"Using Middle America as her muse, Kowch draws the history of a particular place -- invariably rural -- to the surface as it collides with a new reality in layers of metaphor and moodiness. The faces of her women may remind you of characters in a Tim Burton film."
--Steve Parks, Newsday

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone! With 2009 coming to a close, I'd like to give thanks to everyone for your continued friendship and support. I am thankful for each and every one of you, and look forward to continuing sharing my artistic journey with all of you. Thank you. May you all experience a joyful and prosperous 2010! Let's have a great year!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Drawing Dreams Foundation

Girl, by Karen, age 10

I'm pleased to announce that I have been asked to contribute images on behalf of the Drawing Dreams Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Berkeley, CA whose mission is to help provide art supplies to children's hospitals, and other organizations where the need arises.

In appreciation of their support, donors receive notecards featuring art from Drawing Dreams' two online galleries: art by children, as part of the Children Helping Children initiative, and images from professional visual and performing artists, photographers, architects, athletes, scientists, and visionaries from around the world, as part of Artists Helping Children.

I am proud to be a part of this, and invite you to check out all the wonderful art in the galleries! Blackbirds are Gathering has made the headliner on page 2!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays, Friends

One of my favorite holiday traditions when I was a child was being allowed to unwrap one of my gifts on Christmas Eve while watching The Snowman. This beautiful animated classic, along with the entire series of Beatrix Potter tales brought to life on video, were favorites, that, to this day, I still love just as much as I did then. Since I've grown up, the beauty of this film's theme song never fails to make me teary-eyed. I thought I'd share it with you along with some personal photos, in hopes that you, too, will be moved to take a few moments out of your busy holiday schedules to revisit your imagination and walk in the air. :)

Wishing you all a joyous holiday season - Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"Summer's End"

24" x 18"
acrylic on canvas

Another painting completed a few weeks ago, that speaks of the fragility of all things born from the earth, and the inherent order and cycles that occur in the natural world. I came upon the concept for this in late summer/early fall when everything around us begins to slowly change to give way to a new season. These massive, mammoth sunflowers that grew in the garden and turned their heavy heads to follow the sun all summer long, had bowed, welcoming the autumn. When it was time to prepare the ground for next summer, I set the heavy, freshly cut bunch down and looked at them, finding them to be symbolic of so many things. A moth then peeked at me from behind a petal. This image flashed in my head on the spot. I love when that happens.

It's a natural feeling to want to hold on to things you know you can't preserve forever, and, before turning these majestic flora over to the birds and squirrels to feast on, I felt the need to record their beauty and the power of what they represented to me that day.

Monday, December 14, 2009

"Two Rural Sisters" Diptych

28" x 44"
acrylic on canvas

A recently completed set that I have been working on periodically between other paintings. Lately I'm enjoying working on several pieces at once, just to change up the routine a bit. With these, I intentionally wanted to create two narrative character portraits; a straightforward statement and tribute to both the beauty and harshness of country life. I guess my inherent love for Renaissance art, particularly its portraiture, lurked in my subconcious during the birth of the initial idea, hence why I think I settled on representing the protagonists in a more straight, formal, symmetrical fashion, accompanied by symbols that pertain to them. The strength and resiliency of the human spirit is one of the main themes running throughout this one, in addition to the sheer desire to simply go back and concentrate on the figure as a painting subject.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"The Distance Between Shores" OUT NOW!

Another book I recently illustrated is now out and available for purchase! Books may be purchased through Midnight Tea Poetry. A HUGE thanks to my client, Brian Tracy, for giving me the great privilege of teaming up with him again for this companion piece to Blackbird Ballads. The book made its debut at its release party on November 14, at Live at the Lounge in Hermosa Beach, CA, where it was celebrated with live poetry and music.

The poems you'll find in these pages are just beautiful, and I had such a great time using them as my muse for the pictures you'll find throughout. Order your copy today, and get a few more as gifts for the poetry-lovers in your life!

"Brian Tracy's exquisite poems evoke those "ghostlier demarcations" summoned by Wallace Stevens, another poet for whom the sea is muse. Because Tracy is a poet of powerful restraint and beautiful nuance. The Distance Between Shores is a book of delicately suspended, liminal spaces, spaces in which one hears whispers from the other world as well as 'the howl and hunger' of this one."

