William Kosman - Artiste Peintre

Saturday, September 29, 2018

# 90 - Interview for "Hope for the Homeless" Exhibit & More Paintings from France




                                         "Fishermen Cast off at Courseulles"

Fellow Art Lovers:

As you probably already know, my exhibit "Hope for the Homeless" in support for the Bethesda Project (www.bethesdaproject.org) begins Oct. 7 at the Manayunk Roxborough Art Center (www.mrartcenter.org).

Here are some details on that exhibit:

The exhibit will be up at the Manayunk Roxborough Art Center (MRAC) located at 419 Green Lane (rear), Philadelphia, PA 19128. The opening reception is on Sunday, Oct. 7 from 12pm to 3pm. The gallery will then be open Saturday and Sunday Oct. 13 and 14 from 11am to 3pm.  In November, the exhibit will move to the RoxArt Gallery, located at 6111 Ridge Avenue, with an opening reception on Nov. 2 from 5pm to 7pm and weekday hours from 10am to 6pm. 

For the exhibit, Esther Griffin interviewed me for the MRAC's blog. Esther has a website called Creative Questions (www.creative-questions.com), which she describes as "a no-nonsense online art gallery and blog for emerging artists." (She can be contacted at esther@creative-questions.com.). She asked some probing questions, and I thought I'd share my responses with you. Also, I thought I would take this opportunity to share a few more of my paintings from France.  

1. Question: How would you describe your art? 

Answer: In one way, I live in two worlds when I practice my art of oil painting. In one world, I paint urban scenes in Philadelphia, and I try to show brave people on the streets of the city, confronting life and trying to build a home and a good life for their families in often difficult circumstances. In the other world, I paint landscapes of the beauties of France’s Normandy region – the fields of various crops shifting in the wind, the stands of trees, the historic villages (almost all with a church steeple rising above the skyline) the beaches, the complex colors of the sea, and the wonderful Normandy skies. 

I love just letting myself go, letting my right hand take over, and then only guiding my brush when it comes to careful details, like those of  the human face.  

But in the last few years, things have been changing. Most important, I find my groove more easily. Real often, I achieve a painter’s high, and the forms, the colors and the mixes on the canvas seem to happen in the most natural way. Of course, this comes after some years of painting, when I’ve achieved a certain level of confidence and I feel that I’ve internalized many of the painting techniques I use. 

And then there’s content. More and more I want to get certain ideas across. In Normandy, I remain so struck by the beauty of the landscapes that I tell myself I just want viewers to feel the same emotion I feel in painting when they look at one of my paintings. And in Philadelphia, I want viewers to feel the same emotion I feel when I see Philadelphians and new immigrants, of different cultures and colors, trying so hard to keep it all together. 

Now, I see these two worlds converge. This past summer, in France, I’ve starting putting more and more people in my paintings - people working or enjoying themselves on vacation. The shift just seemed so natural. And while painting these people, my painting style has remained consistent. That is, I want to represent the people in a kind of rough-hewn, free style, getting beyond the niceties of their facades to their essences. 


                                "Vineyards at Gigondas" 

2.  Q: You take the lead in October with your exhibit titled "Hope for the Homeless," your art in support of the Bethesda Project. What's that project about and what make that project special to you? 

A: How many times do we walk down the street in Philadelphia, and we see homeless people, sometimes with a backpack at their feet or a shopping cart at their side full of their possessions? And how many times do they hold a hand out and ask for money for a meal?  Sometimes as we rush by, we don’t really pay attention to them. Sometimes we realize, ”There, but for the grace of God go I,” and give them money and tell them we hope our small offering helps. But all of the time, we know that a small contribution will make little difference in their lives and in the lives of so many other homeless people. 

The programs of the Bethesda Project are making a difference. Of course, one of the best places to learn about the project’s programs is on its website – www.bethesdaproject.org. As far as I’m concerned, what I find important is that the project’s programs are part of a unified strategy that includes meals, emergency shelter, but also help in finding and keeping long-term housing through rental and purchasing help, and also assistance repairing a home and paying utilities. And this help begins with individual counseling to identify underlying problems and find the best tactics to solve them. 

Of course, I believe that the Bethesda Project deserves our support. That’s the entire reason for my exhibit “Hope for the Homeless” at the Manayunk Roxborough Art Center kicking off on Oct. 7. So, I definitely believe in the project’s efforts. I know that this exhibit on its own is but a small contribution. But we have to keep trying. We, as a society, have to find ways to solve the problems that continue to deprive so many people of rewarding and useful lives.  


