William Kosman - Artiste Peintre

Sunday, September 04, 2016

# 70 - Some Rewards of Hard Work

                                         Entre Bayeux et Saint Gabriel

                                         Dimanche sur la Digue

                                                Rue Bellevue L

 Fellow Art Lovers:

Over the last week or so here in Normandy, I’ve been getting out into the countryside and even – once in a while – on to the digues (the boardwalks) on the coast just behind the beaches. For me, the weather has been perfect; there’s been plenty of sunshine and beautiful cloud formations, but the temperatures have been fresh. That means the colors I see are vibrant, but my paint doesn’t melt on the palette. For vacationers who are still here, that means they can still go to the beach or ride their bicycles on the country roads, but they don’t suffer under the heavy heat and then the cold we had for a while.

With these nearly perfect conditions, I wouldn’t be able to call myself a painter if I didn’t work hard. And, yes, I did work hard and was able to benefit from the advantages of good, consistent work. I’m sure this happens for a lot of artists. I feel more confident, and my stroke with either my palette knife of brush is more sure. In a positive mood, the strokes look and feel right. It’s kind of a positive, vicious circle, and I’m the beneficiary. And, of course, confidence brings me a good, steady speed.

Of course, there are moments of doubt and then reflection. Is this right? Am I getting the most out of this scene? What am I lacking? These are some of the questions I ask myself, as I push myself to express more emotion in my paintings.

The first painting you see above is from a scene I saw on Departimentale 35, the country road that’s become something like my Route 66 in this neck of the woods. And again, Departimentale 35 delivered. What could be more beautiful than open fields, one with fresh wheat and the other already harvested, with the rich colors of the earth, separated by a twisting path, a church steeple, rows of trees, and all of it beneath a stunning sky.

Actually, the painting you see – Entre Bayeaux et Saint Raphael – was supposed to be the study for a larger painting. Well, it always seems to happen: the first work I do of a scene just has more creative energy and a sense of newness to it. I saw this, as I usually do, because I did a larger painting of the same scene on the same day, and while the larger painting is okay, it doesn’t have that sense of newness and discovery the first one does. That’s the way the paint spreads.

The next painting you see was painted on the digue of Saint Aubin-sur-Mer over three days of maybe a few hours per day, and then some time at home making a few adjustments.  This was about a week ago, so the real tourist season had already ended, but there were plenty of people and plenty of positive energy on this Sunday, the day I started it. Therefore, the title Dimanche sur la Digue.  I don’t know what to say about this painting, and I believe I mentioned before that I’m the worst judge of my work. What I tried to do was tell a little story of the feeling at the end of the season  a kind of unrealistic, whimsical look at a gathering of a few souls in mid-morning.

I don’t know if any of those ideas get trough.

The last painting on this blog posting is a new version of Rue Bellevue, which I already posted. This painting was actually painted about two weeks before the two other paintings you see in front of you.

I was pretty pleased with my first version of Rue Bellevue, but the reaction to that version was positive, so I wanted do a larger painting and try to squeeze more emotion out of the scene and better represent the beauty I see there.

Well, the weather and the light were different. I went back to the scene three times for relatively brief sessions of pretty intense painting. And each time I was driven away by the elements.  On the first day, it was so hot the sun started melting my paint on my palette. On the second, the wind was kicking up so much that I feared my canvas would take flight. And, on the third day, the weather got really cold.

I persisted, but I realized that Mother Nature can use her powers where she wants. Yes, she kept making this painting a real challenge, but she also gave the scene the beauty I wanted to capture.

Yes, this painting is different than the first one, but – as I admitted – I’m the worst judge of my own paintings.

Thanks for listening, and for your support.