2/05/2014

Philip Koch

In discussing an Edward Hopper watercolor, Baltimore painter Philip Koch writes that "Great paintings aren't shy. They tell us where to look and how things feel. They may employ a delicate touch, but underneath it all there's no question who's in charge." It seems that Philip could also use these words to describe the bold compositions and monumental forms found in his own work.

Philip has chosen his two favorite paintings from last year, and tells us something of how they came about:

Mirror  oil on linen  36"x36"  2013
On our honeymoon on Mt. Desert Island in Maine years ago my wife and I went looking for shelter from some persistent frigid winds. By happenstance we stumbled upon this tiny hidden pond that seemed the essence of tranquility. Every few years I return to the spot and make a new painting of this special discovery that’s now part of my personal history.

Edward Hopper's Parlor, Nyack  oil on linen  32"x 24"  2013
Years ago I was inspired by seeing the art of Edward Hopper to switch from painting abstractly to working in a realist direction. By example Hopper was my greatest teacher.

As luck would have it I became personal friends with the family that now owns Hopper’s Cape Cod painting studio and have been given unprecedented access to stay and work in that studio in S. Truro, MA since the early ’80’s.

The Edward Hopper House Art Center in Nyack, NY, housed in Hopper’s boyhood home, invited me to have a show of my paintings I’d made of the interior of Hopper’s Cape Cod studio in their galleries. During my exhibition the Art Center’s Director asked me if I’d like to return and do some paintings inside the Hopper House in Nyack. This oil was begun in the summer of 2012 and completed last summer. It shows the oversized French doors of Hopper’s first floor parlor. I believe they influenced Hopper’s career long decision to make windows in his paintings often abnormally large.
You can see more of Philip Koch's paintings at his blog and his website, and be sure to check out last year's post on his favorites of 2012.

The current theme is Artists Who Blog- Favorites of 2013. Chosen artists have sent in one or two of their favorite paintings from 2013, along with some words about the creation of the work, or about general new directions and goals. There will be a new artist highlighted each day for twenty five days, so check back often.

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