                                 "Trees Near Reviers" 

3. Q:  You paint both in Philadelphia and in France. Can you explain your connection to France?

A: In painting, I believe that real artists have to work hard and consistently to achieve a technical level where they can express their ideas and emotions. And the same consistent effort is necessary to achieve a level of confidence, so that when I take my brush or palette knife, I can add a strong stroke of color, without dabbing it little by little and – thereby – ruining its impact. 

But sometimes serendipity takes over. And that was my case a long time ago. If you were to ask me:  What’s this thing about you painting nine months in the year in Philadelphia, and then the tree months of summer in France? I have to credit serendipity.  It just so happens that, while in Paris a long time ago, lightening struck, and I became the husband of a French wife, my wife Catherine. From that moment on, my life became worlds more rewarding and also bi-cultural. While working in the States, we usually vacation with our children in Normandy. And during the seven years I was a reporter in Paris, we usually spent some time during the summer in my hometown of San Francisco. 

This connection to Normandy was a big break for my painting. I’ve been painting most of my life, earlier as a hobby and now as a profession. And while I worked as a journalist and later as a marketing executive, I often painted landscapes in Normandy. Frankly, my painting was okay for an amateur, but not impressive. Then, one day almost twenty years ago, Catherine suggested I try painting with a palette knife. Frankly, it was a miracle. Yes, I’m not the first artist to use a palette knife, but it transformed my painting. I mixed paint on my palette, and then I applied it directly on the canvas, most often mixing and blending it on the canvas itself. The experience was liberating. I felt a new freedom that I knew I would be able to apply to my painting in the future. I felt an ease and confidence. And, looking at the rich surface I was able to produce, I believed the palette knife was a method I could use to express the beauty in saw in Normandy.  

That summer, I painted about ten small paintings of specific landscape scenes, and took them back to Philadelphia. On my return, I showed them to the two partners – John and Paul – of the gallery on Philadelphia’s Pine Street, Show of Hands. They loved them, and my first gallery exhibit was a success. 

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I hope all of this is interesting to you. Thanks for listening. 

Best, 

Bill 





Sunday, August 19, 2018

# 89 - Painting in the South of France




                                                "Gigondas - Les Vacances"

Fellow art Lovers:

Yes, this is an artist’s blog, not a travelogue. But I just want to let you know that we’ve made a couple of short trips here in France. The one I want to tell you about now was to the south of France, the area called the Midi. Frankly, France has so many beautiful regions that you tell yourself it’s too bad you’ll never be able to spend much time in most of them. 

But as fellow art lovers, I have to tell you about one place in the south of France, Albi, that we visited that’s important from an artistic point of view. First of all, I’ve always wanted to visit Albi, mainly because it’s the site of the museum devoted to Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. 

The museum itself is beautiful, with a garden that will take your breath away. Inside, the collection of paintings and other works of art, like posters and sculpture, is so extensive that you see so many of the works that that you’ve only seen in books and online. And seeing the works themselves lets you learn a lot about Lautrec’s style and his painting process. 

The other place I want to tell you about, where we spent a week, is the village of Gigondas, where our friends Barbara and Jean Marguin live during the summer. Of course, because the countryside, the vineyards and the village are so beautiful, Jean and I had to spend some time painting. And this brings up the two paintings I want to show you. 

The first one is of the village square in Gigondas, which is a gathering place and is circled by restaurants, stores, some art galleries and the city hall. The centerpiece of the square is a metal sculpture, by our friend, the French sculptor Jean Marguin. The sculpture includes fountains and a model of a wine bottle, representing the area’s major industry. As you see here, with a boy named Selim, kids often try to touch the bottle as it swings. The painting is entitled “Gigondas – Les Vacances.” 


                                                       "View from the Village"

The other painting I want to show you, “View from the Village,” is what you see from the edge of the village square – some rooftops of the village and the valley, mountains and sky beyond.  Frankly, the scene struck me as so beautiful that I just threw myself into it, and I felt great painting it. Of course, that’s the way – I believe – painting is supposed to be. 

Thanks for listening. 

Best, 

Bill 

Saturday, July 28, 2018

# 88 - Getting Going in Normandy



                           "Morning Light at Douvres"

Fellow Art Lovers:

It's always the same story. If I haven't lifted a brush or palette knife for a while, my first attempts are sure to be clumsy. Well, recently I got tied up - in some great travel and some administration. So, sure enough - back at my easel - it took a while to find my groove, or anything close to it.

