William Kosman - Artiste Peintre

Thursday, December 14, 2017

# 84 - Sharing My Painting

          Here I'm just getting started on my demonstration at the North City Congress.

                                      Maybe about 20 minutes into the demonstration.
     You can see the still life and my serious efforts to make progress, before things loosened up.

                               This is the slightly re-touched work.

Fellow Art Lovers:

People are pretty consistent about what they like and dislike, and – when it comers to painting – I’m about as consistent as they come. One of the things I always enjoy is sharing my painting – that is, showing people what I do, talking about my work and what ideas I try to get across, and hearing their ideas.

The other day, Wednesday, Dec. 6, I had all of the elements I needed. I gave a painting demonstration to members of the North City Congress, a senior center up on North Broad Street, near Temple University, in Philadelphia.

To sum up the experience in a few words: It was really a pleasure, frankly fun.  

And yes, that’s the group I worked with to organize a silent auction of paintings in conjunction with the group’s fund-raising gala this past June. The silent auction, under the auspices of the Philadelphia Sketch Club, brought together eight artists, who contributed a total of 10 paintings to help support the Congress’ ongoing programs. 

The painting demonstration, also, was the first of a new program being carried out by the Philadelphia Sketch Club as part of the club’s community outreach. 

And now those elements I needed for the demonstration: The most important thing was that, in front of me, in the Congress’ large activities room, I had almost 20 of the Congress’ members, who showed a deep respect for art in general and painting in particular. I’ll talk about them more in a minute, but I just want to say that all of them were so appreciative that I was there. And during the time I was there, a little more than an hour and a half, the people’s warmth got through to me. Toward the end of my demonstration, they called me “Mr. Bill.”

For my demonstration, I brought all of my painting gear, all of the things I bring when I paint en plein air either in Philadelphia or in Normandy, like a blank canvas, easel, brushes, palette knife, tubes of paint, etc. Also, I brought a simple still life made up of a bouquet of flowers in a vase and some pieces of fruit. And, just to show them what I usually paint, I brought one of my Philadelphia scenes and one of my landscapes from Normandy.

Then I threw myself into the purpose of the afternoon. I talked a little bit about myself – my earlier professions as a journalist and marketing executive, and then my big decision to devote my professional life to painting. I told them that, in my painting, I want to show what is beautiful in life and what is good about people, and I explained how I want to show that in the two paintings I brought with me. Then I stressed to them that I was there for them, so they should stop me at any point and ask any questions that come to mind.

As I started, I put some rough shapes on the canvas. As I kept working, I talked about what I was trying to accomplish, the how and why of what I was doing. Things like why I put certain elements here and there, and why I used a brush some times and a palette knife other times.  

Well, this turned out to be quite an inquisitive group, and a group that likes to participate. During the time we were together, they asked questions about my background, why painting is so important to me, the places I paint in France, the prices some collectors are willing to pay in today’s art market, the prices I ask for my paintings, why I use certain techniques at different points in painting a still life, and a lot more.

At numerous points during my demonstration, most of my audience offered their opinions, and as the session loosened up, they offered more and more of their ideas, and a sense of sharing and humor took over. But one serious thing was important to me: Because of the demonstration, some of the people said they would like to study painting.

Well, we did a lot of talking, so I did not complete the still life. So, back in my studio, I just touched up the painting a bit.

Now that the painting’s a little more presentable, I believe I’m going to offer it to the members of the North City Congress for the opportunity they gave me to share what’s important to me.   

If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear them.

Thanks for listening.