Some of my painting influences...

(most of these images do get larger if you click on them and it's worth doing)

Before we begin, I will say that one of my big influences was working and managing a photo lab back east for 8 years, from 1984 to 1992. We did one hour processing and custom professional hand work in color and b&w. It was a great education because I saw so many images and what hit me early on was light. Light is critical. The majority of what I saw were pretty photos...what I call calendar photography. Every once in a while something striking came through. And so...I paid attention.

Over the years I've seen how that shapes my work. Now, onto the painters...

John Singer Sargent
The first artist is one who I've considered my art god since 1994. While doing a painting fellowship in 1995 I had Sargent's images spread out in front of me. I'd paint, stop and study his work, return to the canvas and paint some more to then again stare at his marks.

His color. His light. And I believe he's the master of whites. There is so much color in his whites. It's lush. All of his work is special but this painting made a powerful impact because it was the first time I saw the abstraction in his work. I was taken with the boldness of the red.

Henri Matisse - "Carmelina"
The reason I'm showing this one is because it's the first painting I saw in person that moved me to tears. It was at the MFA in Boston, in the mid-nineties. Even today, I still can't put my finger on why it touched me. It just did.

Emily Eveleth
About that same time, again in Boston, I walked into the Howard Yezerski Gallery and was encompassed by massive donut paintings set in an Italian landscape. I can't find those online, but here is some later work which I enjoy even more. Eveleth's paintings are always in my head.

Her work was the first that I found blatantly sexy in addition to being captivated with the light, the mark and her use of whites. To this day, I use these as my guide for what is erotic in art - Provocative. Imaginative. Visceral. Visual without being boring. Raw.

Treat yourself and click on this first painting.

You can see more of her images here at Her drawings are beautiful as well.

I've always loved this painting mostly for how he paints his bottles. I've seen a few of his simple still lifes and his touch is magical.

Antonio Lopez Garcia
His work is very emotional for me. There's a grace and beauty he can find in the mundane.

Amy Sillman

The second time I've cried while looking at art was when I first saw her work in April 2006. Approaching a gallery in Chelsea I could see her paintings from the windows. Before walking into the space, tears began to fall. My face was wet and I was blown away. Wandering through the rooms, looking at these big, canvases, color and mark was liberated from the surface and permeated the space. In being with them, I felt I had come home. As my friend and I left the gallery, I told him that her paintings were what I would be doing if I was brave enough. He smiled at me and then said "now let's go see some bad art."

Richard Diebenkorn
Isn't this the most beautiful painting of a pair of scissors? You need to click on it to see the brushwork.

A very different Diebenkorn but it too moves me.

Nathan Oliveira

In the last 6 months I've been studying his work quite a bit. I'm jealous that he can allow big spaces of color. When I attempt that, I feel naked. One day, I'll do it. Also, yesterday I realized that Oliveira's work reminds me of Giacometti's drawings and paintings. Alberto Giacometti was my second art god while I was in school.

And here are others:

Timothy Harney
Jim Dine
Robert Motherwell
David Parks
Franz Kline
Sigmund Abeles
Edwin Dickinson
Jenny Saville