Artistic break throughs

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If you’re a serious artist, I suspect that sometime in your artistic life you experienced a break through in your work…that one painting, for example…that set you off in a new direction, way of working, or thinking. In last week’s blog post, “Finding one’s individuality as an artist,” I asked six artists to share with this audience how they discovered their individuality and what suggestions they have for others in order to help them find theirs.

In the article, Charlie Hunter shared with the readers his break through painting…the one that changed the direction of his work. He was 46 years old when the discovery was made. For him it wasn’t easy. He said, “You must root around in the muck until you grasp hold of something that feels fundamentally truthful and honest.” Rooting around in the muck required continual working and experimenting. Doing the same old, same old will not get it done.

When Charlie shared his break through painting, it got me thinking about my break through moment…the painting that set me off in a new way of working. (Click images to enlarge)

Charlie Hunter – “Walpole Pole” – 9″ x 12″ – Oil  (This was the break through painting for Charlie)

Charlie Hunter – “The Mechanical Flagman” – 20″ x 20″ – Oil  (The evolution of Hunter’s break through moment as seen in his current work)

John Pototschnik – “Looking for the Stray” – 24″ x 17″ – Oil (This is my break through painting, done in 1984. It came just before another break through…when I began using a limited palette. The break through here was beginning the painting with a thorough monochromatic block-in before adding color)

John Pototschnik – “The Morning Paper” – 30″ x 40″ – Oil (Beginning a painting with a monochromatic block-in changed my working method forever. This is typical of a block-in)


To read what other artists have to say about finding one’s individuality as an artist, click HERE.


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