William Kosman - Artiste Peintre

Thursday, August 06, 2015

# 59 - The Skies Over Normandy

                                               "Normandy Sky at Douvres"

                                                 "Basilica at Douvres"

                                                   "Beach at Saint Aubin"

Fellow Art Lovers:

The skies over Normandy are the art lovers’ dream. For both the painter and the viewer, what else offers such unbelievable beauty in so many species and types and in so many brilliant and subtle colors, all changing and moving into constantly new forms that give our imaginations so much raw material for day dreams and flights of fancy? And that present the painter with such challenges to capture some of the beauty and emotion?

I want to talk just about some of my ideas on the subject and show you some paintings that just scratch the surface of what true masters have done and what the possibilities are. One of the painters whose skies I admire is Eugene Boudin, perhaps the pre-eminent Normandy painter.

The three paintings I want to show you are above, but – if you’ve been reading my blog for a while – you know that I’ve loved these skies for a long, long time. “Normandy Sky at Douvres” is a testament to how a very simple scene can make me feel very, very good. Just a field, a few houses and a sky, and I feel great. “Basilica at Douvres” shows the Basilica at Douvres-la-Delivrande, which has real religious significance; that aside, again I was motivated to try to express some of the beauty I see in the texture of the fields, the forms of the spires reaching toward the sky, and the spender of the clouds. And  in “The Beach at Saint Aubin,” I love the colors in the ocean, the complexity of the beach, with the tide, the seaweed, the forms of the surf, in the pattern of the buildings against the sun along the boardwalk, and again the splendor of the sky.

One thing that’s interesting, all of these scenes are just a few kilometers from each other.

I do have one regret concerning Normandy’s skies: The area where I paint – the countryside and the coast near the city of Caen – has absolutely stunning sunsets. As the sun descends toward that vague line at the horizon, you can see a range of pinks moving toward red playing off the clouds and the surface of the ocean. You say to yourself “This can’t be real because the colors are so bright.” But they are, and it is. Well, some day I will paint this and begin to show its beauty. And you know what? People will look at the painting, and they will say, ”This can’t be real.” And I will answer,  “But it is.” Maybe it’s hard for us to believe in this pure beauty and the emotions it can raise in us.

Thanks for listening. And for your support, and, if you have time, for your comments.