My Artistic Influences: From Comics to Canvases

I have often been asked what my artistic influences are/were. A very complex question that would require an equally complex answer. Here goes:

Basically, the influences change over time, just as one’s work adapts and modifies over time, as part of an artist’s maturation process.

From my early childhood days, I would list some great comic book artists, who could easily hold their own in the world of Fine Arts. These artist were instrumental to my development with my earliest drawing and painting efforts, and  they also inspired me to pursue art as a career. Amongst the greats: Neal Adams, Jim Steranko, and Barry Windsor-Smith.

Through my mature period (still developing as I write this) would be the Barbizon School of artists such as Corot, Constable, Millet who, in turn, influenced the Impressionists (Monet, Renoir, Sisley), and reluctant Impressionists (Degas).  Then came the proto-Post Impressionists such as Vincent van Gogh.

The work of Tom Thomson, from the early 20th Century, has recently been compelling me to take a fresh look at how I compose my paintings, and use colour.

All of these, and many of their contemporaries, have had a profound influence, not only on my work, but on my view of the world, and the role I can play in recording it on canvas.

If I had to pick one constant, it would be Claude Monet: his influence goes well beyond his artistic mastery. For my “Dream” gathering of artists at my table, Monet would be one of the people from history that I would definitely want to sit down with  for dinner and conversation.