William Kosman - Artiste Peintre

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

# 12: The Battle Continues

Blue Bicycle (detail)

Blue Bicycle (detail)

Blue Bicycle (detail)

Grand Opening

Grand Opening (detail)

Grand Opening (detail)

Blue Bicycle (detail)

Blue Bicycle

Fellow Art Lovers:

I've written a lot - maybe to your exasperation - about how I'm looking more freedom, and how I feel so much more free when I work with a palette knife than I do when I work with brushes. Well, a few things have been happening, and you have above then examples of those events.

Maybe two weeks ago, I rode my trusty bicycle around the streets of Philadelphia for scenes that struck me, that had something that I wanted to commit to canvas. You saw one example in my last blog - #12, "Street Scene."

On that same trip, I passed another great scene: A taco restaurant on 5th Street, just north of Girard Ave. (Taco Riendo, 1301 N. 5th St.). The scene appealed to me because it showed that people are doing there. The local people are working and investing in their neighborhood, trying to improve it, and they are succeeding to a large extent. Also, the young woman standing in front of the restaurant, Nancy, was both sweet and ambitious, and she agreed to stand for a photo.

I have to say that, as I worked on the painting, Nancy painted herself, that is, she appeared very naturally. The rest of the painting worked out well. While the painting needs a little more work, even at this stage, I believe it is a good represetation of a scene. It gives the viewer a good idea of what's going on there. The style is straight-forward, and Nancy is painted in a competent way.

But the painting doesn't grab me and shout that it's important and what it says is important.

Now, for the last few months, a lot of people have been telling me that I should use a palette knife on urban landscapes. You saw one example of that - "Street Scene." Those who tell me I have to keep working that way were enthusiastic about the painting - the emotion, the texture, the freedom, the ideas it gets across.

I decided to do a little experiment. On another walk through the city, I happened to be on 16th Street. It was a wonderful spring evening and a pleasing scene - a lot of people out strolling, sitting in front of restaurants, a freshness and a good feeling in the air. A young couple walked past me. I thought they would be great in a painting, and they were nice enough to take a minute so I could photograph them.

In my studio, I did the experiment you see, and it worked out well. Then, the painting "Blue Bicycle" just worked out wonderfully. I can't tell you what it is. But once that palette knife starts moving, the painting just built itself. Sure, there were moments when I took a breath, looked at it and decided I needed this or that. And, the painting is a bit more complicated than many others, so I worked on it over several days. Right now, I think it needs a few minor adjustments.

But I did feel that same excitement and freedom of expression. The easy movements. The confidence. The pleasure when I squished a mixture of several colors onto the canvas and said to myself, "That's not bad."

What do you think?

Thanks for listening.


William Kosman

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