William Kosman - Artiste Peintre

Thursday, February 28, 2008

#5: Some Freedom Regained

"A Morning with Friends"

My Fellow Art Lovers:

Things are getting better. Quite frankly, I've gone through a period with a few challenges, but the final result has been positive.

You remember that last time, I was in a quandary about my style and the ways to gain and use a feeling of freedom in my painting. Also, I had completed a number of paintings, and I just didn't have any other interesting subjects to paint, something that prevents you from placing the first brush stroke on canvas.

Well, in the last two weeks, there have been several positive developments. One of them is that I worked on some sketches of Philadelphia, a broad view of the skyline from New Jersey, with the towers and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. The project worked out fine, and I believe it is completed. The other is that, after wandering through the city and my own neighborhood, with camera and sketchbook in hand for days, I now have an entire list of projects.

One of the projects, which is above, shows the importance of the loyalty of friends. One morning, from my study's window, I just happened to see a friend walking dogs on the street below. Something told me that there might be a painting in it, especially since there is a park with a view of the Delaware River and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge at the end of our street. I joined my friend for his walk, and the result is "A Morning with Friends."

The painting came very naturally, with what I consider a clean, direct style. It's true that I decided to make my friend just a hair taller, but the representation is pretty close. But one of the important things is that the process of painting - the composition, the colors, the brush strokes - felt good. And the work went very fast, certainly compared with some of the paintings that I struggled with and agonized over.

The painting needs just a bit more work, but when I look at it, it just seems right and a pleasure to look at. Either out of conviction or consideration for my feelings (I hope it's the former.), other artists near my studio felt the same way. What do you think?

At the same time, all of a sudden, I seem to be swimming in subjects. A scene of some construction works building condominiums, showing human beings working in the shadow of machines. A wonderful scene of a cozy restaurant at night during a snow storm. Some scenes with a model I hope to work with.

But I'm drawn back to my original question from my last blog: What gives me freedom? Is it a human model, or is it some human tie with the subject? Or is it a question of time? "A Morning with Friends" leads me to believe that it's the emotional tie and the timing. But I may never have the answer to the question.

One thing that's interesting is the fact that the Impressionists faced so many of the same problems I am facing. Of course, I can't compare my work with their greatness, but there are parallels. I'm reading "The Private Lives of the Impressionists," by Sue Roe (Harper Perennial), and it's interesting that, in addition to their constant money problems and efforts to sell, they were constantly hunting for models to paint, subjects to paint, suffering from critics who faulted their changing styles, and a lot of other problems.

As the French say, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

There are some other things that wanted to say, but I may be wearing out your patience, so I'll save them for another time.

Thanks for your support and for listening to me.

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