-Gail Wronsky, Director of Creative Writing Loyola Marymount University and author of Poems for Infidels and Dying for Beauty

"Brian Michael Tracy's elegant, meditative poems emerge from a landscape of mist and dream like lost beloveds. There's a quiet vigor and wisdom in this poet's work that comes from allowing the self to crawl inside silence and observe. The Distance Between Shores will astonish and fill you with the breath of life."

-Michelle Bitting, author of Good Friday Kiss and winner of the DeNovo First Book Award

Monday, November 9, 2009

"Spectrum 16" OUT NOW!

I'm excited to announce that Spectrum 16 is out now! I just got my copy in the mail today and it is full of AMAZING work by our best artists and illustrators from around the globe. The images in this annual are the work of absolute masters, and it still floors me to see my work published among them for a second time.

Get to your local Barnes & Noble or Borders, or order your copy on Amazon!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Find me on "MyArtspace"

A whole new website re-design is underway, and in the meantime, I wanted to make you all aware that all my current work can be viewed on MyArtspace, a great art website, where my portfolio is kept current. The old website will still be up another couple weeks, and until the new one is up and running, MyArtspace is the new official spot to catch my updated portfolios. Spread the word! I was also selected to be in the "Featured Artist" spotlight on the site.


Thanks! Announcements about the new site launch will be coming soon.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hope you had a spook-tacular Halloween!

Hope everyone had a great Halloween! I had a great time this year putting on my annual display for the neighborhood kids. It's as fun for me as it is for them! The front porch is my stage for a night, and I have parents often pulling out their cameras to make it a lasting memory for the little ones. It's a fun weekend of preparation where I whip out crafting supplies and create props for the porch, windows, and my witchy attire. :)

When all is ready, the scene is set to the organ of Bach's Tocatta, and the trick-or-treaters start walking up the witch's way. . .

Fun spooky silhouettes I made for the window, containing the
silhouette of my "twin" sister as she makes another batch of her
special brew. . . ;)

A phantom from Venice came to visit and joined me for the party.

As usual, all the fun ended far too fast! Looking forward to another "boo"-tiful one next year!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

ArtPrize 2009

What an event! I'm sure all of you know about the results of its magnitude from the papers and various articles online, and it was absolutely all that! Art is now put back on the map, big time, and that is something many of us have been waiting for. I met so many wonderful people, and received some excellent comments and feedback. The energy, interaction, and conversation -what ArtPrize was all about - drew in a crowd of over 37,000 viewers with over 330,000 votes placed. I was honored to have been one of the 1,262 pioneering artists who contributed to making this cultural experiment such a success, paving the way for a future ArtPrize to be held again.

I had a great time showing alongside artist Cory Vanderzwaag of Grand Rapids, who created a sweet installation piece titled Familiar Analysis involving a table setting he constructed with interactive media features. Our work was a perfect fit together! Check out more on his profile.

On the front window of the gallery. . .

"Apple of My Eye." 30" x 40." acrylic on canvas. sold

Cory Vanderzwaag's interactive installation piece.

A huge thanks again to Amy and Josh of The MuStache Gallery located in Grand Rapids' Heartside area, a budding arts district with galleries, shops, and a music scene. The opportunity to be a part of the event would not have been possible without them!

Amy and Josh of The MuStache Gallery in Grand Rapids.

Some of the many viewers who came by opening night.

A great time had by all. I made 4 trips out in the course of the two weeks, and still was not able to see everything. Visit my Flickr album to see more of what I was able to catch, as well as mlive.com/artprize, and the ArtPrize Blog, to read reviews and all news about the event. Shore Magazine recently featured it as their cover story. Read all about it here. Thank you ArtPrize founder Rick DeVos and all involved, for encouraging art appreciation among the general public and for recognizing and putting such a high price on the value of what we artists do.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"ArtPrize" Update for Voters/Attendees

A quick update on "ArtPrize" and the voting procedure. Voters may now pre-register online at www.artprize.org. You still will have to show ID in person at the event to be eligible, however, this will save you time when you get there. Below are the rules. Additional information regarding voter registration stations at the event, etc., can be found at www.artprize.org/vote. Hope to see everyone there! The first week of voting, September 23-30, is the one that determines the top ten, so please plan on visiting and voting during that week! The final round (second week, October 1-7) can be done online. Feel free to also spread the word wherever you hang out online as well, by posting my "ArtPrize" badge above. Thank you all for your support!

