William Kosman - Artiste Peintre

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

# 101 - Inching Further Away From Reality


Fellow Art Lovers:

A funny thing happened on Bainbridge Street in Philadelphia’s Queen Village neighborhood. It was a while ago when the trees were bare of leaves, and I noticed how the sunshine behind the trees cast the intricate shadows of the trees’ branches on the parked cars and the street in front of me. 

It was an appealing image, because it contained numerous attractions; there were just a few people walking along the sidewalk; the row of buildings was historic contained a mixtures of surfaces and shapes; the various colors were bright, including those of the cars and trucks crossing my vision. 

So, like any painter who wants to get the greatest impact out of a scene, I decided to make some changes: I altered my perspective so it looks as though I’m looking slightly down; that way I could trace the shadows even more clearly and also capture that delicacy and the life of the street on canvas. 

More changes: I played with the color scheme, kind of falling back on the same colors I used in the last several paintings I did just a while ago. The sky became pink, the branches stand out in burgundy, and I left the hints of branches in the sky to echo them. And the pavement in the foreground became orange. And the cars and trucks were painted in bright colors to keep the viewer’s eye within the painting. 

                                                       "A Day on Bainbridge Street" - 24" by 30" 

And speaking of cars and trucks, I rounded and simplified their forms in, I hope, not a silly way but a playful way. And I simplified the row of buildings on the other side of Bainbridge, and added just a few images of people on the sidewalk, along with a dog, because this block of Bainbridge has a pet hospital. 

A long time ago, I took painting classes in a suburb of Paris, by the name of Fresnes, and one of my instructors was Jean-Marie Creuzeau. The two most important messages he repeated over and over again were: 1. “Simplify, simplify,” and 2. : “You don’t paint the object; you paint the sign of the object.” 

When I think about how to give my paintings more impact, I often think about what he said.  

So, here you see the completed painting. And if you were to ask me, “Bill, what did you do to capture that scene and give it more impact?” I’d have to say that I had to give myself more freedom and move away from the reality. And that’s the artistic license painters and other artists use. 

Thanks for listening. I’d love to hear your comments if you have time.