas depict deep, deep spaces, though they're modestly scaled paintings. I like trying out new ideas on this scale- it makes me more adventurous and more willing to try a new color I'm not used to. Right now I'm working on a 72" version of the painting at the top of this post. Hopefully in a few weeks I can introduce you to her.


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