When I was in college, many years ago now, the work of Norman Rockwell was sneered at by those in the Fine Art Department…”Old-fashioned, sentimental, trite, work of no consequence,” they would say.

The harassment sort of muzzled us on the commercial art side, so we found new heroes of illustration…Bob Peak, Mark English, and Bernie Fuchs, among others. They were flashy and very contemporary, doing very exciting work.

Kacey Schwartz - "Norman Rockwell"

Kacey Schwartz – “Norman Rockwell”

 

But Norman Rockwell is just one of those guys that doesn’t go away. The images remain impressed on our minds, iconic images that just won’t leave. While so many great illustrators have come and gone, the work of Norman Rockwell remains…his paintings popular once again, garnering higher prices than ever at auction.

Rockwell comes to mind because a few days ago my wife and I were reflecting on trips we’ve taken to New England. “What was the name of the place we stayed in Maine…not Camden, the other place?” “Bar Harbor?” I asked. “Yes, that’s it!” About that time we both began laughing as we remembered our stay in a bed and breakfast there. Having arrived after a long day of driving, we were tired and were looking forward to relaxing with a hot cup of tea. That was not to be as the strict “headmaster” (owner of the b&b) stopped us in our tracks, and with his “long pointy finger” directed us to first read the long list of house rules posted on the wall. Only then were we allowed to proceed into the living area. Are you getting the picture?

EPSON scanner image

Norman Rockwell – “Ichabod Crane”. (I couldn’t locate the exact image I had in mind, but this one pretty well captures the feeling of our “headmaster”.

 

The house had a wonderful selection of books in their library. Having found one of interest, I brought it with me to the breakfast table the next morning to enjoy while waiting on our meal. The “headmaster” approached our table, reached down, closed the book, and took it from under my nose while saying, “I’ll take that.”….and then he put me over his knee and….

rockwell-3

 

Ahh, don’t you love Rockwell? He was able to touch our very souls. He made us laugh, nod our heads in agreement, point fingers at others, and reflect on our own insecurities. Art has a wonderful way of communicating that all others forms of expression cannot. Thank you Norman Rockwell.

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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 “The Narrow Gate”. 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.