Showing posts from September, 2017

The Honeymoon Painting

Philip Koch,  Thicket, oil on panel, 14 x 21 inches, 2017 Some of my new paintings go way back. This one actually started in 1982. Alice and I got married that year in the rain in our backyard with a female justice of the peace. Right after the ceremony we flew to Maine for our honeymoon.  I'd never been to Mount Desert but Alice had and she insisted I'd love it. Boy was s he right. Wandering in the woods near the Island's distinctive towering cliff named The Precipice I fell in love with this stand of young white birches. Worked from it for three afternoons and made a wonderful small oil. Later that summer I painted a large version of the composition in my studio. But before I had time to really enjoy either oil, the small version went to a collector and the large canvas entered the Permanent Collection of the Butler Institute of American Art.  Great as this was, I missed the paintings. Sometimes that happens. But in this case t

If Plants Could Talk...

Charles Burchfield, Sultry Moon, watercolor, 1959 Burchfield Penney Art Center's Facebook page is worth following. Every morning without fail they post a new painting by Charles Burchfield along with a selection of his writing from his journals. Seeing what they are offering up is one of the high points of my mornings. Sultry Moon  above was their pick this morning. It was new to me and as I looked at it the phrase "If plants could talk..." went through my mind. Burchfield is a very different kind of landscape painter than I am, but one thing I admire in his work is how remarkably  animated his forms are. Much of the energy he injects into his paintings is built out of his mastery of brushstrokes. This guy knew what he was doing.  Just to say two things about his mark-making: -You never know ahead of time what direction his brushstrokes are going to take as he paints his forms. Always he's surprising us. Unconsciously that makes us want to keep lo