I am doing something a little different tonight. I have shown a lot of historic art and lots of my own art, but tonight I am showing the art of one of the readers of this blog,Philip Koch. I met Philip several years ago when we were both on a panel discussion at the Cape Cod Museum of art. I don't think we were on the same panel, there were several, however we all showed some paintings there, and I was impressed with his.
All of the art by the members of the panel was impressive, there were some well known painters there. Philips painting was different from the things to which I usually find myself drawn. I will take the risk of speaking about another painters art just a little. I seldom do that with a living artist, usually I am discussing the works of an artist long dead. It brings a whole different level of caution as the artist is out there to rebut what I say. I can tell you what I think looking at it, but only that.
Philip Koch is a professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art in
Philip works outside in vine charcoal a lot. Here is a charcoal drawing below.
He is inventing his heightened color and doing a lot of arranging the landscape so it makes sense for him to do charcoals outside. This drawing was done near Edward Hoppers old studio on Cape Cod, where he has been invited to stay and work for twelve summers since 1983.
The painting above has a number of design ideas in it, including some that I have written about.
There are "stacked values" for instance, see how that foreground shore and tree is light against the dark or the island behind it? Many lesser painters would have marched everything across the painting like a frieze, with all the elements parallel to the picture plane. In this painting the lines of the foreground and the ripples in the water both recede obliquely into the picture taking the viewer into the middle ground. The whole arrangement is reminiscent of Hudson River school painting with its broad sky and still, crystalline feeling. He has studied that art , but he has brought to it a contemporary sensibility .
Philip Koch has had his work in 11 solo exhibitions in American art museums including the Butler Institute of American Art (OH), the Saginaw
Philip has a blog that he has been writing and you can find it here. Instead of letting me tell you about HIS paintings, you can go to his blog and learn about them from the artist himself.
Here he is, with the mountains of Acadia National Park behind him. The recent entries in his blog have been about painting there and he shows some of the things he made . I am pleased to have artists like Philip reading MY blog, and I see that as an encouragement and a great compliment.