Here are some examples of my latest works here in Normandy. And that long text?

Well, a while ago a friend who puts on gatherings to discuss important ideas asked me to write something about art. I decided to write about some of my personal struggles, and that text seemed to apply to what I've been going through lately.

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                             "The Sailing Club at Saint Aubin-Sur-Mer"

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The Other Side of Art 

By William Kosman 

When most people think about art, they take the approach of thinking about it as a viewer or spectator of art. Art is something to experience and enjoy. That is, they are touched by the emotion they feel when they look at a fine painting or when they read a novel or when they watch a powerful movie. They are thrilled by the beauty and skill of dancers when they view a ballet. Or they can feel music within their mind or in the beating of their heart when they are swept up by the power of an orchestra or the tenderness of a violin or the singing of a human voice.  

But there’s, of course, another side, the side of the creator of the art in its many forms. Why does the creator create the art? And how does he or she go about it? 

I feel qualified to discuss this subject, because I’ve created several forms of art, and I’ve gone through the process of completing works of these disciplines. I’m a painter; I’ve painted most of my life, and ever since I declared myself a professional painter, I’ve spent long hours in front of my easel, or thinking and writing about my work and art. I’m a writer. As a former journalist and marketing executive, and also a writer of novels, I have a constant monologue running through my mind of the ideas I want to express. And I’ve written and produced three rap videos, which I like to think are more poetry than hard rap. From all of this, I believe I have valid ideas to express. 


                                    "The Beach at Saint Aubin-Sur-Mer"

We, as human beings, need some form of ego input. Yes, we all know that the universe is infinite, and our existence is less important than a grain of sand on a beach (Thank you to the French singer Michel Fugain.), and our time on this bit of dust called the earth is nothing when compared to the billions of years the universe has existed and will exist into the future. Still, most of us want to feel some bit of importance. We want the admiration of those around us. We want recognition or validation for what we are and what we create. 

Why? I can’t give you an answer. Is it some animal need to prove that we are superior to the other human beings who scratch out their existence on this bit of mud whirling through the universe? Or is it sexual, so that – through our art - we can impress or conquer potential mates? Or is it an intellectual pursuit, and we view it as a learning experience we go through to elevate ourselves up several notches to reach true human potential? 

I don’t know. But I’ve read and thought and written about this a lot. All I know is that when I want to create something – a painting, a novel or a rap video, anything – I become obsessed by it, and I can’t rest until it is completed, and even beyond. No matter what I’m doing, I’m constantly asking myself, is this the best I can do? Have I pushed the limit, gone so far so that I will touch people’s emotions, express my ideas, shock my audience into taking my work seriously. Until I have no doubt that the work is the best it can be.



                                            "The Seulles River at Amblie" 

It is this obsession that has forced me, when I had viral hepatitis long ago and was lying on my back in bed, to create a novel and memorize portions of it. Until I could write them down in several notebooks. To work all day to earn a living, and then late a night, scribble sentences in notebooks on a plank of wood on moving cartons in the basement of our home. To paint portraits over numerous times until the subject’s features express the emotions I want to capture. To stumble through my Mac’s imovie program until my rap videos expressed an idea and wouldn’t be a total embarrassment. 

While I stumble around or keep pushing myself to create something, what is the process? Here is where the true magic comes in, and here is where we can draw a few drops of optimism about human beings from this jungle on earth.  I believe that every human being, if he or she really wants to and his or her circumstances in life allow it, has the capacity for true creativity. That power is in us all, if we can open our souls and delve deep into ourselves. It is there, if we keep trying and working and butting our head against that brick wall of difficulty. 


                                           "The Mue River Crossing Reviers" 

For me, I believe that that power is in my subconscious, more than in my conscious mind. In writing a novel, I just keep trying, even when I see that the words and the phrasing are clumsy. In painting, I keep thinking how I can get my brush or palette knife to produce certain surfaces or certain forms and colors, even when the clumsy strokes on the canvas cry out amateur.  And then, at some point, the dam is broken, and my hand or fingers move on their own, and the right words or the right strokes of a brush or palette knife appear, and I take confidence, and the right gestures and the right ideas flow, and I feel the emotion, and I produce a small part of a valid work. Until I hit another brick wall, and I have to keep banging my head against it, until the magic takes over again. 

