Most artists are influenced by other – sometimes many other artists, and I am no exception. The list is long, but the following people have influenced my work over the years.
Canada’s Group of Seven
Tom Thompson died before the Group of Seven was formed, yet he contributed greatly to their spirit of adventure and style of painting. Most of his work was done in the field and represents some of the best of Ontario’s wild country which is now Algonquin Park.
Jackson’s work is very distinctive in that he rounds and distorts much of his subject matter. I like it a lot. He painted a lot in Quebec, Ontario, and later British Columbia. He was instrumental in the creation of Canada’s national and provincial parks.
Lawren was heir to the Massey-Harris tractor fortune and was the “father” of the Group of Seven. I particularly like his earlier works, but as his style matured, he moved to a much more abstract way of expressing himself.
“Franz” as he called himself, worked a lot in gouache. He only exhibited with the Group of Seven once, but I still like his work and the media gives it a different look than the others in the group.
Kent was not only an artist, but also a sailor and explorer, often taking his art materials along with him. We were able to visit his museum in Plattsburg, NY a few years back and were able to see many of his larger works up close. He also worked extensively in woodcuts, ink, and had a line of pottery that bore his images.
John Singer Sargent
Frederick W. Remington
Remington’s museum was also a stop on the way to New Hampshire a couple of years ago. It is a tremendous collection of his paintings, illustrations, and bronzes. It’s incredible that late in his career, he piled a bunch of his paintings out on the ice near his island retreat and burned them all. Oh what a loss!
We have been fortunate to see several of Georgia’s paintings in the last few years. Her Kachina paintings at a Phoenix exhibition were really interesting. I hope one day to visit her museum in Santa Fe.
Thomas Hart Benton
Another Missourian! Benton’s murals and paintings are well known for their stylistic approach, recording everyday life in the Midwest.
Charles M. Russell
Charley left his boyhood home of St. Louis at the age of 14 and never looked back. His sketches and paintings were inspired by real events. Most of his work focuses on the plains and intermountain west before it was “civilized.” His work records life as he saw it in the 1880’s – scenes that are largely gone and never to return.
Charles W. Schwartz
Charley was the principle illustrator for the Missouri Conservationist magazine in the 1960’s and ’70’s. He was a master at pencil and ink sketches, and focused on animals native to my home state. His illustrations grace many books, but perhaps most importantly, one edition of A Sand County Almanac. As a kid, he was my favorite artist. My hat is off to him!
E. Martin Hennings
Philip R. Goodwin
…to name just a few.