Voting rules

Anyone who registers in person at the ArtPrize event can vote. You cannot vote without registering at the event.
  • Attendees will be required to present a valid government issued ID in person at a registration station
  • ID can be drivers license, other state ID or passport
  • Pre-register and save time activating your voter status at the event
  • There will be voter registration stations throughout the city September 23-October 7

Week 1 voting - All artists
  • Voting begins 6:00pm, September 23, 2009
  • You can vote on more than one work
  • You cannot vote more than once for the same work
  • Live results can be viewed online
  • Week 1 voting ends 11:59pm, September 30
  • Top 10 finalists will be announced evening, October 1

Week 2 voting - Top 10, ONE vote
  • Voting begins after announcement of the Top 10, October 1
  • You have only ONE vote during Week 2
  • You may only vote among the Top 10
  • You may change your vote until voting ends
  • Results are concealed during Week 2
  • Week 2 voting ends 11:59pm, October 7
  • Winners will be announced at a gala event October 8

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

ArtPrize - World's Largest Art Competition

I am happy to announce that I have been accepted to show in ArtPrize, the world's largest art prize, to be held in Michigan's own Grand Rapids this month. I am very excited! Thank you to Stache Gallery, who has chosen to represent me in this global competition as my hosting venue. I was also given the opportunity to display additional work alongside my ArtPrize entry, so come on out and see my little show within the show!

For those who have not read about it in the papers or online in one form or another, this radical competition, part art competition, part social experiment, and labeled by some as the "American Idol" of the art world, is one huge event you do not want to miss! The winner is determined by public vote. To vote, you must be present in person at the event in Grand Rapids, which runs from September 23 - October 10, 2009. Voters must also be registered with the event to be eligible to vote. Beginning September 14, 2009, voters may pre-register online at http://www.artprize.org/. Voting at the event will be entirely electronic (via cell-phone or internet) and results will be available for live viewing online during the duration of the event. There will be two rounds of voting over the course of the two weeks. The first round determines the top ten finalists, and the final round determines the prize winners. Please visit www.artprize.org/vote for all registration and voting information.

Out of nearly 2,000 applicants from over 20 different countries, approximately 1,200 artists have been chosen to show in this event, spanning a three-square-mile radius of the city. Painting, sculpture, installation, and performance art are just a few of the many mediums that will be showcased. Grand Rapids will be the art hub of the world for these two weeks. Go, Michigan!

So come on out, be a part of a unique cultural experience, and vote for yours truly! :) I'm only revealing a tiny portion of the painting I did for this event (seen above) - you will have to come out to see the real thing!

Please visit http://www.artprize.org/ for more information, and check out my official ArtPrize profile HERE.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ArtPrize

ArtPrize is a radically open competition. Open to any artist in the world who can find space. Open to anybody in the city who wants to create a venue. Open to a vote from anyone who attends.

We are living in a time of great change. New ideas, fresh inspiration will move us forward.There are enough art competitions where the winners are decided by a jury of experts. That's not the competition we are creating. We're looking for a giant conversation to happen between artists and the public. That is why we developed a radically open framework for this event, which gives power to everyone's opinion.When everyone's opinion counts, everyone is included in the conversation. ArtPrize exists to reboot the conversation between artists and audiences on a grand scale.

This is the prize breakdown of the largest art competition in the world:
1st place: $250,000
2nd: $100,000
3rd: $50,000
4th: $7,000
5th: $7,000
6th: $7,000
7th: $7,000
8th: $7,000
9th: $7,000
10th: $7,000

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Children's book out now!

I am excited to announce that the children's book I recently illustrated is out, and available for purchase!

A great story created to teach children about the importance of caring for the environment, and how to leave less of a footprint on the earth, it is a sweet, fun, educational read for children and adults alike. I was completely taken aback with awe when the first copies arrived to me. Seeing all the work I did in published form - hardcover with a dust-jacket and all - was quite a surreal feeling, and a great one. A big thanks to my client Holly Knight, who was a joy to work with throughout all the comps, edits, and press checks.

