William Kosman - Artiste Peintre

Thursday, February 14, 2008

#4: The Challenge of Freedom

"What Now? #3
"Study in Emotion"
"Sunday Morning"

Dear Fellow Art Lover:

Not every blog can tell the story of a great success. Sometimes, I'm just not going to accomplish what I want to. That doesn't mean that I've failed in a horrible way. But I did not really go as far as I wanted to.

You receall that I did the mural of "What Now?" for the wall outside my studio, and I felt a great wave of freedom, working with acrylics and being force to move fast and not not stall and agonize over every stroke.

Well, when I tried to use that new-found freedom, the confidence and skill that I thought I had developed, the result was not what I really sought. "What Now?" is okay. The scene is painted with both skill and confidence. And willie's face is fine. But it doesn't have the power that I was looking for. I wanted a stronger, more forceful brush stroke. I wanted the inclusion of more color. I wanted less realism and more emotion.

While I was painting, I did feel a certain confidence. But I failed in being as forceful as I wanted to.

And then, when I compared "What Now?" #3 to the painting "Study in Emotion," I saw a big difference. "Study in Emotion" was pained at the Fleisher Art Memorial with a live model, a real professional who was a nice guy who was trying to evoke an emotion. I just let myself go, doing what I felt like doing, with no regard for the final result. The brush strokes just came, and everything felt right. One indication that this painting was more successful is the fact that it
won the Hazell Award in the Fleisher's end-of-the-year exhibit.

So, why did this painting succeed, where "What Now?" #3 failed. I think it was a question of the emotion I felt. You remember that I was working with photos for the entire Willie series. Maybe, in the beginning, I felt more true emotional involvement with the subject, and the passage of time may have chilled what I felt. I don't know. It's tough to analyze something like this. In any case, I don't think it was only the fact that I was working with photos. "A Moment in Old City" was completed with photos, and I think it lived up to what I was trying to do.

And the third painting above, "Sunday Morning," was completed with photos, but felt good and had - at least for me - an emotional impact. It was, in fact, a Sunday morning. I was leaving the kitchen of my home after breakfast and a lot of time with the newspapers. I turned, saw the scene of my wife, son and his girlfriend. The sun was flooding the scene, and it was a perfect painting. Within the next few days, the painting was completed.

These thoughts are all uncertainties and suppositions. I hope they are interesting to you.

If you have any thoughts to share, I'd be interested in reading them.

For the moment, I'm working on a cityscape of Philadelphia, and looking for new projects. I'll let you know that happens.

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