Showing posts from September, 2022

My Gratitude to Some Artist I'll Never Know

Philip Koch, Clearing, oil on canvas, 30 x 60 inches, 2022. I was looking at my painting above,  Clearing,  Even a complex painting has to begin simply. Remembering how it started in my studio with me experimenting with different compositions of its basic flat shapes. At this stage it feels like arranging cut out  colored paper   on a flat table top. You can express a lot even with that.  I fell into reverie about my early days when I was an abstract painter. When I studied painting at Oberlin College probably 90% of my canvases were simple colorful abstractions of flat shapes.  At the time I hadn't seen how deeply ingrained this habit had become in my practice. S omething changed when I got to Indiana University to start their MFA Painting program.  It's funny how sometimes we learn the most critical lessons from things that at first seem modest and unremarkable. I was visiting the studio of another artist in the program. In the corner was a small and not very striking landsca