William Kosman - Artiste Peintre

Sunday, November 05, 2017

# 83 - The Pleasures of Plein Air

Fellow Art Lovers:

There I was in Chamber’s Square, a lush public park up in North Philadelphia at the corner of Allegheny Ave. and Belgrade St., painting away with my portable easel and my paints and other materials at my feet. It was an unusually warm afternoon for early October, and the trees’ foliage was just starting to change color. People from the neighborhood walked by and respectfully greeted me.

The scene of the park and Saint Paul’s House beyond it was beautiful, and I was having a wonderful time. (The artistic product of those hours is below,  “Saint Paul’s House.”) 

                                                 "Saint Paul's House"

How did I miss the boat and wait so long?   For the longest time, I’ve felt the need to paint my Normandy landscapes by actually being at the sites of the paintings – out in the fields, on the roadsides, in the villages and on the beaches. Whereas, for urban scenes, yes, I’ve painted in some neighborhoods, but for the most part, I’ve preferred to use a combination of on-site pen-and-ink sketches, photos and then good measure of studio work.

Well, I’ve really missed that train – the pleasure of putting colors directly on canvas while interacting with the environment, which includes the people and the foliage.

Why the awakening?  I have to credit two dedicated plein-air painters for my change of heart and for the fact that I’m now getting a lot more direct knowledge and emotion for the sites I’ve been painting, and for the pure pleasure in doing so.

                                         "Philly Trolley" 

My next stop was the intersection of Girard and Frankford Avenues, just north of Northern Liberties. My goal was to try to represent an active afternoon at this busy place. The view I chose was from the western side of Frankford because all of the elements it contained, (You see them in the image above.) including the club Johnny Brendas, the traffic on Girard, and the people rushing to get home after work. Again, the passers-by were friendly and respectful, and most of all the wait staff of Joe’s Steaks was great because, while I took over a portion of their space for two afternoons, they brought me drinks and food.

                                                  "Lucky Orange Cap" 

This posting would not be complete without the still life I did in my studio (Above). In the beginning, I just wanted to keep my skills and my right arm in shape. But then at a certain point, I decided that the work wasn’t bad. Also, I pleased that I included my lucky orange cap.

Thanks for listening.