Table for Two
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, the 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 particular frame of mind that leads to making the best painting. To get there I first try to forget where I am and what the objects are before me. A lot of the times squinting and blurring my vision a bit pushes my awareness to just the patterns of colors are appearing before me. What I'm actually looking at is secondary.
In the painting I love the zig-zag pattern the shadows make as they snake their way across the walls and over the furniture.
Paintings have to offer our eyes some surprise. Cast shadows give us the unexpected- wildly abstract silhouetted shapes. They add a little bit of the fantastic and surreal to even the most ordinary table and chairs. I've built many of my paintings on just such silhouettes.