Kristof Kosmowski in the Breckenridge Gallery July 25 2016, 0 Comments

Kristof Kosmowski was a prodigy in the European art world. He was awarded with 25 one-man shows in the largest cities of his native Poland by the time he was 25. He was also honored to show his work in the countries of Germany and Finland at such a young age. Kosmowski's training at both the Escola Massana Centre d'Art in Barcelona, Spain and the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland intensified his focus and furthered his career.

Today, he resides in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. We are a state fortunate to have such a skilled artist amongst us. This weekend, he will be making appearances in the downtown Breckenridge gallery, Art on a Whim on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 pm.

Kosmowski's early recognition came from realistic renderings of a variety of sports. These paintings can be found in significant collections around the world. He was commissioned by the country of Poland to create a series of work which was used as postal stamps. In 2008 his work was used as the official poster of The Davis Cup, one of the world's premier tennis tournaments. Kosmowski's work is on display at the National Museum in Warsaw, Poland and in the Finnish Parliament building. Interesting collectors include Andy Roddick, Richard Petty, Greg Popovich, Leonard Taylor and plenty of corporations.

In 2009 Kosmowski moved to Colorado. In 2010, Kosmowski's life of creative exploration took a turn for the abstract. He began painting in a new style with new materials. His modern, expressionistic approach features his love for the landscape as his muse, as he loosely portrays Colorado's mountainous landscapes, aspen groves and bodies of water. His inspiration is drawn from past masters such as Monet, Rothko, Klimt, Cezanne and more.

Kosmowski says, “My paintings come from the colors. I stopped caring to much about defined shapes and I started to care more about colors and how they contrast in nature. I got bored painting subjects. If you have a minute to stand in front of a Rothko painting and look at it for a while, you get a different dimension. I am trying to do the same thing in a different way. I am constantly learning from the masters. If you focus you can see and feel realism within my paintings.”

Much of Kosmowski’s artwork is about neuroaesthetics. They are about shifting our perception of the world around us. He frequently depicts mental representations of an object, typically nature, rather than its actual form. Kosmowski’s artwork does not adhere to the light, shadows and color properties of objects in the physical world, yet it appeals to us because they reveal just enough form for our brains to complete the puzzle he has presented us with. His new painting “Valley View Lake” serves as a perfect example.

Kosmowski’s challenging medium of Venetian Plaster and oil paints provides his work with depth, texture and a rich vibrancy. Venetian Plaster is primarily composed of crushed marble and lime putty. Its extensive history dates all the way back to Roman times, with a resurgence during the Renaissance era in Venice and again with the skilled hands of Kristof Kosmowski.

On Venetian Plaster as his medium of choice, Kosmowski recalls, “I lived in France and visited the Palace of Versailles in 1978. The things you could not touch were composed of Venetian Plaster. It was so well done and I didn’t know things could be done in this technique. It stuck with me and I decided to explore it later in life. Now it comprises all of my artwork. I love working with the medium because you never know what is going to come up. It is organic, you cannot tell what is going to lie behind the surface after you complete polishing it. Shades are always shifting and I am always surprised by what I am able to reveal. When I start a painting I know roughly what colors I want to use but after I apply the pigments the polish will always give me different, spontaneous colors. I’m running around the painting like crazy, painting and scraping and polishing.”

Every variation Kosmowski infuses into his medium is applied with a random, controlled and immeasurable quality. His extemporaneous and emotional inspiration draws from a deep energy that translates into the poetic motions of his palette knives and brushes. It is impossible to duplicate a Kosmowski original, giving every piece intense feelings of mystery and excitement. Kosmowski's bold use of color and texture reflect his inner essence and love for the land. These are the signature marks of this Colorado based, international artist. You are invited to explore Kosmowski’s latest creations and meet the artist at the Art on a Whim Gallery this weekend. Be ready for your perceptions to shift.


Art on a Whim in Vail: Our Background, Our Concept and Your Time to Party! December 26 2013, 0 Comments

The Art on a Whim Gallery has arrived in Vail with a unique concept. Art should be fun. It should make us smile. While beauty is ever present in the Art on a Whim collection, the gallery derives its distinctive presence from the belief that pushing the envelope and having fun while doing so is what makes art worthwhile. As a result, you would be hard pressed to leave their Bridge Street locations without a smile on your face.

Art on a Whim opened in Breckenridge in 2007, gaining acclaim and a strong following on the other side of Vail Pass. The gallery is a family-owned business and one of the Raitmans is always on hand to provide an intriguing tour through their collection. In addition, each weekend throughout the winter season one or more of the gallery’s artists will be on hand offering demonstrations and in-depth explanations about their techniques.

