William Kosman - Artiste Peintre

Sunday, July 23, 2017

# 80 - Rustiness and Its Cure

Fellow Art Lovers:

Yes, I’m here in Normandy, and I’ve been painting. Now, I just want to show you some of my latest paintings (plus the surprise that I’m saving for last ), and tell you a little bit about how I function. 

That is, I believe I’m a lot like a lot of painters and people in other professions, for that matter. The essence of the story is that if I don’t keep practicing my art, it gets rusty, and then I have to fight to get that skill back.

So, what's the solution? It's not very surprising. It boils down to persistence. I just keep banging my head against that wall. But I'm overstating the whole situation. Once I get in the car, turn on the radio station France Classique, and roam the countryside for something beautiful, I just feel wonderful, and very lucky. Once I find a scene that rocks my boat, and I'm there, working and - once in a while - chatting for a few minutes with an interested passerby, like a farmer or bicyclist or beachcomber, I feel just great. Sure, the first few strokes may not be exactly what the canvas needs. But I convince myself that it's part of the process, and I need to just keep going, keep trying, keep pushing. 

And, miracle of miracles, once in a while I come up with something that's not bad.  

To be candid with you, I’ve suffered a few bad starts in my paintings, which I had to paint over. And there are a few paintings that I still believe I can save, because the scenes I tried to represent are beautiful.

So, let’s get to the specifics:

                                         "View of Douvres" 

Many of you will remember a scene like this painting, “View of Douvres,” which shows the basilica at Douvres from a distance. That first painting last year was relatively small, and I wanted to give myself more space to express myself, so I painted it a lot of larger. Well, the middle of the painting – that is the houses, trees and steeples – turned out fine, but it took me a lot of work to paint the field in the foreground and especially the sky above close to the way I wanted them.

                                         "The Beach at Saint Aubin I"

“The Beach at Saint Aubin I” was actually the first time I painted this subject this summer. (I’ve painting this scene quite a few times, and each time I paint it I discover something new to add meaning to the work.) This time I painted the scene, and I limited myself to a pretty small format, took my time and made one stroke after another (What else can you do?) So finally, in my estimation, I succeeded in giving an honest, unpretentious view of the beach that’s easy on the eyes.

                                          "The Beach at Saint Aubin II" 

This view of the beach, in “The Beach at Saint Aubin II” is from the opposite  end of this small village, this one being from the east to the west. I found that the cabins marching away from me, the texture of the sand, the color of the sea and the few people represented a simple story that could be told with just a few forms and lines in sunny colors.

                                          "Le Manoir" 

And now, the big surprise. Are you ready? Last year I painted a field that was on the property of a large manoir in a small village not far from Saint Aubin. Well, I wasn’t thrilled with the painting, so I scrapped off most of the paint, thinking that I would paint over it and not waste a canvas, even thought it was relatively small and didn’t represent much of an investment. But when I saw the result, something stopped me from painting over the surface. 

And then, sitting around one evening, my family told me that they really liked the painting, especially the uneven surface, the subtle colors and the slightly abstract approach. So now, the painting hangs above the fireplace in the living room.

That’s all for now. I hope I have some amazing paintings to share with you, now that I have some of my groove back. In any case, I’ll be trying.

Thanks for listening, and – as always – for your support.