William Kosman - Artiste Peintre

Thursday, January 05, 2023

# 105 - The Adventure Continues, continued yet again

 As I promised, I'm back to talk about my paintings one more time, for the time being. 

For me, this painting - "School Morning" - is important. It's important not for anything I've done, but because what it shows and what actually happened, and I assume is actually happening today. A determined mother on 15th Street just south of Christian Street in Philadelphia is taking her children to school in the morning. I didn't talk with her, but I'm assuming that she realizes the importance of education in our society, and her children are going to start getting their education no matter what. The style I used is a little more careful than a lot of my work. even though the people are relatively small in the painting, I wanted the viewer to see the expressions on their faces, especially the determination in the mother's expression. But as I filled in the background around the mother and her children, adding things like the traffic lights and the forms of the shadows in front of them, I loosened up my style, so that the figures would remain the most important elements. I hope the painting has an impact on you when and if you're able to see it. 

"Crossing Spring Garden" is just that; a mother and her son are crossing Spring Garden Street in Philadelphia around 9th Street in the morning as they begin their day. She has to pull on him a bit because it's early in the morning and he's not totally awake. We can see the remnants of the elevated Reading Railroad line and the towers in Center City in the distance. I consider this a pleasant painting, with the sun shining, most of the trees still carrying their green leaves, and the mother young and attractive. But you'll notice that I still want to catch her gesture accurately because for me, catching gestures accurately is a good part of my pleasure in painting people. 

"View from the EL" is interesting for me for several reasons. What we see in the painting is the view of businesses and the street of Allegheny in Philadelphia from the El platform. One thing is that I painted this with a palette knife, something that I use more often for landscapes in Normandy, France. However, using a palette knife gives a special quality to the surface of a painting. I've seen some painters use a palette knife while trying to show the details of a painting completed with a brush, and failing. Usually, this strategy usually fails. The different tools produce a different result. In this case, with "View from the EL," I believe i succeeded. I didn't show the details of objects in the painting, but I gave an impression of them, also because you can mix colors right on the canvas with a palette knife. And a person in the painting can be added with just a dab of paint with the tip of the knife. And the painting is interesting for me because I used bright colors and distributed them to keep the viewer's eye inside the canvas. 

That's it for now. If you have any questions, just email me at billkosman@gmail.com

If you read all of these explanations, I admire you and appreciate your interest. 




#104 - The Adventure Continues, continued.


Fellow Art Lovers: 

I promised, and I'm back, talking more about my desires with some of my paintings:

I called this painting "Struttin' Proud," and  I'm sure you can see why. So, here's a small family, up near K and A - That's for Kensington and Allegheny up in Northeast Philly, and you can believe that the family members aren't on easy. But the youngest member, wearing her bright orange hoodie, doesn't let anything bother her. She knows who she is and that she'll get it all right in the future. That's why I made a big effort to paint her posture so that it reflects her confidence, and I used my palette knife to show the family's surroundings. fNo matter what, this little bundle of self-confidence surely has plans for the future. 

It happened on a side street near Spring Garden and 9th, in Philadelphia, a man who looked homeless asked me for money so he could take the bus to get home in New Jersey. I gave him more than enough money, and then I asked him if I could take some photos of him to do a painting of him. He agreed, and I worked for several days in my studio nearby to give him a sense of dignity and and also his need. I wanted the painting to have a down-to-earth tough look, so I simplified the elements in the scene. When I was on the street, I asked the policemen if I could take their photo, and they refused. I didn't tell them that I had already taken it when I arrived. The title of the work is "What Now?" 

The title of this painting is "Winning Ticket," and you can see why. The man standing in front of the kiosk at 8th and Washington Streets in Philadelphia is ready to turn in his winning lottery ticket. I haven't heard if he won any cash, but it was a sweet scene, and I enjoyed painting it right there. It's the kind of painting that is so appealing that it just about paints itself. Yes, the two young women were contrasting elements in the frame of the painting, but what I really tried hard to capture were the shadows on the sidewalk. I just found the contrast of the light and dark both a challenge and rewarding. I hope I won.  

The name of this painting is "Watch Me Jump," and there's no doubt how I chose that title. Yes, the image of a mother and daughter enjoying each other and themselves is automatically appealing. I'm kind of a painter who works hard who works hard to capture people's gestures, and the little girl's gesture took real concentration on my part. Also, something else that was in the scene - the bright colors of the mother and daughter's attire and the sawhorse a little behind them keeps the viewer's eyes within the frame of the scene. And I have to admit, the little girl is the main draw of the painting. 

I'm taking a break, but I'll keep working this afternoon. 



Wednesday, January 04, 2023

# 103 - The Adventure Continues

 Fellow Art Lovers:

My last posting, number 102, told the story of the supportive reception I got when I read my poem "Love Thy Neighbor" to visitors to my art studio during Philadelphia Open Studio Tours a few months ago. Now, I want to tell you that I have an exhibit on the same theme in just a few days, at 5 pm on First Friday, Jan. 6, at the Old City Jewish Art Center, at 119 North 3rd St., in Philadelphia.  The show runs until Jan. 30, and it will include other poems and paintings of mine, as well as works by other visual artists. And, on First Friday, a Sabbath meal will be offered to visitors. 

I've been asked to explain my motivation for the show and to give an explanation on how some of my paintings fit into my general theme. So, here we go. 

When you look around, you can get pretty depressed by the division and - yes - the violence in our world today. And this is going on when we all know, most people want the same things: The basic needs in our lives, love, companionship, shelter, nourishment, a decent job, and the opportunity to learn and pursue our interests and may even grow as an individual. 

So I thought back to the the book of Leviticus in the Torah and the instruction given by the Lord to Moses: Tell the children of Israel to "Love they neighbor as thyself." So, simple, but we sure aren't there yet. 

What could. be such a pleasure and harmless? Kids running around with each other in Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia while their parents and an old couple watch them? The peacefulness and the pleasure of the children touched me. 

 The same thing: Harmless pleasure, people dancing, and a boy trying to catch his read balloon. Yes, I did pay a little be with the environment, but there's a reason: You'll notice that the people come from different ethnic groups. That's important, because most of us, no matter our culture or our color, want the same things in life. We should have the same rights and opportunities. But, yes, I did play with the scene. You have different Philly neighborhoods jammed together, and I played the colors a little bit. Yes, the street is orange. So what? 

This is Joy. What Joy! A little girl jumping with joy in a courtyard on Delancey Street in Society Hill in Philadelphia. Her freedom and the pleasure she certainly feels are wonderful. I wanted to capture this emotion. Yes, her parents are watching her. Why not? Wouldn't it be great if all kids could enjoy the same pleasure! 

The same thing! This is Old City Park at Market and 2nd Streets in Philadelphia, and a woman is walking her dog, her dependable companion. The love the two of them feel for each other is so basic and so common in so many families. I want to admit something: I really liked the way the woman was gracefully turning toward her dog. And I liked the shadows of the trees on the lawn. 

More to come later.