I am a mostly self taught artist living and working in Alabama. Most of my formal training is of a more graphical nature stemming from my education in landscape design.
I would have to say my grandfather has always been the most important influence in my career as an artist. He taught me to paint when I was very young. I can remember sitting on the porch watching him paint whatever happened to be running around the yard at the time and, of course, my grandmother. I also credit him for my choice of subjects arising from the deep love for nature and animals that he passed on to me.
Realism is what I always strive to achieve. A teacher once told me that if a painting looks like a photo it is average, if it looks like you are looking through a window then it's good, but if it takes you to another place, making you feel like you are right there, THEN it is truly inspired. And for me it doesnt matter what the subject is, it may be a cat begging for you to reach out and stroke his fur or a simple piece of fruit enticing you to tear in to it until your face is sticky with its juice. If it takes you there, Ive done my job.
The only exception to this rule for me is my landscapes, I just dont think God's beauty can be captured, on canvas, on film, in words or otherwise. Ive stood in so many places thinking just that,...looking up and just staring for hours, breathing in the fresh air and wishing I could "capture" its beauty but I know all efforts will be in vain , so I frequently paint landscapes in an impressionistic style, with saturated and altered colors that I hope express the way these places make me feel. Sometimes its just better to paint what you feel rather than what you see.
Media:Oil on Canvas