Purchase your copy online here!

Book signing events are in the works, and I will update everyone when those dates become available.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------The Clubhouse Conundrum
by Heather Meloche, Julie Angeli, Kathleen Pranger
Illustrated by Andrea Kowch

Children's book, 32 pp

The IHM Sisters use a story about building a clubhouse to teach children about environmental responsibility and the spirituality of sustainability.

The Clubhouse Conundrum, a 32-page, four-color, hardbound book tells the story of Monica and Gabe who want a clubhouse but disagree about whether to tear down the old fort and start over or to renovate what’s already there. When Monica’s Aunt Sarah, a nun, hears their debate, she takes them on a tour of her Motherhouse and show them how she and her 480 sisters resolved a similar problem.

During their amazing tour through the sisters’ earth-friendly home, Monica and Gabe learn about the sacredness of all creation, discover a little about post-modern nuns and find an answer to their problem.


40" x 30"
acrylic on canvas

One of the several paintings I have going at the moment. This is one I wish to leave up to the viewer - an ode to the hidden sanctuaries we run to to seek solace, wherever or whatever they are.

Monday, August 31, 2009

"Tour of the Universe" 2009

The night of July 24, 2009, was indeed a night to remember at Toronto's Molson Amphitheatre as Depeche Mode kicked off the North American leg of their 2009 world tour, "Tour of the Universe." It's no lie when they say a DM concert is a spiritual experience. Absolutely incredible. I was so fortunate to have experienced it from the main floor, and, as expected, the show was lined with stunning visuals, incredible energy coming from 16,000 fellow DM devotees, and the Mode themselves as spectacular as ever. In a nutshell, it couldn't have been more perfect.

The day's drive to Toronto was beautiful, with the 401 winding through some of the most gorgeous fields and lush farmland. If I was not on a tight schedule, I would have definitely spent some time exploring the landscape. The weather was something to behold as well, everchanging throughout the day from crisp sunshine, to dark, rolling clouds, to violent rain, to sun again. Crows were abundant, flying every which way over and alongside the highway as I drove, only to show up again as part of DM's stage visuals later that night. I was floored. More sweet surprises showed up when the band switched up their scheduled setlist, performing songs that I really hoped to hear live. It took an hour and a half to move three miles in the concert traffic, and, after the show, the parking lots became an after-party, as the hundreds of us waiting for traffic to move out, mingled and blasted Depeche Mode favorites out of cars. What better way to top the night off? The universe was definitely smiling those 24 hours. "Sounds of the Universe" indeed.

Friday, June 12, 2009

"Blackbird Ballads" Released

This past February, I was approached with the wonderful opportunity to have my work appear on a CD cover - something I've always dreamed of! Now I'm pleased to announce that Blackbird Ballads, the recent music collaboration between LA-based poet Brian Michael Tracy and musicians Andy Hill and Renee Safier is now released! I couldn't be more thrilled and honored to be a part of this project. A lyrical, wonderful album combining music and the spoken word, it was performed in its entirety at the release party in Redondo Beach last weekend, and is now available for purchase through Midnight Tea Poetry. The imagery and the album's subject matter could not have been a more perfect fit. A great way to unwind after a long day, get yourself a copy, kick back, and let your senses flow. . . .

"In the Path of the Wind"

40" x 30"
acrylic on canvas sold

One of my latest recently shown at the College for Creative Studies Spring Exhibition. The natural world is always the keeper of mysteries and phenomena that surround us and keep our world an ever-changing place. Just as the earth moves and undergoes change, we, as people, continue to move forward. In the Path of the Wind speaks of those times in our lives when we try to create order out of chaos, when the fear of the unknown dwells in our subconscious, refusing to be addressed until an inner transformation takes place.

Change is an inevitable part of life’s cycle, whether we wish to embrace it or not. The imagery in this painting serves as a metaphor for that moment when we come to a crossroads, unable to decide which path to walk. It is a time when destiny begins to shape itself with unstoppable force and events are set in motion. Logic soon departs, and intuition takes the reins, leading us where it deems best – just as the wind blows a seedling to where it is destined to take root and grow.

