William Kosman - Artiste Peintre

Sunday, April 19, 2009

#22: Visit My Studio May 2-3, and More Details from Brooklyn

"Red Tights"

"Red Tights" (detail)

"RedTights" (detail)


"Discussion" (detail)

"Discussion" (detail)

"Brooklyn Street Scene"

Fellow Art Lovers:
First of all, I want to invite all of you to visit my studio (#407) and the studios of other artists at 915 Spring Garden St.(at Percy St., near 9th St.), Philadelphia, PA 19123, from noon to 5 pm, on Saturday and Sunday, May 2 and 3. More than 40 artists in our building will be opening their studios and will be ready to talk with you about their work. In particular, I will really enjoy talking with you about my work, hearing your ideas and explaining what I have been trying to achieve in a more personal setting.

Among the paintings you will be able to see are these paintings of the Lubavitch Community in Brooklyn, and I hope to have produced more of this series by the time the Open Studios Event arrives in two weeks.
These paintings have been a new kind of experience for me. Yes, I consistently try to develop my style and perfect each painting I do as an individual work. But there is something more. There is the desire to represent a community, to show some of the individuals and the groups, and give hints about how they interact.
For example, in "Red Tights" I wanted to show the enthusiasm, cuteness and pure joy of the little girl with her mother. As in any painting, I place the figures where they attract the viewer's attention and where they fit into the scene. There is the choice of the colors, bright and lively, because it was a beautiful day and the sun was shining, and it was striking the way the light came through the trees, and how the light coming from the back threw the shadows forward. I will be working on this some more this coming week.
But in addition, there is the detail. Yes, the overall composition is important, but the smallest detail, the smallest change in the brush stroke, its width and its direction, the texture and the color of each space, can change the expression of the people and the mood they transmit.
And there is something very strange, very reassuring about painting and people. When the painting, or any detail in it, is wrong, you know it. And when it's right, when it clicks, you know it even more. The feeling of achievement, of having done something decent, crosses you like a wave.
Frankly, I believe I did capture something in the little girl.
In "Discussion," I was struck both by the ordinariness and the beauty of the scene. Two people - two men in this case - stop to chat on a street corner. Common, but yet so reassuring. The act of communication is so important. And with the sun catching them and throwing their shadows to one side, I found the scene engaging.
"Brooklyn Street Scene" was started just a few days ago. I think it is interesting. Girls who attend the Beth Rivkah school in Crown Heights wear long, purple skirts. Here we see two walking away from us, and two whispering to each other at the side of the sidewalk. Here, I'm trying to capture the movement of the girls as they walk, and just the right gesture of the other girls talking. Again, a very ordinary scene, but very engaging. Again, it was winter, with warm coats and trees bare of leaves, but it was sunny and the sky was cloudless.
I hope to complete the painting within two weeks. It's a big painting, four feet by four feet, but the size of the canvas may actually speed my work, because I feel a great deal of freedom working on that scale.
Remember, you can get closer to any painting by simply clicking on the painting. And then using back to return to the normal size.
As always, I'd love to hear your ideas.
Thanks for listing.
William Kosman

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