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Showing posts from February, 2016

Charles Burchfield's Backyard: In Praise of One's Surroundings

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Philip Koch, Charles Burchfield's Salem House, oil on panel 12 x 24", 2016
As part of my being the Artist In Residence at the Burchfield Penney Art Center in Buffalo, NY, I took a trip to Charles Burchfield's boyhood home in Salem, OH last summer. The home has been restored by volunteers as the Burchfield Homestead and is open for visitors in the warmer months. Burchfield lived on an unassuming residential street in this town southeast of Cleveland from age 5 until he was 28. He moved to Buffalo to take a job as a wallpaper designer and stayed there despite his growing national acclaim. 
The above oil painting was done in my studio back in Baltimore. I based it on the vine charcoal drawing below that I made on location during last summer's trip to Salem. The view is standing in Burchfield's backyard with the low late afternoon sun streaming in from the west. Burchfield did many of his most famous early works looking out the windows of that house, finding unlikely d…