Monday, November 23, 2009


Every artist is asked at some point, (or often) about who they feel has influenced their work? For me I find it a difficult question to answer. Many compare my work to Matisse or even Van Gogh; it's nice company to be in, but in truth I'm not aware of my work having sprung directly from any single artist or style. Producing a unique and singular voice within my work has always been important to me and developing a style that speaks too closely to another artists work has no appeal to me.

Perhaps I would say I'm an artist of the modern age - My art has been born from a 'Google' like approach, where a variety of artists, paintings and media got chewed up in my garbled head and out came the work I produce now. But then again, I'm not sure if that's quite accurate.

Early in my career I certainly studied specific artists work. For example, I was a great admirer of Toulouse-Lautrec's oil paintings, particularly some of his palette choices. Additionally I had a strong passion for the method of Walter Sickert with his use of broken lines and dabs of color that can be seen in much of his work. I know for a while I extrapolated from these and other 'borrowed' styles; but eventually as my own work became stronger and more cohesive, I found myself removed from those influences. The paintings I admired became simply that, rather than something to borrow from.

So, when asked who I feel has influenced my work? I invariably begin to list 'past' painters and works that I have loved and admired, and for your benefit I have produced a small list of just a few here -

* Joan Eardley – particularly her early paintings of Scottish/ Glasgow street kids.

* Arthur Melville

* Toulouse-Lautrec

Anne Redpath

* 'The Glasgow boys', particularly Peploe

* Edward Seago – wonderful landscape oils and very Sargent like watercolors

* Rothko

* Some Van Gogh, some Klimt and some Picasso

* Henry Moores Sculptures

* and many others…

There's a good number of Scottish painters listed, a product of local art galleries in my youth.

Final footnote: To list contemporary artists and art friends whos work I admire would just take too long, so apologies to them for not finding themselves included in the venerable list.

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