We are all influenced by others. As I said in my previous post sometimes this occurs through personal contact, books, videos, movies etc - you get the idea.
I spoke about the influence of John Morris on my art practice. I believe he was the first teacher or mentor I had that really got me thinking more like an artist and less like a copyist. If you paint at all realistically, in the course of your practice you will have copied from either other artists work, or perhaps photos unless you are a plein-air painter, in which case you would have been using nature as your guide directly.
Another person who has contributed a lot to my mindset as an artist is my current mentor, artist Kristine Ballard. I believe that it doesn't matter what stage of my art career I am at, it is always important to have someone to offer an outside perspective on how I'm going. Finding some one to offer a critically unbiased commentary on how my work is progressing is invaluable.
It is through working with Kristine of a period of three years that I have been able to grow into really understanding at a much deeper level, what it really means to be an artist. It is not only the process of making paintings. It is working through the process of what it takes to bring those images into being as they unfold onto the canvas. There is a lot of back story and thinking that goes into each image. Owning being an artist is a lot more difficult than you might think.
It was Kristine who took me back to my childhood on a journey of discovery to find my creative roots. We progressed through a series of works, and played with abstraction as I made some bad paintings along with a few good ones. This journey helped me to realize that I will never be a really abstract painter, but now I understood why.
The school house at Deep Creek