"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

Saturday, August 28, 2010

"The Visitors"

48" x 60"
acrylic on canvas



My largest to date, The Visitors came about through an image that flashed in my mind, as well as the thirst to dive into a more complex composition and scene. I have been wanting to go "big" for a while, as I was yearning to create a scene where the viewer can feel able to physically step in and be a part of the action. It was an all-consuming process, and I never lost the fever for it all throughout the course of working on it, which can be a rare thing sometimes.

The scene itself serves as an allegory for the struggle to create order out of chaos. As human beings, suppressing various emotions underneath a calm exterior is not uncommon in our day-to-day lives. So many people have connected to this painting in one way or another. I wanted to get a sense of the "heat" - hot summer wind coming through open windows across a drought-ridden field, the heat of the oven, the dizzying swirl of movement and sound, things on the verge of losing control - chaos personified. Yet, the figures appear almost unmoved. Perhaps it's just another day in the kitchen. The interaction between all the elements speaks of what lies beneath the surface. I deliberately composed the perspective and size of each animal and object to serve the purpose of encouraging interaction with the viewer. I want anyone who looks at this picture to feel like they can pull up a chair to sit across from the central figure and be a part of the whole environment.

9 comments:

Marnie said...

May I ask how long it took to paint this one? It's quite amazing.

Andrea Kowch said...

Thank you, Marnie! It took almost a month, working long hours each day. I had to work fairly quickly as I had to do several paintings within 6 months for my recent show. This was one of them.

weakyknee said...

This is incredible! Love it!

Andrea Kowch said...

Thank you!

Alvin Richard said...

A truly amazing piece. The fact that three woman are sharing one same kitchen also speaks of invasion of one's space....and with the animals, invasive turns into an overwhelming sense of almost been hounded. It would have been interesting to use the same woman instead of three different models....like streching a timeline during the process of baking the pie. These elaborate portaits do have an earie edge to them. There is a lot happening here. It's like a great book, turning the next page would reveal more.........the narrative between your paintings does link them together somehow because you are playing on a same theme....Museum quality, brilliant!

Andrea Kowch said...

Thank you, Alvin! :)

Dave Chow Illustrations said...

A month! It's nice to know you've refined your process since school to be able to crank out something as huge and lush as this. Congrats! It looks great!

Andrea Kowch said...

Thanks, Dave! :D

Anonymous said...

Love your painting! My teacher recommended your painting for a magical realism presentation we need to do. Any words of wisdom to us or hidden meaning in your painting?
thanks
students