The Raitman family set upon naming their gallery Art on a Whim for a multitude of reasons. For one, the idea of opening a gallery was just a dream for the family for a number of years. In 2007 they woke up one day and decided, on a whim, that making the dream of owning a fine art gallery would be a great idea. Given the gallery’s name, and the Raitman’s propensity for showing work that makes people smile, there are several artists with permanent homes in the collection that create work which can certainly be described as whimsical. For example, DD LaRue’s “Dog in a VW Door” sculptures of dogs hanging their furry heads out of car windows are certainly off the wall, quirky and fun. Art on a Whim is also a testament to those of us who love to, on a whim, look at art. Discovering an impressive collection in the heart of Vail Village is a great way to spend the day.

The two brand new gallery spaces mean a wide array of new artists have been introduced to Vail this season. Most of Art on a Whim’s artists make their homes right here in Colorado. Upon the opening of the new gallery spaces, Lelija Roy decided to make her home in Vail for the onset of the winter season. She can be seen painting her richly textured mixed-media aspen scenes in the gallery’s show space every day. Roy combines up to twenty layers of hand-made rice papers, fabrics, acrylics, india inks and more to perfectly capture Colorado’s most stunning scenery. Artists like Chris Lundy and Cynthia Duff provide a unique flair to the gallery through their use of untypical mediums to create deep, reflective resin paintings and bent birch wood wall sculptures, respectively. Alex Gupton, Tracy Felix and Robert Bissell bring fun to the collection with phenomenally detailed pieces showing musical instruments inside of music notes, marshmallow clouds floating through the mountains and bears playing in landscapes resembling our ideals of Eden. The gallery features approximately 20 artists and ensures that each well-regarded and accomplished artist finds a niche within the gallery. This both distinguishes each artist within the gallery and the gallery as a whole, making Art on a Whim a lovely addition to the Vail Village’s world-class collection of galleries.

This Friday Art on a Whim welcomes you to join in the spirit of the holiday season and celebrate the opening of their new locations. The Raitman family and several of the gallery’s artists will be on hand to help spread joy and prepare to ring in the New Year. Artist talks will take place throughout the evening and food and drinks will be served to help commemorate the gallery’s grand opening. Art on a Whim is located at 227 Bridge Street and 286 Bridge Street. The party will take place from 4 to 8 pm and all are invited!    

Why a New Website? November 27 2013, 0 Comments

Why do we have a new website? There are many reasons for it, but the primary reason is security. Our new website allows us to provide the highest level of online shopping protection you can find on the web. With Level 1 PCI compliance, you can be assured your information is always secure. This allows us to offer something we've always wanted for our frequent online shoppers: the ability to create a customer account for our site. This will allow you to safely store your information and greatly reduce the amount of time you spend checking out of your online shopping cart by eliminating the need to retype your information for every purchase you make through our site. You'll be able to add multiple ship to addresses, select your shipping method and see shipping costs prior to checkout, use discount codes and more. It should make the online ordering process much, much easier.

It will also be much easier to find the artwork you're looking for on our site. With the search bar in the top right corner of your screen you can type any keyword that might help you find the piece you're looking for. Let's say you want to find a painting but only remember part of the title. You can type in the part you remember and the search will scan our entire site for those keywords and direct you to the right place. Looking for a Spiritile but only remember that it was a Confucius quote? No problem - just type "Confucius" into the search bar and you'll see 024 - Wheel of Fortune and 063 - Wind Dancer. There are two pages of Spiritiles, so if you're looking through all of them, make sure to click on to the second page!

This new site also has better navigation features. Our Art on a Whim online gallery is now a picture gallery so you can match an artist's name to their style of work. No more clicking on every artist name or category until you find what you're looking for; it'll be right in front of your eyes as soon as you click on Online Gallery. If you know the artist you're looking for ahead of time, you can also use the Artists drop down menu and go straight to that artist's page from our home screen.

Another great navigation feature of our new site is the ability to filter through an artist's collection. If you want to just see the music themed Spiritiles, just click on the drop down box next to "Browse" on the right side of the screen and select "Music." 

This site allows us to add something a lot of you have asked for and you are currently reading: a blog! We'll have guest blogs from our artists, which will give you great insight into their creation process and ideas behind individual pieces. Over time we will also add videos and more images of the gallery to help you connect more with our gallery. 

There will also be multiple images for most pieces. This will allow us to show you different angles of pieces, or the piece with just the image and also a view with it in its frame. Just click on the thumbnails next to each image to see the different view.

A fantastic feature of this site is that it's also optimized for viewing on a mobile device. Images will automatically resize to your smart phone's screen and eliminate the need for zooming in and out to get the right view. You'll be able to order directly from your phone as well! 

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or just want to chat, feel free to give us a call:

Breckenridge: 970-547-8399

Vail: 970-476-4883

Thank you!

The Raitmans