And here, in writing this text, I think I have learned something, for I have an explanation that was within me, but I was not ready to articulate it.  In so many ways, the act of creation is the proof that we – all human beings – have this creative power in us, and when we can produce something – a work of art – we prove that we human beings are capable of inching up and reaching ever higher levels to show we possess the finest and most sensitive nature of human beings. And I hope that is why I feel driven.     

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Thanks for listening. 

Best, 

Bill


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

# 87 - Self-Discovery and Good News




Fellow Art Lovers:

Okay, I’ve shared one bit of good news with you – my new website. But there’s a lot more. I want to tell you about a few things that I’ve done, and one other event that’s coming up in the fall, and explain to you why all of these events are important to me. 

On April sixth, I had an event at the Alliance Francaise de Philadelphie that was an absolute pleasure. First of all, I had an exhibition of my paintings, both landscapes of Normandy and urban scenes of Philadelphia, and the proceeds of the sales benefited the Alliance. At the same time, I gave a short talk comparing what it’s been like for me to be both an American painter in Normandy and an American painter in Philadelphia. 


Basically, both venues offer great advantages, like people who respect art and give a lot of moral support to painters. But for me, the greatest difference is that Normandy just stands out for its pure, natural beauty, which I know you’ve heard me lecture a lot about already, while the areas in North Philadelphia I’ve been painting in (which you’ve seen in my K and A series) stand out because I’ve witnessed and painted brave people from the four corners of the globe trying to make new lives for themselves and their families. 


Nancy Gabel, President of the Board, of the Alliance Francaise de Philadelphia, and yours truly.  

I had a very warm feeling while sharing my little experiences in both places, because the reception from the maybe about thirty or so people there was, itself, very warm. 

Then, on June first, Rabbi Zalman Wircberg, known as Rabbi Zash, the co-director of the Old City Jewish Art Center, in Old City, Philadelphia, and I opened an important event. It was the first exhibit of artists from the Philadelphia Sketch Club exhibiting their works at the Old City Jewish Art Center. 


                    Some of the several hundred visitors at the cart center on First Friday

The event was a true success. The number of art lovers visiting the center on that First Friday, must have exceeded several hundred. The conversation was lively and truly enjoyable, and several of the artists presented their works to visitors to the gallery and answered their questions. I said a few words about the Philadelphia Sketch Club. But the words of Rabbi Zash truly stand out. He said that, if people of widely diverse backgrounds can agree about their love for the arts, then hopefully they can also agree on other things, like respecting and helping each other. 

Well, I’ve been thinking about that message more and more. And more and more, I’m going to use more and more of my art to bring people together and help worthwhile causes. 

As a matter of fact, on October the seventh, I will have the opening of an exhibit entitled “Hope for the Homeless” at the Manayunk Roxborough Art Center, at 419 Green Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19128. The reception will run from noon to 3 pm. I will be showing 23 paintings, and all of my proceeds will go to the Bethesda Project, an important Philadelphia organization that helps the homeless. You can learn more about the exhibit on the art center’s website (www.mrartcenter.org). After this exhibit, the show will continue at the Roxborough Development Center, starting on Nov. 2, at 6111 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia.   

Thanks for listening. 

Best, 

Bill 



Thursday, January 18, 2018

# 86 - Combining Ideas and Art in "Together II"




                                          "Together II"

Fellow Art Lovers:

To be blunt and – yes – naïve, I believe it’s so important today to value our world’s diverse peoples and the positive contributions of their cultures. I’ve talked about this a lot in this blog, and I’ll bet there are a few people out there who are getting a bit annoyed that I can sound preachy and tiresome. But, when I look at the various trends pulling us in one direction or another, I guess I just want to add my two cents, my small voice, to try to pull us in the direction that recognizes the good in most of us and how most of us want the same good things.

“Together II,” the painting that you’re looking at above, had a difficult birth. Usually, it seems that I equate ease and speed in painting with some kind of validity of the painting. Sometimes I find myself saying, “Oh my gosh, this painting just painted itself, so it must be a great work of art.” So, with a combination of terrible weather, the holidays, distractions, a few false starts and changing ideas, “Together II” had its bumpy moments. But just maybe, the fact that “Together II” survived means that it has some kind of a force of its own, some content that kept it alive until I felt it was as good and valid as it possibly could be. 


                                         Detail (left side) in "Together II"

So, yes, now I feel good about the final result. If that weren’t the case, I wouldn’t be presenting it to you right now. But, when I look at the painting, I do have a few concerns.  

