As I’ve stated a few times, I am fortunate to have available to me some great articles from the American Artist magazine of 50-70 years ago. It was a time that abstract expressionism had a stronghold upon American art, but there were some that stood their ground against all odds and produced work of profound quality.

I was just graduating from college in 1968 and know firsthand the division that existed in the art department between those that were producing “modern” work and those producing, what was termed “trite”…that is, representational painting.

Richard V. Goetz, a figurative, landscape, and still life painter, was featured in the March 1969 issue of American Artist. I want to share with you his thoughtful comments regarding how solid art training informs our ability to effectively communicate visually. I have taught my students this for years, so it’s always nice to see it confirmed by others.

Here are some excerpts from that interview…and the videos are excellent.

“To me, painting is one of the highest forms of aesthetic self expression, and can be a most meaningful mode of communication. However, to express and to communicate to the fullest extent one should equip himself with adequate technical knowledge. To a great extent, too many artists do not, and so lack the ability to convey their artistic ideas. Thus, leaning on the use of bizarre and unorthodox materials and forms, instead of a solid technical background, many contemporary painters fails to take full advantage of the communicative value of art.

“The situation has tended to rob the art world of its standards and prompted the viewer to mistake works that are merely different for authentic examples of creativity. Unfortunately, the artist who uses a realistic technical proficiency is often thought to be uncreative, and only artists of the past are excused fro doing realistic work based on correct technical principles.”

 

‘To me, painting is one of the highest forms of aesthetic self expression, and can be a most meaningful mode of communication.’

 

“To re-establish these standards we must first see that students are well-grounded in a knowledge of drawing, design, and color, as were the great artists of the past.

“No matter how much technical ability one might possess, this alone does not make an artist. What one has to say aesthetically is really all that counts. However, one can express these emotions only to the degree that his technical and mechanical knowledge will allow. If one could not read or write, he certainly could not produce a great novel, no matter what his other qualifications might be.”

 

‘What one has to say aesthetically is all that counts.’

 

“The art schools of today, especially university art departments (my emphasis), have had great success in teaching and stimulating the creative aspects of art, but many have failed to equip the student with the technical ability to express himself in an intelligible way. Therefore, art has gone from one ridiculous extreme to another, and now we have many painters with great ideas, who lack the ability to execute them by comprehensible means.”

 

“I believe that the purpose of the painter is not to render a two-dimensional illustration of his subject, but to observe the aesthetic qualities of nature, and interpret and arrange these elements in an understandable, yet artistic, way.

“The purpose of painting should be of an abstract nature, enabling the artist to use elements of the subject that create patterns and shapes of color that convey a message beyond prettiness or cheap sentiment.

“I believe that composition is the most important element in painting.”

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I am continuing to offer to you, my newsletter subscribers, blog, and Facebook followers, something special…and up until now…unseen color studies that I’ve done over the years in preparation for a larger piece, or as stand alone works of art. These color studies are done on 100 lb archival paper that has received one coat of gesso; paper size is 5.5″ x 8.5″ and contains my notes: date painted, location, palette used, etc. Each study is offered in three configurations: 1) Image with notes (unmounted); 2) Image with notes (mounted on board); 3) Image only (mounted on board). This week’s offering is a study for “Crumm Castle”. If interested in owning one of my works, here’s a very affordable opportunity. For now, these offers are only for those in the United States; I will pay all shipping and applicable sales tax. Click on image to enlarge. Let me know of your interest. Thanks.

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john@pototschnik.com

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I am very pleased to announce the release of my first instructional DVD, Limited Palette Landscapes, professionally produced by Liliedahl Art Videos. The video contains over 15 hours of instruction and follows my painting process from selection of the canvas to the final brush stoke. For a detailed description of the video contents, including a short video…and order instructions…please click HERE. Thank you in advance for adding this DVD to your video library. Upon viewing, if you would kindly share your comments with me, I would greatly appreciate it. THANK YOU.

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You may keep up with my weekly Facebook postings at: ”John Pototschnik Fine Art“….and subscribe to my YouTube channel at: ”John Pototschnik“. Thank You.

 

John Pototschnik is an Art Renewal Center Associate Living Master

To view his art and bio, please click HERE.