William Kosman - Artiste Peintre

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

#50 - Reaching a Milestone in France

Tailleville Field I

Reviers River 

Coquelicots Amblie I

Crépon Field 

Fellow Art Lovers:

One of my favorite streets in Paris is rue de Seine, which has about 30 art galleries and – along other things – a smattering of cafes and restaurants. One afternoon, while visiting one of the galleries there, I talked with an artist whose landscape style I really liked, it’s honest, direct and a pleasure to look at. Just like many people in other professions, we exchanged business cards. The following day, I received a message from her. She told me that she really liked my latest urban landscapes, which – she said – “brush up against the abstract.”

Of course, everyone likes compliments, but for me her comment was very perceptive. Yes, in pushing my painting forward toward more freedom, I have been moving just a bit closer to the abstract. And I found her way of expressing that idea appealing, using the French word “frôler.”

And her comments got me thinking about how this approach really suits me. It’s consistent with my character, my painting style and my goals for my painting, and it’s helping me move forward. This approach, and my knowledge of it while I’m painting, imposes a certain discipline on me, while at the same time gives me a certain license. That approach reminds me that I have the responsibility to express an idea in the most forceful way, while I can remind myself that, yes, that bit of canvas belongs to me, and I can do what I want. And that’s all consistent with my goals for painting, as well as writing: I want to tell a story, get a certain idea across to the viewer, and give the viewer pleasure in looking at my work. 

A lot of this comes naturally to me, that is without a lot of thinking. But more and more, I’m still a very emotional painter; I can get totally involved in my painting and feel kind of a painter’s high. But, in contrast to the past, even while I’m painting, I do get involved in a reasonable amount of reflection. It’s not just all gut and adrenaline.

Now, if it’s of interest to you, it’s up to you to judge. I’m showing you just four paintings of perhaps the 13 I’ve done so far here in Normandy. I believe they show a kind of progress, from representational to letting the brush take off and brush up against the abstract.  

Just a few comments on these paintings (Please remember: Just click on the image to double its size):

11.   One of the first paintings I did on arriving here in Normandy, this is a field near Tailleville. It looks like a lot of fields here in its simple beauty, and I tried to show that straight-forward beauty to the viewer in a slightly realistic style.

22.  This is a beautiful scene in the village of Amblie where the river Seulles passes under some foliage. I tried to make the foliage in the background slightly abstract, while showing the foreground clearer and more realistic.

33.   In a farmer’s field in Amblie, I just couldn’t resist this scene, because we have the field itself, a great sky and the scattering of the bright cloquelicots in the lush foliage. I just let my hand go on its own, and this is the result.

44.  This scene in Crepon was splendid. I went back to more realism because I wanted to capture the bulls, the open field, the sky and foliage in the foreground.
I’m going to keep working and see what I come up with.

If you’re attracted to any of these paintings, please let me know. I will be bringing back just a few of the works I’ve done here, because I plan on exhibiting here in France. Also, if you have any desires, like “I’d love a painting with cows,” please let me know. I do take strong suggestions for paintings.

Thanks for listening and for your support.