Boy, “Together II’ surely is different from anything else I’ve painted. Yes, each personage is fairly representational, albeit in the rough, forceful style I like and just happens as I paint. And there’s never been the assembly of people and places that you see here. And I just plucked an image from my memory of our favorite puppy to put in the middle. But you’ve seen a lot of these people and some of the places in my earlier paintings. And, maybe “Together II” could be considered pushing “Together I” four or five steps further.


                                         Detail (right side) in "Together II" 

So, the question remains: Is it valid to support an idealistic concept in what I hope is a valid work of art? These are big ideas, and they’ve been discussed a lot by a lot of great minds. And, frankly, we all know that painting – throughout its long history – has been used to promote one idea or another. As far as I’m concerned, and I know I’m repeating myself, I want my paintings to show people of different ethnic groups and cultures together and enjoying each other. So, right now I’m thinking about how to get ideas across in a painting, and still be able to produce paintings that are a pleasure to view and also touch people emotionally.

After all of this, I’d love to hear your opinions about “Together II” and what I’m trying to do. So, if you have time to shoot me a note through this blog or by e-mail to billkosman@gmail.com, I’d greatly appreciate it.

Thanks for your time.

Best,

Bill



Tuesday, January 16, 2018

# 85 - Painting "Spring Garden Scene" Finds A Warm Home




              Julie Nelson, Manager of the Philadelphia Senior Center, introduces me.
                                         Photo: AMP Studios

Fellow Art Lovers:

Many of you must know by now that my artist’s studio – where I do my work painting – is now up in North Philly, not far from the intersection of Frankford and Allegheny Avenues. But just a few short years ago, I had my studio at 9th and Spring Garden Streets, in a building that was built to house the headquarters of the Reading Railroad but became 915 Arts, where artists created their oeuvres in 100 studios. Because of a small fire and the city’s discovery of safety violations, the artists had to find other quarters. But back in the building’s artistic days, I often used to walk along Spring Garden Street to get to my studio.

One day, on my way to work, every surface on Spring Garden Street seemed to glow under an overcast sky. And before me, I discovered a scene that just had to be painted. It was a simple moment in time, with a vendor in his food cart preparing an order for a customer, and a young woman jogging by at the same time. I felt good about the scene, so the painting, “Spring Garden Scene,” just seemed to paint itself. Frankly, I was pretty pleased with the work. But for some reason, it just didn’t click with the visitors to my studio.


                Talking About How "Spring Garden Scene" Came To Be
                                         Photo: AMP Studios 

Now, back to the present. Just several weeks ago, Julie Nelson, the manager of the Philadelphia Senior Center (on South Broad Street just south of Lombard), visited my current studio and declared she loved “Spring Garden Scene.” You see, the Philadelphia Senior Center is a warm place with a lot of welcoming people and a wealth of activities, and I decided to contribute a painting to it.

The occasion for presenting the painting was last Thursday afternoon, January 11, 2018, during a ceremony on a Day of Service honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the center’s large auditorium. In the audience were maybe almost 50 people – mainly members of the center – plus my wife Catherine, a good friend and painter, Jim Stewart, and the center’s executive director, Mary Ellen Bolden. Julie had asked me to say a few words about the painting and about myself. So after an introduction, I thanked the center for accepting and displaying my work, and then I talked about my ideas for the painting and my artistic career.


               Members of the Audience Who Showed Their Warmth and Appreciation
                                          Photo: AMP Studios

Then followed a spirited session of questions and comments. Several of the center’s members mentioned that they recognized the scene just as soon as they saw the painting because they had lived or worked in the area. Several people they said they felt proud because the painting showed the real Philly with real Philly people. And one person said the surface of the painting seemed to glow. But what they liked most was the cart owner’s dog in the foreground. You see, I mentioned to them that, when I’m just about finished with a painting, I ask myself: What can I add to make the painting as expressive as possible? And in this case, I decided to add the cute, little dog where there had been none in the scene I first saw; basically, I was exercising my artistic license. That story bought on a round of laughter and applause. Only one other comment brought such a spirited response, this time applause; this was when I explained that I was attracted to the scene because it showed real Philly people of different ethnic groups enjoying each other. 


                The Discussion Continues - Photo: AMP Studios

I knew from the beginning – from the moment I walked into the center for the first time – that I wanted to donate a painting. But now there are other elements that make me feel even better about the gift: The ceremony, the spirit and humor of the people attending ceremony, the appreciation and sweetness I felt, and seeing “Spring Garden Scene” in a prominent place in the center. When I think about the number of people who will see my painting, I hope so much that it will continue to give them pleasure.


