Artists of Note | Otto Sturcke

Classically contemporary

Otto Sturcke, One for the Road, pastel, 12 x 9.

Otto Sturcke, One for the Road, pastel, 12 x 9.

This story was featured in the October 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art October 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

Otto Sturcke grew up in Southern California and always aspired to be an artist. His talent was evident early, and he won his first art award in the second grade. But growing up in a large family with little art encouragement, he kept his dream alive by working small jobs to buy art supplies whenever he could. A few teachers supported his talents through school, but when faced with the high cost of art school, Sturcke decided to join the Marine Corps instead, where he became known as the “artist private.”

Now in his early 40s, Sturcke spent 15 years working as a freelance illustrator for Disney, Warner Bros., and Sony Pictures after leaving the Marines. It was a fruitful career, but one that left him itching to pursue his own creative endeavors. Three years ago, after a workshop with artist Dianna Ponting, Sturcke finally found his inspiration in pastels. “I loved painting in oils,” Sturcke says. “But after a three-day workshop in pastels, it felt so intuitive that I have been primarily painting with pastels ever since.”

Inspired by the Dutch masters of still life and their use of chiaroscuro, Sturcke looks to express his Latino heritage in his paintings by combining the classical and contemporary “What I’m trying to present is a little something about me, my culture, and the presence of the Latino culture in the Southwest,” he says. “I find that people really enjoy seeing this side of these paintings in a somewhat classical way.” —Joe Kovack

Sturcke’s works can be seen

Featured in the October 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art October 2014 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

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