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

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!" I remember saying to myself. It was a painting revealing an artist almost transfixed by the mystery and beauty of the sun simply announcing itself on an empty wall.

Edward Hopper, Rooms by the Sea, oil. on canvas, 1951 Yale University Art Gallery

I was relying only on my memory to envision how to make my new painting and wanted to give the composition time to crystalize in my mind. Taking step-by-step approach, I made the small preparatory oil below to try out how the shapes and chords of color could work together.

Philip Koch, Truro Door, oil on panel, 9 x 12 inches, 2021

Both the large and small versions of my Truro doorway will be on display in Addison Gallery's Before the Masterpiece exhibition.


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