Showing posts from May, 2022

Artists Have to Be Good Liars: My Show at Ogunquit Museum of American Art- Part III

Philip Koch, White Cove , oil on panel, 7 x 10 1/2 inches, 2021 Artists have to be good liars. Sometimes little lies tell a bigger truth. Reality is incredibly vivid- sometimes delightful, other times anything but. On occasion we may need to tune out the world, but that's not a place we're meant to stay. Art wakes us up.  It reminds us why it's worth it to be open and aware. Artists make the case for this by presenting a heightened version of reality. Here are four of the paintings in Ogunquit Museum of American Art 's current exhibition of my work. The source for each was rooted in a  particular location. In each to get the story I need to tell I had to depart from the literal facts of the place.  White Cove above was begun at high tide along an inlet where dense foliage crowded over every inch of the shoreline.  In truth the trees were a solid mass of unchanging green that didn't convey their explosive lushness. I injected yellows and oranges into the scene to ev

Philip Koch: Isle of Dreams at Ogunquit Museum of American Art Part II

  Philip Koch, Maine Islands, oil on panel, 7 x 17 1/2 inches, 2021 This is the post second in a series looking at the 15 paintings currently in the exhibition Philip Koch: Isle of Dreams  at  Ogunquit Museum of American Art in Maine (through July 19, 2022). Think for a moment on your life. So much is in flux. What have you learned? You face sweeping changes. Some things have been lost. And yet other things in us feel permanent.  Some stand firm like rocks resisting pounding surf. There are parts of all of us that feel exactly as they did when we were six. I have a near addiction to painting waters and shorelines.  Growing up right on the shore of Lake Ontario I feel naturally at home on the edge of the water. But there's something more to it. The way the land holds its place while the waters, turbulent or gentle, never really stop moving. I think we sense the currents both of change and permanence mirrored by the water hitting the shoreline. How often people fall into a reverie g

Philip Koch: Isle of Dreams Exhibition- Ogunquit Museum of American Art

      New Day , oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches, 2022 Ogunquit Museum of American Art in Maine is presenting Philip Koch: Isle of Dreams  from May 1 - July 19, 2022.  Theresa Choi, the Assistant Curator at the museum, selected works for the show with a focus on themes of islands and shoreline.  Ogunquit Museum comes with an important link to my personal history. Early in my career seeing work by Edward Hopper made a powerful impact on me, inspiring me to change from painting abstractions to working as a realist. The Ogunquit Museum has hung my paintings in the same gallery space where in 2005 they showed the oils Hopper painted on the grounds of what would become the Ogunquit Museum. Here's one of those canvases- Hopper's Sea at Ogunquit  from 1914, a view painted from life directly behind where the museum stands today. My wife Alice and I made a special trip from Baltimore to Ogunquit to see that 2005 show of Hopper's work. You can stand and gaze on the same rocks that lie