August is Artist Appreciation Month.
Most of the artists I know list their inspiration sources as either subject matter or style. We often don't consider the other influences available. There are artists who inspire us through their life experiences. Others inspire through their innovation. The primary inspiration for me, though, comes from the originality and depth of artistic thinking. One significant influence in my present work is Hans Hofmann.
Hofmann was a visionary artist and teacher, often described as the leader of the New York School of Abstract-Expressionist Painting: some of his most notable students were Helen Frankenthaler, Larry Rivers, and Louise Nevelson. Those who know my work may be surprised by this. But I see it as an example of how an artistic philosophy is not limited to a specific style of painting.
Movement develops from depth sensation. There are movements into space and movements forward, out of space, both in form and in color. The product of movement and counter movement is tension. When tension - working strength - is expressed, it endows the work of art with the living effect of coordinated, though opposing, forces.
~ excerpt from Search for the Real -Hans Hofmann, edited by Sara T. Weeks and Bartlett H. Hayes, Jr. The M.I.T. Press
The Power of Artistic Diversity
Here are some inspiring artists that have recently crossed my path.
Brandon Kidwell. This Florida photographer describes himself simply as "a husband, father, son brother, friend, part time philosopher and freelance photographer," but his art reaches right to the heart of life.
Jacob Collins: Seceding From The Photographic Sensibility. This fascinating 9-part series from At the Confluence Where Painting & Photography Meet is one of the best discussions I've come across in years regarding the interplay between imagery, philosophy, and the intent of art.
As well as these inspiring artists:
Ann Lofquist, with her evocative landscapes.
Pan Yu-laing,with a truly inspiring life story.
So What About You?
So what about you? Who inspired you in areas of philosophy, resilience, determination, courage, individuality or innovation? Write a blog post about it. Send your links to me and I will post them. Lets get that conversation going!