Fear, uncertainty, confusion, and chaos counterbalanced by a strange sense of peace were emotions I wanted present in this work, to illustrate how, despite the state of things during the "storm," situations eventually become clear in the end. The mind finally opens to accept what is, after finding the courage to let go of what was, and all is reborn.

"Spectrum 16" update!

Just a heads up from my earlier post. Expect to see No Turning Back in this year's "Spectrum 16" annual, coming out later this year!


A warm hello to everyone! It has been a while since my last post, but things have been cooking! I have been teaching, recently completed press checks for the upcoming children's book, which is now going to print (see my previous post), and working on other commissions. The past few busy months in addition to the past year, however, have caused me to currently take a break for a bit to regroup. Lots of new things are begun and in the making, however, so stay tuned!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Work to be featured in 2009's "Spectrum 16"

I just got word that I had work chosen once again to appear in Spectrum's Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art annual. To say I feel honored would be an understatement. I will keep everyone posted as to which works got in. To view the list of accepted artists for 2009, visit SPECTRUM here. Can't wait!

And...if you have not yet purchased your 2008 copy, be sure to see my previous post for information. It is filled with work by our modern day masters, and is a true visual feast!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Official MySpace

My official MySpace page is here:


Add me as a friend!

"Continuance: The Persistence of Personal Vision"

Come check out my work in the CCS Illustration alumni group show currently running at the Northville Art House in Northville, MI. The show runs until March 29. The opening was wonderful, with many wonderful works on display by prominent CCS Illustration alumni. I have two pieces in it, so be sure to visit and see it all for yourself!

Visit the Northville Art House online here to get a peek at some of the work featured if you have not yet seen the show ("No Turning Back" is among the ones used for their online promo). It's all still on view for another week!

March 6–29, 2009
"Continuance: The Persistence of Personal Vision"
College for Creative Studies Illustration Alumni Annual Show (upstairs gallery)

Be a pART of it! The Northville Art House is proud to present "Continuance...The Persistence of Personal Vision: The College for Creative Studies Illustration Alumni Annual Show." Please join us in celebrating the cutting edge of illustration art. Pushing the boundaries of how art is created, today’s illustrators work with everything from traditional media to sophisticated digital technology. They work in diverse fields – from graphic and web design to conceptual art for games, movies and toys. They turn old attitudes upside down and let their passion drive new visions. The Art House is privileged to bring together a panorama of creative works from these individuals – all graduates of Detroit’s own acclaimed College of Creative Studies - to the Northville and Metro Detroit community through this show.

The show will open with a reception Friday, March 6, from 6:00pm - 9:00pm during Northville's First Friday Art Walk. The show will continue through March 29 during the Art House Gallery hours (Thursdays - Sundays 1:00pm - 5:00pm, first Fridays only 1:00pm - 9:00pm.)
For additional information, call 248-344-0497. The Art House is located at 215 W. Cady Street and is a facility of the Northville Arts Commission. Admission to Art House shows is always free and open to the public.


30" x 40"
acrylic on canvas

One of my latest works which made its debut in the "I Hate Lucy" Show, and is currently featured at the Northville Art House, this painting centers on the age old theme of love. All of us, young and old alike, have been touched by it and felt at one point or another the emotions associated with having lost it. Love as a concept in itself has always been among the most common themes in the creative arts, becoming the center of inspiration for artists, writers, poets, playwrights, and musicians for centuries.

I once came across a beautiful and powerful quote by William S. Burroughs which said "Love is a haunting melody that I have never mastered and I fear I never will." I wanted this painting to stand for love in all its purest forms, be it hopeful, sorrowful, or all the places in between. To some, it can serve as a symbol of the journey it takes us on, the happiness it brings, as well as the sadness; the lessons it teaches us and the imprint it forever leaves on our hearts. Love is a haunting melody. We don't choose to play it, but once its sound is heard, we can't help but surrender to its song. It doesn't have a happy ending - it just never ends. Nature moves in mysterious ways.

In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: "What lies behind us, and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."

Updates: The "I Hate Lucy" Show

Photos from the "I Hate Lucy: The Trials and Tribulations of Love" Show can be found here on Flickr. It was a great time catching up with fellow artists and friends, and kudos to Derek Ecker for pulling the whole thing together!