William Kosman - Artiste Peintre

Saturday, May 31, 2014

#49 - Instinct and the Automatic Hand

                                              "Benjamin Franklin, Portrait"

                                               "Wonderment of Spring"

                                              "La Bicyclette Orange"

Fellow Art Lovers:

Just want to bring you up to date on some of my latest works, and to talk to you about some of the way I’ve been painting lately.

Actually, the two things I’ll talk about have been going on for some time, and perhaps even for quite a while, but they seemed so natural that I haven’t even paid attention to them. I just happened to think about them while working on these three last paintings. And finally, these two factors about the way I work may be methods or habits of many other artists, but I have failed to take any kind of a survey.

I call one of the factors “the automatic hand,” and this name is just a touch of attempted humor. But the fact remains that, when I paint and I feel in my groove, my right hand can almost take off by itself. When I feel energetic and confident, my hand just moves the brush across the canvas, dabbing and swiping color in this place and that place, as if the hand knows what the forms and colors the painting needs.

The best example here is “La Bicyclette Orange.” I encountered this scene not far from my home, and I immediately knew that it would make an interesting painting. I loved the play of the shadows on the pavement and the building façade and the bicycle as a central element. The composition and the colors were perfect, just as they appeared. And, the act of painting just seemed natural and easy from the very beginning.

“Benjamin Franklin, Portrait” could belong to this category. But while I knew what strokes and colors I had to use, I had to slow myself down because of the level of detail in the different elements of the bridge and some other things.

The other factor I wanted to talk about is instinct, and in this case it means that, when I stop to consider one of my paintings, I can sense when one element is not working or that the painting is wrong. If something is wrong, I can feel it in my gut.  This actually happened several times while painting “Wonderment of Spring.” First, it was the colors, then the structure of the blossoms, then it was the colors and the surface of the pavement. And each time I had to go back and rework those elements.   

You’ll be able to see these and many other paintings from my blog in my studio during POST (Philadelphia Open Studio Tours) on Oct. 25 and 26. Don’t worry, I’ll send you a reminder and more information as those dates approach.  

Thanks for listening, and enjoy the paintings.  (Please remember: You can click twice to magnify the images two times, and then click on the “back” arrow to go back to the blog.)


William Kosman