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Showing posts from January, 2016

Casting LIght on Charles Burchfield's Rainy Night

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Philip Koch, Upper Story: Sunlight, pastel, 5 1/2 x 11", 2016
One of the best things about my serving as the Artist In Residence at the Burchfield Penney Art Center (BPAC) for this year is the opportunity to go and paint from some of the same areas Charles Burchfield used for his sources. I was up in Buffalo for the Residency last week.  

I went to downtown Buffalo and worked from a building that inspired one of his best known paintings, Rainy Night, below. Burchfield's painting to me is deliciously evocative of the moodiness of the city at night. I did several drawings of the building, beginning by making a drawing of it sheltered from the January winds in the Public Library directly across the street. 




Charles Burchfield, Rainy Night,  watercolor, 30 x 42", 1929-30
San Diego Museum of Art


Overall I  did six drawing, including my pastel of the building's elaborate mansard roof in yellows at the beginning of this post and this one below in cooler violets. I probably wi…

My Painting Hanging in the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art

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Philip Koch, Cape Cod Morning, oil on canvas 33 1/2 x 50" 1994
Katherine Kunau, the new Associate Curator at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art (CMRA) in Iowa contacted me last week to tell me her Museum has my painting Cape Cod Morning from their Permanent Collection hanging currently in their The Nation Travels-themed gallery. That sort of thing is sweet to hear. I had the good fortune to be invited to have my very first solo art museum exhibition at CRMA back in 1994, and this painting traveled to Iowa to be part of that. (CMRA by the way has amazing collections of Grant Wood and Marvin Cone paintings very worth seeing).
There's a funny story behind my painting. For many years I have been traveling to the outer tip of Cape Cod, MA. It was here where for three decades Edward Hopper lived half of each year and painted many of his most memorable works. Hopper was the chief influence on me as a young artist to change from abstraction to becoming a realist. I love the landscape of C…

Getting Inspiration: National Gallery of Art

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My wife Alice and I went down to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. yesterday. Alice always wants to be sure to visit here favorite painting by Vermeer of a woman weighing pearls. Love the way the diagonal that runs through the painting is echoed by the angle of Alice's hair falling over her shoulder. It seems to link her to the careful balancing of the scales going on in the painting. 






19th century artists took delight in studying the sky as in the above landscape by Caspar David Friedrich. There are hardly any works by this mysterious German romantic in the U.S. I love the way the sky seems to come down and wrap its cool light around the distant mountain.
Speaking of light from the sky, here's a Sanford Gifford oil where the sun struggles to burn through a silvery haze. It's a painting where the main story is the land's pinks and oranges elegantly dancing with the cool gray colors of the atmosphere. 




Gifford's paintings are part of the long tradition of…