           The Proud Moment - "Spring Garden Scene" in Its New Home 
                                         Photo: AMP Studios 

By the way, if you want to see the original blog posting, which is # 46, you can go the listing in the right margin of this page and click on the dates 2/23/14-3/2/15.  And if you want to see how the painting is exhibited and get a feeling for the center, you can visit it: Philadelphia Senior Center, 509 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147, 215-546-5879, and its website is www.philaseniorcenter.org

If any of my of fellow painters or other artists – for example from the Philadelphia Sketch Club or the Manayunk  Roxborough Art Center – want to know the process I followed to make this gift, please shoot me an e-mail, and I’ll fill you in. It’s not rocket science, but it may be helpful.

Thanks for listening.

Best,

Bill

   

Thursday, December 14, 2017

# 84 - Sharing My Painting




          Here I'm just getting started on my demonstration at the North City Congress.



                                      Maybe about 20 minutes into the demonstration.
     You can see the still life and my serious efforts to make progress, before things loosened up.



                               This is the slightly re-touched work.

Fellow Art Lovers:

People are pretty consistent about what they like and dislike, and – when it comers to painting – I’m about as consistent as they come. One of the things I always enjoy is sharing my painting – that is, showing people what I do, talking about my work and what ideas I try to get across, and hearing their ideas.

The other day, Wednesday, Dec. 6, I had all of the elements I needed. I gave a painting demonstration to members of the North City Congress, a senior center up on North Broad Street, near Temple University, in Philadelphia.

To sum up the experience in a few words: It was really a pleasure, frankly fun.  

And yes, that’s the group I worked with to organize a silent auction of paintings in conjunction with the group’s fund-raising gala this past June. The silent auction, under the auspices of the Philadelphia Sketch Club, brought together eight artists, who contributed a total of 10 paintings to help support the Congress’ ongoing programs. 

The painting demonstration, also, was the first of a new program being carried out by the Philadelphia Sketch Club as part of the club’s community outreach. 

And now those elements I needed for the demonstration: The most important thing was that, in front of me, in the Congress’ large activities room, I had almost 20 of the Congress’ members, who showed a deep respect for art in general and painting in particular. I’ll talk about them more in a minute, but I just want to say that all of them were so appreciative that I was there. And during the time I was there, a little more than an hour and a half, the people’s warmth got through to me. Toward the end of my demonstration, they called me “Mr. Bill.”

For my demonstration, I brought all of my painting gear, all of the things I bring when I paint en plein air either in Philadelphia or in Normandy, like a blank canvas, easel, brushes, palette knife, tubes of paint, etc. Also, I brought a simple still life made up of a bouquet of flowers in a vase and some pieces of fruit. And, just to show them what I usually paint, I brought one of my Philadelphia scenes and one of my landscapes from Normandy.

Then I threw myself into the purpose of the afternoon. I talked a little bit about myself – my earlier professions as a journalist and marketing executive, and then my big decision to devote my professional life to painting. I told them that, in my painting, I want to show what is beautiful in life and what is good about people, and I explained how I want to show that in the two paintings I brought with me. Then I stressed to them that I was there for them, so they should stop me at any point and ask any questions that come to mind.

As I started, I put some rough shapes on the canvas. As I kept working, I talked about what I was trying to accomplish, the how and why of what I was doing. Things like why I put certain elements here and there, and why I used a brush some times and a palette knife other times.  

Well, this turned out to be quite an inquisitive group, and a group that likes to participate. During the time we were together, they asked questions about my background, why painting is so important to me, the places I paint in France, the prices some collectors are willing to pay in today’s art market, the prices I ask for my paintings, why I use certain techniques at different points in painting a still life, and a lot more.

At numerous points during my demonstration, most of my audience offered their opinions, and as the session loosened up, they offered more and more of their ideas, and a sense of sharing and humor took over. But one serious thing was important to me: Because of the demonstration, some of the people said they would like to study painting.

Well, we did a lot of talking, so I did not complete the still life. So, back in my studio, I just touched up the painting a bit.

Now that the painting’s a little more presentable, I believe I’m going to offer it to the members of the North City Congress for the opportunity they gave me to share what’s important to me.   

If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear them.

Thanks for listening.

Best,

Bill