William Kosman - Artiste Peintre

Sunday, July 12, 2015

# 58 - Talking About Impressions

                                                 "Through the Trees at Saint Aubin"

                                                        "Chapel at Douvres III"

                                                         "Sky Over Tailleville"

Fellow art Lovers:

I’ve been here in Normandy for a few weeks now, and I’ve kept painting as much as I can. I want to talk to you just a little about what keeps me painting and the ideas and emotions that I try to get across to you in three paintings.

Since I’ve been talking so much about the beauty here, it’ll come as no surprise that it’s the beauty and the feelings it gives me that make me want to paint. Just imagine standing in a field or by the side of a country road and seeing scenes that knock you off your feet. You set up your easel, canvas and paints, and you want to get going. Well, I usually put it off for just a few minutes to do a quick sketch of the scene; I’ve found that this one step helps me understand what I want to do, how I want the painting to look, and what’s the best way to get my ideas across. Really often, I look at the sketch, and I tell myself that I’m so glad I did this, because I see that I may not need this or that, or I should focus on this smaller part of the entire scene.

Once I feel more confident about what I’m doing, I let loose. The palette knife slides across the canvas. I put this part in, and then add a few elements in another part of the canvas, and then go back to another area and add some more detail. Honestly, I’m not thinking out each little step. I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I just let my hand and arm do their job. I can’t say I’ve trained them well, because they know better than I do. Then comes the critical point for most artists: When do you stop. One more stroke can add an essential element, or damage what you’ve already done. If you’re wondering what I do, I’d tell you I usually try and stop, and tell myself I can always add another touch later.

Now the paintings, starting from the top:

“Through the Trees at Saint Aubin” – I’ve painted at this exact spot (just outside the village of Saint Aubin-sur-Mer) many times before, but here I’m trying to capture something different. It was a beautiful day, but there were dark clouds in the distance. That means I had more reason to move fast, because those clouds might bring rain. But what I was looking at were the trees and their branches loaded with lush leaves, shifting and moving and blinking at me in the light breeze, and on and off they would catch beams of sunlight, and they would flash and shine as they moved. And all the time, I could see through them into the background.  

“Chapel at Douvres III” – Here also, I’ve painted this scene before. This is a different view of the church I showed you in my last blog posting. The scene is just outside the city of Douvres-la- Delivrande, and this time I moved to another view so I could include the field in front and the roofs of the houses nestled between the field and the foliage behind. The scene gave me a feeling of the coziness’ of those homes. I tried to get that idea across, and at the same time show the power of the sky and the simple beauty of an open, grassy field.

“Sky Over Tailleville” – Talking about the skies in Normandy, they are beautiful, constantly changing and surprising. Tailleville is a very small village surrounded by farms that grow a lot of different crops, perhaps mainly wheat. The fields are rich because, when you study them, they contain such a play of different colors, with reds, oranges, greens and sometimes reds mixed into the range of yellows or lighter greens. But we’re talking about the skies, right?  They can change fast. Sometimes, heavy clouds will move in, and before you know it, you’re in the middle of a shower. And at other times, the day will look cloudy and glum, but suddenly there’ll be breaks in the clouds, and the sunlight will glow through those breaks, and those breaks will expand, and you have a new kind of day.

Here, I tried to catch that moment when pillars of sunlight break through and they make their way down to the land to make the foliage glow.    

As always, thanks for your interest and support. And if you have time, thanks for your comments.