All artists have a source of inspiration for their works. Four artists that have inspired me are Norman Rockwell, Fred Hatt, Claude Monet, and Tracy Turner. In the fifth grade, I was introduced by my former art teacher to the work of Norman Rockwell. Rockwell was born in New York City in 1894, and knew by the age of fourteen that he wanted to be an artist. He went on to create covers for The Saturday Evening Post for 47 years. His pieces depicted images of people throughout hard times in history, such as famous court case Brown vs. Board of Education. He was able to entice people with his detailed expressions. I fell in love with those colors and expressions he implemented into his paintings. “Though Rockwell is often regarded for paintings that addressed serious issues occurring at the moment of their creation, a great deal of Rockwell’s oeuvre is reflective of his sense of humor and natural playfulness” (Art). This realistic style in combination with exaggerated emotions really draws the audience in and brings light to difficult situations. When planning my artwork, I too, would like for my pieces to look like I had fun while creating them. I want my audience to be drawn in and for my art to transport them to another time in their life where they can reminisce. I also strive for my expressions to be clear and enticing in my portraits. I hope to continue to grow as an artist as well so that I can implement as much detail as Rockwell did.
Another inspiration for my portraiture is Fred Hatt. “Born in 1958, Fred Hatt is an artist working in figurative drawing and painting, body art, and performance, exploring light, movement, energy, and the emergence of beauty from chaos” (Hatt). Although he is more of a colored pencil artist, his use of color and movement in the faces he draws is absolutely exquisite. He juxtaposes cool and warm colors together with line work to create the contours of the face. The use of colors creates so much more dimension in the skin tones than if he had simply used a fleshy tone. These bright colors really capture the expressions and undertones of color in the skin. Because the photo references I use for my portraits are taken with normal colored skin tones, looking at Hatt’s work helps me to see how I can implement complementary and analogous colors to provide undertones in the skin, which really brightens up the composition.
As for my landscapes, my first inspiration is Claude Monet. Monet was born November 14, 1840, in Paris, France. His work dealt more with light and form, rather than realism. Because of this, his work gave a title to the art movement called “impressionism.” I have always grown up seeing and hearing about Monet’s landscape pieces, but it wasn’t until I had the unique experience to travel to France and visit his house and gardens that I truly had an appreciation for them. Seeing the water lily gardens and beautiful flowers that were stretched across his entire property showed me how an artist can take his surroundings and create something beautiful. "For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life - the light and the air which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value (Monet)." Even though he saw those flowers every single day, he never became bored of them, and continued to construct the most beautiful artwork. His paintings are about the feelings and emotions he felt while immersing himself within the nature instead of just painting his exact view of his surroundings. His light and airy brush strokes highlight the impressionistic view he had on the world. This is my goal with my own landscapes. Where others may see a simple sunset, I see so much more. Combining my emotions in that moment with my surroundings gives me the opportunity to incorporate brilliant colors and a tremendous amount of movement.
My final inspiration for my landscape paintings is Tracy Turner. She grew up in the western part of the country, which inspired her use of vibrant colors and surrealistic movement. She reflects her appreciation for the beautiful landscapes around her into the pieces she creates. Her use of nontraditional colors for highlights and shadows has inspired me to emphasize color in my artwork. I really admire her ability to capture the charm of the land formations, while still keeping some detail. I actually had the opportunity to view her work in person while in New Mexico, and it took my breath away. I wish to use my senior mastery as a platform to delve much more into the elegance of color.