William Kosman - Artiste Peintre

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

#19: The Artist Within

Portrait of David from 2007

Portrait of Christine from 2007

Detail of "Untitled Portrait"

Detail of "Untitled Portrait"

"Untitled Portrait"

Fellow Art Lovers:
Once in a while, I am guilty of losing perspective. That is, I get involved with one idea, and then somehow I lose sight if the context and of the similar ideas that predated my current obsession. Well, that may be happening now.
You recall that I've written a lot about the style I want to attain. That's natural for a painter. The style, the particular brushstroke, the very surface of the painting, has a lot to do with the pleasure the viewer experiences. One of the reasons I believe people like my paintings done with a palette knife is that the texture is simply pleasing to look at. Well, I've gone on about this a lot on this blog, concluding that I should meld the two styles - palette knife and brush - into one, and in this way achieve the best of both worlds.
Now I know that a lot was wrong with my thinking. My experience with my latest portrait, which is "Untitled Portrait," has been very instructive to me.
While painting this portrait, I just felt good. I was at ease with myself. I had no major personal concerns, or I succeeded in keeping them out of my head. And every brushstroke not only seemed right, it also was a pleasure.
The conclusion I draw is this: The style is within me. I can try to achieve this or that style, but if I am in a state of mind that allows my trule style to come out, then it will. Peace of mind gives me the freedom to express myself.
This is what I also felt when I painted the two other portraits from last year. As in the most recent case, I also had positive feelings about the other two subjects. I just can't imagine succeeding with a portrait if I don't feel good about the person I am painting. And, trying to regain some of the perspective I might now be losing, I must have learned a lot in the interval.
Like composition. Some of my artist friends told me that the head jutting into the top shadow and the cup jutting upward keep the entire painting connected. This was not the mark of genius. It just seemed right at the time. The same with the placement of the figure. It felt right.
Like brushstroke. Of course, I automatically paint a woman's face with more delicacy. They deserve it. And, as I move away from the face, I want to make the brushstroke more forceful and expressive.
If you want to invest some time, you might look back at previous blog entries and see what I think is increasing freedom and maybe better and better painting.
As always, I'd love to hear your ideas.
Thank you for your interest and support.
Sincerely, and I mean it,
William Kosman