Christoper Volpe just commented on my last post and asked me who my top 4 artists where. I don't believe I have clearly mentioned them before, so here they are with a bonus of one extra, making it my top 5. They are in no particular order since that depends on my mood and day.
Richard Schmid is the living master. He has been able to absorb almost all of what past art and artists have taught us, and been able to tie it into his own personal style and ideas. I feel his life and painting has set the course and standard for art today and has not only started the revival of representational painting, but also the rise of alla prima and plein air. The day I picked up his book Alla Prima as a freshman in art school was the day I fell in love with painting. I knew then that I wanted to become not just a designer or illustrator, but an artist, and that I would spend anywhere from minutes to hours of each day thinking about or creating paintings for the rest of my life.
Anders Zorn was the contemporary painter of the past. His brushwork, naturalist touches, and everyday beauty makes him just as relevant today as he way back then. I hope that every one of my paintings could have skin tones like his, and could convey the beauty of a person and their surroundings, no matter who the model.
Jeremy Lipking's work echoes the painters of the nineteenth century with his own additions of "wet," long brushstrokes, transparency and luminosity, and moody and deliberate color relationships. If I was asked which contemporary artist in a hundred years would garner the best museum locations and reach the highest prices at auction, Jeremy would be my guess.
John Singer Sargent: Whether a sketch book drawing, watercolor, mural, or oil painting, Sargent holds the place as the greatest artist in the history of man kind. I know all artists and collectors may not hold the same opinion, but chances are, he is still a favorite of theirs. Skill and brushwork are the usual reasons (anyone who can use large, bravado strokes to create an entire arm or pleat of a dress, and sculpt a face with no more that 20 strokes is a genius and master in my book), but another reason is the reality and mood that he brought to his paintings. The various works of Venice and especially his paintings of bead stringers where the first paintings that made a real mark on me as a high-schooler and got me interested in art.
Quang Ho is a modern day impressionist that holds the ability of creating amazing paintings out of what seems to be random strokes and blotches of color. His paintings are at the top of my list to someday see in person and hopefully even purchase one for my own collection. I secretly have the desire to paint like this, to be able to develop enough skill and technique that I can place the right stroke, in the right place, with the right color and value, combining just enough of them to create a realistic and breathtaking piece of art.
Other artists I adore:
John White Alexander
William Merritt Chase
The list could go on and on, but I've blown enough time as it is, and all this looking at paintings is getting me all excited to paint. Who are some of your favorites?