Stormy Weather, 2021, oil on canvas, 42″ x 26″. A medium size oil painting which depicts an approaching storm that seems to blanket a suburban neighborhood. There is a lone runner, and a flock of birds. Fleeing the storm? The shadows of the wild clouds seem to reach out like fingers for the tiny runner, and the solid family homes. The clouds are billowy and round, the houses are geometric. Storms for all their fury, bring needed water. Our homes can protect us, but they can imprison us, as well. Storms are dramatic and spectacular. Houses are mundane, and domestic. Both can give life, and threaten us, at the same time.
Her Morning Run. Leonard Koscianski, 24.5″x15″, tempera on panel, 2020.
Her Morning Run is the tempera version of a painting I created several years ago. In this surreal recreation, the objects have been simplified to the point of becoming symbols. It represents how things feel as much as how they look. The space is curved. We are looking down on the foreground and straight out at the distance. The colors are simplified. The houses are warm with reds and golds, the landscape is cool. A crescent moon is just above the horizon; a large freighter glides along in the distant water. This is an imaginative recreation of an early morning run in Annapolis, Maryland. It represents the transition from night into day. During the dawn hour, the streets are almost deserted, it’s quiet, and a runner may feel like they have the town to themselves. Is danger lurking? It’s the hour for runners and dog walkers. Soon, the city will awaken, and the streets will get busy.
Black Eyed Susan is a very small painting in egg tempera on a wood panel. Egg tempera is an ancient technique using the yolk of an egg as a binder for pigment. Popular during the early Renaissance, it is a simple and enduring medium. A Monarch butterfly, light shining through its orange wings, approaches a Black Eyed Susan. A fluttering movement is suggested by the curves of the long green leaves behind it. I saw this happen in my own backyard.
Vespers is a medium size painting in oil on canvas. It features a Monk Parakeet, a non-native bird, which has heavily populated Florida. The painting is primarily in greens and blues, punctuated by oranges. The clock on the wall says that its after nine o’clock. The people who live in the house are involved in evening activities, hence the title, Vespers, the term for evening prayers from the Catholic Book of Hours. The parrot appears to be flying from the suburban life underneath. Is he escaping? Or is he the embodiment of the evening prayers that have been offered by the household below?
Anticipation is a medium size painting, in oils on canvas. The composition is warm and angular on the left, contrasted with cool colors and curves on the right. The left side of the painting is up close, where the right side is distant. The style is surreal and somewhat primitive. This is not a realistic depiction, rather a dreamlike recollection and invention of mornings in Maryland. The title suggests that all the major elements are in anticipation. The young man in the window, the barking dog, the runner, the fishermen on the bank, even the airline passengers in the sky are anticipating…something.
The Witching Hour is a medium sized painting, in oils on canvas. This painting has caused me more personal hell than any other painting I have ever created. This enchanted, nocturnal vision of a backyard in Florida, came in a flash, one night, between the hours of 3 and 4 a.m. – the “witching hour”. The dreamy vision came several weeks after a visit with relatives at a vacation rental in Dunedin, FL. The scene may be laden with wonder, and foreboding, but the people are not. The mystery is lost on them, they are civilized. Primal energy stirs, but remains unexpressed.
Nocturne in Blue: On Thin Ice. Leonard Koscianski, 42″x26″, oil on canvas, 2020.
On Thin Ice is a medium size painting in oil on canvas. It is composed primarily of blues. Most of the colors range from green blues to purple blues. It is a suburban winter scene with a skater on thin ice. Growing up on a pond we were always eager for the ice to form in the winter. We would test it when it was still pretty thin by slowly walking out on the pond, listening for cracks. The most dangerous time was in early spring when the ice would thaw unevenly creating thin spots and dangerous holes.
Life in the Suburbs. Leonard Koscianski, 42″x26″, oil on canvas, 2019.
Life in the Suburbs is a medium size painting in oils on canvas. This view of a suburban backyard uses a surreal, forced perspective that goes from a tiny cardinal in the lower left to the distant moon and clouds. This blend of Surrealism and Realism is influenced by the American Scene painters of the 1930’s, 40’s, and 50’s. George Tooker and Grant Wood come to mind.
The New Day. Leonard Koscianski, 42″x26″, oil on canvas, 2019.
The New Day is a medium size painting using oil paint on linen canvas. It is painted from the imagination. The subject is an organic, dreamlike re-creation of my morning run. It is Post Modern, and Surreal in style, and is influenced by Wayne Thiebaud, Grant Wood, Edward Hopper, and the Scene Painters of the American Midwest. It is also related in style to the now forgotten, Cleveland School of art, a group of Modern artists and designers that were loosely clustered around the Cleveland Institute of Art, from which I graduated.