Most of my schooling has been walking through museum halls, studying from catalogs and books. While working a technical vocation by day, my further education was through painting amongst peers and teachers at evening workshops. The following are just a few classical artists whose works have inspired me in my craft.
Kaethe Kolwitz's draftsmanship revealed such emotion and suffering in her subjects.
Bo Bartlett is a contemporary artist using classical elements or allegory. His draftsmanship is pristine, as is Wyeth, and rich use of colors powerful.
Henry Ossawa Tanner revealed how quiet, yet strong a narrative may be. I am inspired that he was African-American, classically trained.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s “A Montrouge”—Rosa La Rounge (c. 1887) shows a tenderness & sensitivity of character.
Vincent Van Gogh’s self-portraits & that of his postman reveal a confidence & command of color—blending emerald greens & vermillion across his face—and an orchestration of brush marks.
Sidney Goodman painted social narratives and complex compositions.
Diego Rivera used his tools & talents to speak for those without a voice. He projected his politics & beliefs on canvas and walls, public art for the public.
In terms of periods or schools of art, I am inspired by a few particular styles. In terms of still life narratives, I may borrow from the traditions of Rembrandt in use of light and composition. For social content, some of the French Impressionist and most of the American Ash Can school depicted common day people that carried an objective social message.
My humble goal as a painter is to draw the viewer, but in that unfinished space to allow discussion or reflection. That which may be graphically alluring or interesting may also be unsettling.