My Art, My Celebrations

Philip Koch, Under the Moon, oil on canvas, 24 x 36"

For much of the time we are absorbed by the little details of our lives. It is too easy to forget the mere fact of our being alive is completely extraordinary.

Yet to all of us come brief moments when the usual veil of confusion lifts. We suddenly grasp a connection between things that we'd thought unconnected. It's as if we begin hearing whispers of a previously secret conversation that has been going on all along. In moments like that we can feel a surge of gratitude. It would be foolish not celebrate the feeling. Seizing that and giving it a form we can share with others has been the task of artists through the ages.

Philip Koch, From Day to Night,  oil on canvas, 36 x 72"

Right now I am sitting in a room in my studio surrounded by my 32 paintings that will be headed out to Hagerstown, MD next week for my show at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts. As I look over the pieces I fall back into thinking of the times when each was being painted. 

Like anyone, my own life has been a mixture of delights, contentment, as well as personal setbacks and losses. Maybe most of all I find what living looks and feels like is unexpected and surprising. Many people have commented that my paintings can have a moody and slightly other-worldly feel to them. I agree. 

Philip Koch, The Song of All Days, oil on panel, 36 x 72"

Yet I'd answer my works are truthful to how living in our world actually feels on the inside. It is not enough for a landscape to be merely pretty. To be really beautiful in any meaningful sense a painting has to have teeth, some touch of somberness, as well as a brilliant light and delicious sensuous colors. It has to exclaim at least a little bit that this living business is a completely wild ride.

Philip Koch, The Voyage, oil on canvas, 38 x 38"

Here are five of my oils that to me perhaps best express my sense about what art is supposed to be. These are some of my Celebrations.

Philip Koch, Equinox, oil on panel, 30 x 45"

The Mirror of Nature: The Art of Philip Koch runs Nov. 8, 2014 - Feb. 22, 2015. On Friday, Nov. 7 there is a ticketed gala opening reception for the exhibition from 5 - 7 p.m. Museum members $15, non-members $20. The Museum requests an RSVP by Oct. 30. Call

On Sunday, Nov. 7 there will be a gallery talk and slide lecture with the artist at 2:30 p.m. Admission to the Museum is free.


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