Posts

My Gratitude to Some Artist I'll Never Know

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Philip Koch, Clearing, oil on canvas, 30 x 60 inches, 2022. I was looking at my painting above,  Clearing,  Even a complex painting has to begin simply. Remembering how it started in my studio with me experimenting with different compositions of its basic flat shapes. At this stage it feels like arranging cut out  colored paper   on a flat table top. You can express a lot even with that.  I fell into reverie about my early days when I was an abstract painter. When I studied painting at Oberlin College probably 90% of my canvases were simple colorful abstractions of flat shapes.  At the time I hadn't seen how deeply ingrained this habit had become in my practice. S omething changed when I got to Indiana University to start their MFA Painting program.  It's funny how sometimes we learn the most critical lessons from things that at first seem modest and unremarkable. I was visiting the studio of another artist in the program. In the corner was a small and not very striking landsca

New Paintings at Somerville Manning Gallery

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  At Somerville Manning Gallery yesterday- Left: Evergreen, Middle: Winter, Right: Narrow Cove Ogunquit At Somerville Manning Gallery yesterday,  Warm September I took four new paintings up to Somerville Manning Gallery in Greenville, DE yesterday. Two had just returned from Ogunquit Museum of American Art's exhibition Philip Koch: Isle of Dreams in Maine, and the other two were large canvases fresh off my easel.   Evergreen,   oil on canvas, 36 x 54 inches, 2022 (above).  When I was out on location painting the study for this large oil I had the feeling this was a home happily contented people lived in. Perhaps that's silly as I didn't see anyone around over the three mornings I worked on the painting. But there was something wonderful about their yard- bright sun splashing on exuberantly colored shutters and roof. Setting this off were the solemn dark evergreens, impressive in their size and obvious maturity.       Just returned from the Ogunquit Museum exhibition is  Win
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  Art New England's July/August issue carries Carl Little's review of Ogunquit Museum of American Art's exhibition of Koch's paintings.

Artist Talk at Ogunquit Museum of American Art

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A video of the June 28, 2022 public  conversation between Philip Koch and Assistant Curator Theresa Choi about Ogunquit Museum's exhibition of Koch's paintings.  The video runs 50 minutes.  Here's the link- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qt8v5q6kiFc

"What a Nice Place to Work" - Photos of my Painting Studio Space

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"What a nice place to work" ran through my mind as I came into the studio this morning. The standing mirror catches a reflection of the canvas I'm working on right now. Some collectors have told me they'd love to see the space in Baltimore where I create most of my paintings. Here's a mini-tour. This is just some of the brushes that are stationed at the ready. Last night's color mixtures of blue pigments grace my palette. In the distance is one of the three easels I have in the painting room- it's usually holding  a painting I want to study. At the right is the standing mirror that's always aimed so I can see a reversed image of the painting I'm working on on my main easel. Loaded paintbrushes love to roll into their neighbor and get their wet colors all over each other. I made a simple grooved brush holder to keep each color of the brush clear of collisions with other unwanted hues. The main working easel at the right. It's super heavy which i

Artists Have to Be Good Liars: My Show at Ogunquit Museum of American Art- Part III

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Philip Koch, White Cove , oil on panel, 7 x 10 1/2 inches, 2021 Artists have to be good liars. Sometimes little lies tell a bigger truth. Reality is incredibly vivid- sometimes delightful, other times anything but. On occasion we may need to tune out the world, but that's not a place we're meant to stay. Art wakes us up.  It reminds us why it's worth it to be open and aware. Artists make the case for this by presenting a heightened version of reality. Here are four of the paintings in Ogunquit Museum of American Art 's current exhibition of my work. The source for each was rooted in a  particular location. In each to get the story I need to tell I had to depart from the literal facts of the place.  White Cove above was begun at high tide along an inlet where dense foliage crowded over every inch of the shoreline.  In truth the trees were a solid mass of unchanging green that didn't convey their explosive lushness. I injected yellows and oranges into the scene to ev

Philip Koch: Isle of Dreams at Ogunquit Museum of American Art Part II

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  Philip Koch, Maine Islands, oil on panel, 7 x 17 1/2 inches, 2021 This is the post second in a series looking at the 15 paintings currently in the exhibition Philip Koch: Isle of Dreams  at  Ogunquit Museum of American Art in Maine (through July 19, 2022). Think for a moment on your life. So much is in flux. What have you learned? You face sweeping changes. Some things have been lost. And yet other things in us feel permanent.  Some stand firm like rocks resisting pounding surf. There are parts of all of us that feel exactly as they did when we were six. I have a near addiction to painting waters and shorelines.  Growing up right on the shore of Lake Ontario I feel naturally at home on the edge of the water. But there's something more to it. The way the land holds its place while the waters, turbulent or gentle, never really stop moving. I think we sense the currents both of change and permanence mirrored by the water hitting the shoreline. How often people fall into a reverie g