William Kosman - Artiste Peintre

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

# 102 - A New Adventure

Fellow Art Lovers:

Trying to predict how a viewer will respond to your paintings is like threading a needle while wearing a blindfold – it’s pretty close to impossible. The number of styles an artist can choose from is just about infinite, and the tastes of viewers is one step beyond that. if that exists at all.  So, when my building at 915 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, had its single day to receive guests in the northeast sector of Philadelphia Open Studio Tours this past Sunday, I was swimming in a few doubts. 

The reason: I was trying something new, at least as far as I knew. 

Recently, you’ve surely seen that my works have included more and more groups of people, and I’ve been trying to express specific ideas with these works. Well, because I’ve started trying my hand at poetry, thanks to Larry Robin and his group, Moonstone Poetry, I’ve started linking paintings with poems. And because the COVID 19 pandemic gave me a good amount of free time, the words for poems came to me. 

So, I decided that I would see how the visitors to my studio for POST respond to this innovation, or at least what I believe is an innovation. 

The painting of mine that inspired me the most was a painting that I believe you’ve already seen, one that shows a mass of people of numerous cultures and different colors enjoying being together. (I’ve inserted the painting in this posting.) 

And the theme I chose was “Love they neighbor as thyself,” which is from Leviticus, the third book of the Old Testament. It’s in the eighteenth entry of chapter 19 of Leviticus, and it states “ . . . thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.” Basically, chapter 19 cites the Lord instructing Moses what he should tell the children of Israel. 

Of course, I always rehearse my poems before presenting them to groups. On last Sunday afternoon, I recited my poem five or six times as different groups gathered during the afternoon, and each time it felt more and more natural.  

                                         Here I am, masked, reciting "Love Thy Neighbor." 

“Love Thy Neighbor” ©

By William Kosman 

If you love the work of art, 
Must you love the artist?
If the painting pulls at your heart, 
Do you have to carry the painter’s cause?

I hear the sages’ words of long ago,
From the elders and the teachers,
From the Torah and the New Book, 
From Mohammed and the true believers, 
I know my heart tells me true. 
Oh, sing out the words:
“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

If we have the artist’s heart,
We are all creative creatures. 
We live full when we have your notice.
We live full when we hear your applause.
We are driven to follow our art. 

Creative souls inhabit humankind,
We come from far and wide,
From the castles and the ghettos,
From the welfare hotels and the condos, 
Artists all, our spirit drives our art. 
I know my heart tells me true. 
“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

This pebble carrying us through the sky,
It’s loaded with bandwidths of data,
Currents of crossing signals every step we take.
Technology makes us loners, but brings us together too. 
I know my heart tells me true. 
Now we’re all neighbors, and that’s no lie.

Some say our era has changed us,
Turned us cruel and hard.
But there are constants we carry within us:  
Our human mind and our saving soul. 
I know my heart tells me true. 
Oh, sing the words out together:
“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” 

The dancer steals our breath with leaps yet higher. 
The painter touches us with oil-stained cloth. 
The writer creates new realities with lines on a page,
The composer plants echoes in our minds. 
Artists all, our work makes all lives yet richer.  

If our work touches your heart,
The goodness within you grows grander. 
The song, the dance, the painting and the poem,
Our love of art brings us together.
We are all one world of neighbors.
Oh, sing out good neighbors, 
Oh, sing the true words together:
“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” 

I believe the response was positive. All I can say is that visitors congratulated me, and I felt good about my recitation. Also, I also recited another poem about friendship, which was based on a painting of two young women walking along Allegheny Ave. All of you have seen the painting before in blog posting # 97. 

To show you more of the kind of paintings I truly enjoy painting, I’ve included in this blog posting two other paintings. One shows the intersection of Locust and 10th streets, and the other is the intersection at 9th and Spring Garden streets, just one block from 915 Spring Garden, which houses my studio.

10th and Locust in Philadelphia 

9th and Spring Garden 

I’d like to thank those of you who visited my studio. And if you couldn’t make it, thanks for your time and your support. If you have a few minutes, I’d love to hear your impressions of my work.