Tuesday, October 25, 2011

White Mountain Art Show, New Hampshire

Erik Koeppel, "Jackson Village" 10 x 16 inches, oil on panel, Collection of the Jackson Historical Society

I was invited to take part in the Jackson Historical Society's annual White Mountain Art Show and Sale where my work hangs beside the 19th Century Landscape painters of this region (many of whom were also well known Hudson River School Painters). For more information on the artistic history of the White Mountains of New Hampshire check out http://www.whitemountainart.com/. Gifford, Durand, Cole, and the rest all painted in this beautiful region. This small town show consigns work from some very fine collections of historic White Mt. art, and has seen and sold the likes of William Trost Richards, Alfred Thompson Bricher, Benjamin Champney, and William Hart. Here are some of the historic highlights (in my opinion) this year:

William Hart

Joseph Hekking

Benjamin Champney

Here are some of the paintings I have at the show:

Erik Koeppel, "Doublehead from Whitney Hill", 10 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

Erik Koeppel, "View from the Ellis River" 11 x 14 inches, oil on panel

Erik Koeppel, "Mt. Chocorua from Blackcap" 12 x 16 inches, oil on panel

Erik Koeppel, "Pine of Jackson Falls", 14 x 11 inches, oil on panel
Before the Show

For more information please see the Society's website: http://www.jacksonhistory.org/ 
Thank you for your interest. More studies from this summer are on the way.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

American Artist Covers Erik Koeppel Workshop

American Artist asked artist/writer, John Parks to write an article on my workshop this summer through the Grand Central Academy. John came out with us for a couple of days, interviewed the students and I, and wrote this very kind article which just came out in American Artist: Plein Air Painting Fall 2011 issue. I'm very flattered to be included, and I hope anyone who's interested will pick up a copy and check it out.

"During the twentieth century attention to the Hudson River School became largely historical as artists moved on to other kinds of painting.  But the recent upswing in interest in traditional techniques and approaches has rekindled an awareness of the group.   This summer the painter Erik Koeppel, in conjunction with the Grand Central Academy in New York, offered a workshop in a particular landscape technique which allows painters to recreate the look, feel and philosophy of the Hudson Valley painters. Remarkably, much of the scenery that inspired the nineteenth century painters remains intact and unspoiled so that students can experience many views exactly as they were nearly two centuries ago.   Painting in some of the famed locations beloved of painters like Cole, Durand, Kensett and Gifford, Koeppel spelled out the parameters of the style and approach while conducting daily demonstrations of a technique that is very much akin to that used in the nineteenth century. "

Here are some of the paintings from the article, which also contains lots of demo shots, and technical advice:

Erik Koeppel, "Sunrise at Kaaterskill Creek", 16 x 20 inches, oil on panel

Erik Koeppel, "Morning in the Catskills", 20 x 16 inches, oil on panel

Erik Koeppel, "The Poet's Reply" 32 x 40 inches, oil on panel
Thank you for reading. The next post may be about NH studies.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Outdoor Painting in France

We had a beautiful time painting in a quiet southern region of France called Aveyron. Small stone Medieval villages surround the hills of the Tarn River, and are walled in by white cliffs capped with expansive plateaus. In this region, things are still done the old way. Flocks graze on the plateaus. Produce is grown organically in local gardens. Castles crumble on the hilltops, and life is refreshingly simple. Lauren and I had the pleasure of meeting many of the locals in the tiny village of Liaucous where we stayed, and they were very generous and hospitable. Here is the work I created on this trip:    

Outdoor paintings:
Koeppel, "Liaucous Morning" 10 x16 inches, oil on panel

Koeppel, "Sunset over Mostuejouls", 8 x 12 inches, oil on panel 

Koeppel, "Notre-dame des Champs", 9 x 12 inches oil on panel

Koeppel, "The River Tarn", 10 x 16 inches, oil on panel

Koeppel, "Gateway to the Tarn Gorge" 5 x 11 inches, oil on panel

Koeppel, "Le Chateau de Peyrelade (unfinished)". 8 x 12 inches oil on panel

Koeppel, "View from the Causse Noir", 8 x 10 inches, oil on panel

Koeppel, "Tarn Valley Afterglow", 5 x 7 inches, oil on panel

Special thanks to Adrienne Pascal-Chattot for sharing this magical place with us, and to the people of Liaucous for welcoming us.

We are planning to return to this region next September so if anyone would be interested either in a workshop in this area, or just joining a group of artists to paint outdoors please email me, erik@erikkoeppel.com

Thanks you for reading. Next post may cover our subsequent visit to the Louvre.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Imagination, Ideal Trees, Cow Geometry

Lori said...

"Erik, I'm curious as to how much of these compositions are from your imagination. I'm also wondering how you might have re-designed the tree shapes in these paintings. I've often noted that the trees I see in nature are not as elegant in form as those in HRS paintings. "

Here's a study of the mathematical diminution of tree branch
Koeppel, Tree Geometry
diameter based on Da Vinci's theory that the ideal tree would have the sum of its branches (area of cross-sections) equal to the base trunk. Reducing this formula, I found that placing right triangles of different proportions in the forks of trees fits the equations and is useful for 'imagining' trees or analyzing them spatially from life.

I'd like to do another post later to more thoroughly cover tree-design, but I do re-design trees quite a bit with regard to balance and elegance. I find it very important in landscape painting that the trees express the mood or intended feeling of the painting. Something more wild and sublime would demand a tree of one character, and a pastoral would demand another. I feel that all the parts of a painting should align to support its intended expression.

So in answer, yes, I make paintings of places (mts, trees, rocks, rivers, etc.) that are imagined and do not exist, but I make every effort to understand the things that I paint in such a way as to present an Ideal Reality that could exist.

Thank you for reading. Next post will be studies from France!