William Kosman - Artiste Peintre

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

#18: Taking Up the Brush Again

1. "Untitled" (So-Far)

2. "Separate Paths"
Fellow Art Lovers:
It's amazing: I hear the same thing from almost every artist I discuss the subject with, and I even hear the same thing from people in other fields. What is it? When we are away from our beloved profession, in this case painting, for just a few days, when we are not in there moving paint around, we get clumsy or ineffective or uncreative or just unable to paint in the same way. For that reason, we feel we just can't miss two days, if we want to keep advancing in our art, or just stay in the same place. It's our way of responding to what we feel, and then feeling the confidence and freedom of rendering our vision on canvas in ways that are consistent with who we are.
I've even talked this over with people in other fields. A friend who's a physician tells me that he can't be as good a doctor for his patients if he's away from them for more than two days.
Well, with my preparations for my exhibit at ArtWorks at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and for Philadelphia Open Studio Tours, I did not take up a brush or a palette knife for maybe two weeks. Then, predictably, I felt the blockage between my brain and my brush hand. And then, just as predictably, I had to fight to get my powers, whatever they are, back.
Two two paintings you see above, are the result of that fight. I'm going to go out on a limb here. I believe I am back in the groove. (Please remember: you can get closer to the paintings by clicking on them.)
The top one, the untitled portrait, is maybe only 50 percent completed. But I believe the start is very strong. First of all, the subject is very strong, in features and visual interest. I want to thank her here; it's so important and appreciated when someone assists art - and me - by posing. Also, I felt that the painting felt right at every stage, and I hope it keeps going that way. The pose and the composition felt just right.
So often, a successful painting is the result of a series of good decisions. With this portrait, the position of the subject's body, and her placement on the canvas were just right. So far, I'm pleased with the style. As I advance, I have to adjust some colors and deepen the texture. Let's hope I have the courage to succeed here.
What do you think?
The other painting, "Separate Paths," is completed. It has several other lessons for me. One of those lessons is patience. I work relative fast when I paint, and I usually want to finish a painting in just a few sessions. But I'm learning that a little patience can go a long way toward achieving a valid work. In this case, I just kept working on several areas, like weeds just behind the subjects, to get them right. I believe I achieved a certain freedom in rendering the foliage, and that the foliage does not detract from the figures. That's important, because the figures have to get the idea of the painting across.
As always, what do you think?
Fianlly, I want to thank many of you for your loyalty and support during POST and the ArtWorks exhibitions.
William Kosman

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