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Showing posts from June, 2016

Charles Burchfield Archives- Unexpected Influences

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Philip Koch, Great Dunes II, oil on canvas, 36 x 72", 1985 A painting I made from a smaller plein air oil painted on location just outside Provincetown, MA.
An unexpected benefit of being the Artist in Residence at the Burchfield Penney Art Center this year was spending time going through the Center's extensive Burchfield Archives. Charles Burchfield valued all his work and saved almost everything. Burchfield Penney has each of the 25,000 pieces of his work and his writing assigned a catalogue number and archivally stored. 
They gave me white cotton gloves and more boxes of his drawings than I could ever work through. Gingerly lifting each drawing out of its box I felt like Burchfield was sitting right next to me. For someone who wants to get beneath the surface of how a creative mind like Burchfield's worked, it was dream. 


 Philip Koch, State Road, oil on paper mounted to panel, 19 x 28 1/2",  circa 1989. I painted this on location on the Eastern Shore of Marland.

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Painting in Buffalo and Bar Harbor

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I am just returned from two back-to-back painting trips in just a little over two weeks. First I flew to Buffalo, NY on my 7th trip for my being the Artist in Residence at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. No sooner had I returned to Baltimore than my wife Alice and I flew up to Maine for a week in Bar Harbor. Only last night was I able to unpack my suitcase and lay out the oil paintings I've started on my studio floor. As you can see, I kept busy. The upper right and lower right oils are from Buffalo and the rest are Maine paintings. I will be going back into each oil to finish it back in my studio.




The Burchfield Residency has been an amazing experience and I've written about it many times on this blog over the last period. Bar Harbor on Mount Desert Island has been a personally meaningful painting destination for me as Alice and I honeymooned there many years ago and fell in love with the place.





Here's a selection of photos from the Maine trip. I have some pressing painti…

Looking Back / The Burchfield Archives

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A selection of the original backing boards on the Charles Burchfield work that entered BPAC's Permanent Collection
None of us live our lives in isolation, even if we sometimes might want to. We carry with us the influences big and small of everyone we'd known, of everywhere we've lived. It's the same for artists.
As a landscape painter I have worked all over the country, but always in the back of my mind is a palpable memory of the Western New York landscape I grew up in. Charles Burchfield grew up in Northeast Ohio and moved to Buffalo, NY to take a job as a wallpaper designer. Despite becoming a nationally renowned artist he consciously made the decision to stay in Buffalo as the roots he had sunk there nourished his creativity. Naturally this is someone I wanted to know more about.
Over the last year as the Burchfield Penney Art Center's Artist in Residence I've made seven trips to study the legacy of Charles Burchfield. Last week found me once again in Buffal…