Artist Profile: Rufus Coes

August 11, 2015


My subjects are the places and things I see every day here in Phippsburg.

—Rufus Coes


Rufus Coes is a fixture in the New England art scene. He’s been painting scenes of Phippsburg for three decades, displaying works at galleries, juried exhibitions and one-man shows around New England. 


“Coes' work is inspired by what he sees in his everyday life, often depicting scenes that are familiar to him,” writes Artnet. “He captures the flavor of the New England terrain.”


According to Portland Press Herald art critic Daniel Kany, Coes is a mature painter with a well-established style.


“Coes basically paints with Edward Hopper’s softly understated and coolly distant mid-century modernism while he makes watercolors like the Wyeths—driven by observational virtuoso rather than flashy technical conventions,” writes Kany. “The dryly textural watercolors feature found objects, while the studio paintings generally engage narratives scripted by the artist.”



But Coes is not beholden to the things he paints. 


“He is quirky to the core,” writes Kany. “But almost absently so; in fact, it’s not clear if he is simply honest to the point of primitivism or if he enjoys messing with us for ironic effect.”



And he’s also a bit secretive.


In the past ten years I have completed a substantial body of oil and watercolor paintings which have not yet been exhibited publicly. 



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