William Kosman - Artiste Peintre

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

# 99 - Good Vibes on Philly Streets


FellowArt Lovers:  

Our city of Philadelphia just keeps giving me great ideas for paintings and good vibes that make me want to paint them. The vibes from the people are important, because even if I'm only sketching them or taking photos of them, a feeling stays with me. 

And one way or another, that feeling ends up on my canvas. 

I'm sure I've written a lot about how I try to capture people's gestures, and if I can focus on specific people, I even try to give some hints about their personalities. And I know I've talked a lot about the beauty of human diversity, and how I try to show people of different cultures and colors together and enjoy being together. 

I want to admit something. During the months of the Covid 19 pandemic, it seems that I've written a lot less in my painter's blog. The reason is that I've felt the way a lot of folks feel, frankly a bit blue. But now, writing my ideas, thinking about people and painting and art in general - all this helps me a lot.  

Well, back to painting. In this post, I'd like to show you three scenes. I didn't paint these scenes en plein air. Rather, I was at some distance from these scenes. The reason has more to do with the weather than anything else; oil paints simply melt when it gets hot, and when the weather cooled down, I was blessed with rain. So, most of the time, I was forced to sketch the scenes I wanted to paint, and then I went one step further; I used pastels to play with the colors I wanted to use. Then, I took a few photos to guide my painting. And finally, I was forced to actually execute the paintings in my studio. 

The painting above is in Philadelphia's Northern Liberty's neighborhood. The woman walking her dog struck me because of her confidence and her stride. And the rest of the scene just seemed to frame her perfectly. In fact, so many lines in the scene just seemed to point to her. The painting just seemed to paint itself. The only element that took patience was the woman's face; it's often a challenge to paint a person's facial features and transmit an emotion when I also want to show that the person is some distance from me. 

This next painting (above) of a man and woman together on 10th Street near Spring Garden Street, not far from my studio, was completed exclusively with a palette knife. If you know my painting, you know that I've worked a lot with a palette knife, actually ever since I used that tool to try to capture the beauty of Normandy's landscapes. One strategy that I disagree with is that some artists try to use a palette knife to create a work they believe looks like it had been painted with a variety of brushes. For me, the two tools produce complete different works, each with its own style. A palette knife forces me to simplify, and for me simplicity has great impact. At the same time, the knife can be used to create a special vitality in the surface of the painting by mixing colors right on the canvas. 

And the third painting is the same scene, only with different people; here are four young women marching together, and their stride seems to show their youthful confidence and energy. 

Thanks for listening. I'd love to hear your comments, if you have the time.