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Sun Worship? My New Painting "Sun by the Truro Door"

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Philip Koch, Sun by the Truro Door, oil on panel, 18 x 24 inches, 2021 Science tells us without the energy that the sun shines down on our planet we couldn't sustain life. It's a big deal.  I think intuitively most artists sense that- certainly many painters (think Claude Monet and the French Impressionists for example) made celebrating the sun's light a core element in their works.  Above is a new oil that is headed up to  Addison Art Gallery  in Orleans, MA next week. I did it entirely from my memory of watching the first rays of the rising sun in the painting room in Edward Hopper's studio on Cape Cod. Anyone living I think has felt the quiet touch of excitement seeing that first splash of morning's sunlight .  I have a long history with that idea. When I was a teenager I wasn't particularly interested in art. One afternoon when leafing through my parents'  Time  magazine I stumbled into Hopper's painting below. "Now  that's  a painting!"

Table for Two

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 Philip Koch, Truro Studio Kitchen, oil on panel, 12 x 16 inches, 2021 Art is a feast for the eyes.  This is my latest painting.  Appropriately, a lot of meals have been consumed at this humble table.  In real life this table is a subtle cream color but I liked the feel of it with the yellow amped up a bit. The same with the reddish floor.  In the late afternoon the table is bathed in direct sun light. Even the room's shadows have a glow to them. This is the kitchen in Edward Hopper's studio in Truro, MA on Cape Cod.    I remember sitting in these chairs all to well. They're three-quarter size chairs, ironic as they belonged to a man who was 6' 5". Notoriously frugal, t he furniture Hopper and his wife Jo chose came from a second hand store. The studio's rooms are sparse. But there is one area where Hopper's studio is almost delightfully extravagant- it has lots of windows. On a clear day you see direct sun shining in from sunrise to sunset.  There is a pa

Looking for Otters in Otter Cove

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  Philip Koch, Otter Cove II, oil on panel, 16 x 20 inches, 2008, Somerville Manning Gallery,  Greenville, DE Above is my painting Otter Cove II  that I recently along with the oil below Yellow Arcadia delivered to Somerville Manning Gallery when they needed additional work for my recent exhibition.  While I was at the gallery a couple asked me where I'd gotten the idea for the painting. I told him about my going to Otter Cove on Mt. Desert Island in Maine to do landscapes. I explained it was the spot from which one of my heroes, the 19th century painter Frederic Church had painted one of his best known oils of the island. What I failed to mention was I also hoped I'd get to see otters frolicking in the cove. Trouble was: no otters. Philip Koch, Mount Desert Island , vine charcoal, 5 x 13 inches, 2003 But the rhythm of the shore and islands more than compensated for the lack of aquatic wildlife. I made the above drawing with my easel set up on the bridge over the Otter Cove in

Behind the Scenes on Some of My Paintings in Somerville Manning Gallery Exhibit

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Wanted to share a little  background on some of the paintings in Somerville Manning Gallery's solo show of my work April 9 - May 8, 2021. First here's an interview we did about the show It's with the gallery's director Rebecca Moore. The interview was broadcast 4/28/21 on WCHE 1520 radio near Philadelphia. Somerville Manning Gallery's exhibition of Philip Koch paintings continues through May 8, 2021 Here are some individual paintings in the show. Radiance, oil on panel, 12 x 24 inches, one of the paintings Rebecca Moore talks about early in our interview. This is a view of one of the tidal marshes in Wellfleet on Cape Cod. I originally found the spot by jogging down a road whose name I liked- King Phillip Road.     The Reach IV, oil on canvas, 40 x 60 inches, another of the paintings discussed in the radio interview. This is one of my most autobiographical paintings, a tribute to the love I felt from my father who used to take me sailing at night on one of the Grea
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  This is my painting "Autumn Frontyard," oil on panel, 15 x 20 inches, 2021 that will be included in Somerville Manning Gallery's 's show of my work from April 9 - May 8 in Greenville, DE. This actually began in somewhat different form back in March of 1985. I painted this on location in the Mt. Washington neighborhood of Baltimore. The large white house intrigued me but seemed too formal, almost like a real estate ad, when viewed from directly in front. But seen obliquely through this screen of mostly leafless trees it took on a whole different character. It was titled "Spring Front Yard." This small oil I had painted outside served as the basis for a big 45 x 60” studio oil on canvas from 1989 that’s in the Permanent Collection of the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in Hagerstown, MD. In late Fall of 2020, under the spell of what was happening to the trees outside my studio window. The season’s colors inspired me to jump back into the small painti

Shifting Sands

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This is one of the major paintings that will be in Somerville Manning Gallery's show of my work April 9 - May 8, 2021, The Great Dune , oil on canvas, 28 x 42 inches, 2020. One of my best memories was being 6 and running down the steep sides of huge sand dunes on the North Carolina coast. These memories came flooding back to me when I discovered the dunes on Cape Cod. The winds off the ocean blow them into marvelously inventive aerodynamic shapes. The dunes can grow very tall and have a presence that feels permanent. Yet nature prods them to keep changing. This is a scene near the mouth of the Pamet River in Truro, MA. Years ago when I first started painting the dune in the center of this canvas it was mostly open white sand. More recently vegetation had taken hold and created an abstract patchwork. I love how it lends the dune its own distinctive personality.

My Painting of Edward Hopper's Studio in Somerville Manning Gallery's Show of My Work

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This is probably what Edward Hopper's studio looked like in Hopper's day- "Edward Hopper's Studio: Truro," oil, 28 x 56 inches, 2020. It is one of the largest paintings in Somerville Manning Gallery 's upcoming show of my work opening April 9. Hopper first visited Cape Cod in 1930 and fell in love with how the light played over the barren massive sand dunes in Truro. Remember the 19th century inhabitants of the Cape had cut down many of the trees for lumber and firewood. I painted this canvas largely from memory of the wide open vistas around Hopper's studio when I had my first residency there in 1983, when the surrounding vegetation hadn't regrown as much as it has today. Two electrical poles frame the studio- there's a funny story attached to them. Hopper is famous for painting an unvarnished view of urban America. When the Hopper's built the studio in 1934 there was no electricity along the access road. Some years later the power company i