Showing posts from September, 2021

Cats Hate Water

  Philip Koch. Truro Afternoon, oil on canvas, 28 x 42 inches, 2021 Here's one of my new paintings. It's based on a small oil I painted on location in Edward Hopper’s studio in Truro, MA. The view is of the corner of the studio’s painting room that inspired Hopper’s oil Rooms by the Sea from 1951 (now at Yale University Art Gallery). I have a long history of painting this corner of this room. It really started when I was much younger. Idly sunning myself on a lounge chair on the patio of my home, I was flipping through my parents’ copy of Time magazine. I was a typically preoccupied teenager, uninvolved with art. Coming  across a photo of Hopper’s  Rooms by the Sea I did a double take.  The painting powerfully evoked the feeling one has of gazing out at an expanse of open water. The vast waters of Lake Ontario were a big part of my life (since I was 3 1/2 we had lived on its shore, first in a rental house and then moving (on my 4th birthday no less) into our lakeshore h

Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College (Part II)

Marion Boyd Allen (1862-1941), Portrait of Anna Vaughn Hyatt , 1915 Continuing with a few short comments about paintings that especially struck me on my visit to  Maier Museum of Art  at Randolph College in Lynchburg, VA. Sometimes you come across an artist whose work is so strong it makes you wonder why they're not better known. That's how it felt seeing Maier Museum of Art' s large oil by Marion Boyd Allen,   Portrait of Anna Vaughn Hyatt.     The figure of Hyatt is powerful and looks assured as she sculpts a horse and rider. It seems so fitting that the Maier Museum acquired this painting at a time when Randolph College was an all women's school.                       Installation view of the museum gallery with the Allen painting in a commanding position.     John Sloan, Sun and Wind on the Roof , oil on canvas, 1915 Ever since I studied painting in the same studio where John Sloan taught his class at the Art Students League of New York I've  had a spot in my he

Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College (Part I)

Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College, Lynchburg , VA I had the wrong major in college. Fortunately the campus art museum (Allen Memorial Art Museum) woke me up to what I was meant to do- paint. What a powerful impact even a smaller museum can have on a young artist. That's part of why I drove down from Baltimore to the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College  in Lynchburg, VA last week. They have an Edward Hopper landscape I needed to see (more later), but I was intrigued by what I'd seen  of their collection on-line as well. Thomas Cole, Corway Peak, New Hampshire,  oil on canvas, 1844 I'm a little different from many contemporary artists in that I've always looked for insight and inspiration from the artists who've gone down the path before me. When you're starting out you need guidance.  Allen Art Museum's giant color field painting by Larry Poons pushed me to explore what color could be made to do. I painted dozens of brilliantly colored abstractions

Winter Is Good for the Soul

  Philip Koch, Winter , oil on canvas, 36 x48 inches, 2021 If this painting looks like it's too cold that's good. It's a painting I made as a thank you for an early lesson cold winter gave me. It's done mostly from memory of my childhood in upstate New York. We lived right on the shore of Lake Ontario. Summers there were sweet. While the water was always on the cold side for swimming that never stopped us kids. Even on the hottest days there would be a breeze off the lake that kept the air comfortable.  Come winter things changed. Strong winds blew down from Canada  and vacuumed away even the most stubborn leaves that tried to cling to their branches. The Ontario shoreline quickly froze over with a glistening coat of ice.  Splashing waves would gradually build up mysterious forms that looked like icebergs. When the sun shone down on this I found it spellbindingly beautiful. We kids climbed all over the fantasy-like playgrounds these little ice mountains would grow into.