for writers and readers….

ART FOR WRITERS a picture (and artist) I fell in love with…number 5 from the archives

andrea-kowch storming seas
I want this picture on my wall (the orginal if I’m longlisted for the Booker for the novel I haven’t written yet, or a print if I manage to save up a lot).

The artist is Andrea Kowch who was born in Detroit in 1986. One critic said of her work:

“The lonely, desolate American landscape encompassing the paintings’subjects serves as an exploration of nature’s sacredness and a reflection of the human soul, symbolizing all things powerful, fragile, and eternal.”


I see other stories: three young women, a blond, a brunette and a red head, dance and make music and sip tea in the long grass while a storm spins the sea into a dark froth.

It’s an extraordinary painting, its imagery hinting at myths and other-ness. There’s no doubt that this is a narrative painting but we have to make our own story out of the images. (What is that animal doing on the table?)

When I first saw this painting I was convinced she must have some Irish connection. The colours she uses are the colours of a country day and I just know that the  mustard top was knitted by hand in the mid 1950s in a Kilkenny kitchen.

However, when I first posted this in March 2017 I hadn’t been able to find anyting to link her with Ireland.  But  a friend read the post and sent me an article that indicated Andrea was an Irish dancer in her youth! And you don’t do Irish dancing without some heritage…I’m convinced she has it in her bones, and in her imagination.

In 2011 her paintings started at $3000 – her prints go for more than that now. So I better get writing/saving…


 After publishing this post I discovered that an exhibition of nine new works by Andrea (forgive the casualness, having written about her work twice I kinda feel I know her) will be exhibited from next weekend at RDJ Gallery in Bridgehampton, New York (according to Wikipedia, Bridgehampton is a hamet in New York state).

All nine paintings have already been sold, sight unseen by fans of her work. (Now, I’m not sure winning the Booker would get me an orginal… )


If you enjoyed this, there’s a pretty good chance you’d also like my writing guide Back to Creative Writing School. Nearly 90 five star reviews on Amazon…just saying.
Amazon UK    Amazon US


7 comments on “ART FOR WRITERS a picture (and artist) I fell in love with…number 5 from the archives

  1. Danny Kemp
    August 20, 2017

    As soon as I clicked on to this I thought Irish.

    • bridget whelan
      August 21, 2017

      The weather, the girls’ pale skin, the artist’s choice of colours…all say Irish to me, but I read somewhere that the artist is often inspired by her home state of Michigan. It must be a lot like Ireland…

  2. First Night Design
    August 20, 2017

    I completely understand your passion for her work – sublime.

  3. Jennie
    August 20, 2017

    I love this painting!

    • bridget whelan
      August 21, 2017

      And her other ones are just as arresting and just as full of stories…perfect for writers.

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This entry was posted on August 20, 2017 by in Inspiring pictures and tagged , , , , .


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