Art that embraces humanity

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If you’ve been following this blog, you know we featured a three-part interview series with Michael John Angel, Juliette Aristides, and David Hardy, all master painters. In that series they discussed Classic Realism…its roots, resurgence and importance. You will have the opportunity to reread that very popular series over the next three weeks. Be sure to check back each Sunday afternoon. It’s not to be missed as it continues to be the most popular of all blog posts I’ve done over a three year period. These were posted before switching over to WordPress so the format will be slightly different than my current posts, and we lost all the ‘likes’ and comments made from the early go round.

I’ve been spending some time on this Realism topic because of its importance. You might want to also read my two most recent posts, “Does realism matter?” and “Realism in the Visual Arts”. Those may be accessed HERE and HERE.

"The Lost Wool Hat" - 12"x 16" - Oil  (1987)

“The Lost Wool Hat” – 12″x 16″ – Oil   (1987)


Realism as a style or movement is important in painting, sculpture, and literature for example, because it embraces humanity. Less representational styles tend to push people away because the work relates less to real life and is therefore often beyond understanding. Realism speaks, in an understandable way, to the hopes, dreams, and experiences (good and bad) of our humanity.


The word “understandable” keeps coming up when we speak of realism.


"Dependents" - 24"x 18" - Oil  (1992)

“Dependents” – 24″x 18″ – Oil   (1992)


Daniel Graves, founder of the Florence Academy of Art in Italy, writes: “For an artist who wants to work in the humanist tradition, to learn the classical techniques of drawing, painting and sculpting is to learn the ‘language’ one needs to know in order to ‘speak’ in a way that will be understood.” He believes learning this ‘language/vocabulary’ is necessary for artists in order for them to create works that can be understood by people of all levels of society.

"Backyard Garden" - 18"x 24" - Oil  (1999)

“Backyard Garden” – 18″x 24″ – Oil   (1999)

"Joys of a Country Drive" - 9"x 12" - Oil  (2003)

“Joys of a Country Drive” – 9″x 12″ – Oil   (2003)

"Beginnings" - 8"x 13" - Oil  (2005)

“Beginnings” – 8″x 13″ – Oil   (2005)

"Spring"s Song" - 12"x 16" - Oil  (2006)

“Spring”s Song” – 12″x 16″ – Oil   (2006)

"Hush in the Air" - 7.5"x 16" - Oil  (2007)

“Hush in the Air” – 7.5″x 16″ – Oil   (2007)


Frank Reilly in an article, “What is Art” also stresses the importance of creating work that can be understood…in fact, he makes “understandable” a necessary ingredient of all art.

"Twilight's Last Gleaming" - 8"x 13" - Oil  (2007)

“Twilight’s Last Gleaming” – 8″x 13″ – Oil   (2007)

"Another Snow Coming" - 9"x 15" - Oil  (2007)

“Another Snow Coming” – 9″x 15″ – Oil  (2007)


“Art must contain a human experience and through the personality of an artist, skillfully communicate this experience in an understandable language to the greatest number of thinking people for the longest length of time. Art is man’s responsibility to man. Since it is the recording of human experiences, man must than first experience before he can share with others. Its subject matter comes from man’s observation and imagination. Its moods and feeling come from man’s emotions. It is creative. It inspires and exalts. It preserves nature and Godly creations. Art is for the many, not the few. Art is the unity of both inner and visual beauty.”

Shown here are my representations of life we encounter everyday…the real world in which we live. I have taken the liberty to show some of my older works because of a request from some of my readers.


John Pototschnik is an Art Renewal Center Associate Living Master  
To view his art and bio, please click HERE




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