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Showing posts from October, 2017

Charles Burchfield at the Portland Museum of Art

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Charles Burchfield, The Big Tree, watercolor, circa 1920, Portland Museum of Art (Maine). 
A few days ago I was looking at the Portland Museum of Art's website and came across this painting from early in Charles Burchfield's career. Erin Damon, the Museum's Assistant Registrar, told me the Museum purchased the piece in 1998. Well, they got a really nice one!

The giant tree seems not only alive, it commands the surrounding  field.  It adeptly solves the challenges that come when an artist paints the colors of summer foliage. As commonplace as greens and yellow-greens are in that season, I know from my long experience as a landscape painter they're devilishly hard to make work in a painting. The way Burchfield tackles this teaches us a lot about the language of painting.

Burchfield doesn't worry about color in the beginning. Color probably is the most delightful aspect in painting, but by itself it tends to be formless. It needs a structure of shapes to hold it like a …

New Hopper Studio Paintings to Somerville Manning Gallery

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Edward Hopper's Truro, MA studio, Sept. 2016
This week I brought some new paintings done from my most recent residency in Edward Hopper's Truro, MA studio into Somerville Manning Gallery in Greenville, DE.
Two of the paintings are a actually a tribute to the very first Hopper painting I ever saw- his wonderfully strange oil of the corner of his painting room in the Truro studio (see below). It made a huge impression on me as a teenager and prodded me to begin thinking about becoming an artist myself.


Philip Koch, Truro Afternoon, oil on panel, 14 x21 inches, 2017 (this one oil will be available at the Gallery Oct. 12).



Philip Koch, Rooms by the Sea: September II, oil on canvas,  28 x 42 inches, 2017

Edward Hopper, Rooms by the Sea, oil on canvas, 1951, Yale University Art Gallery
I've learned unexpected things over the years I've stayed and worked in Hopper's studio. One is that an artist has to conduct a wide-ranging search for the subjects that open the internal do…