Who has influenced my art

Artistically, I am inspired by a broad range of artists, cartoonists, and writers. Here’s a short list of some I am particularly indebted to….

Ray Bradbury (author).
Ray taught me two things. First was his ability to create scenes of vivid intensity and imagination, that feel grounded and real. Second is his work ethic. How he wrote every day, knowing that the only way to get to the best stories he was capable of, was to burn through all of the bad ones.

Charles Schulz (cartoonist).
Charles Schulz had the ability to create emotion, depth, and resonance with a few simple strokes of his pen. I have read and re-read each of his cartoons, countless time, and am still amazed at their depth. More than any fine artist, his art has had a deep and personal impact on my life.

Norton Juster (author, teacher)
His novel The Phantom Tollbooth changed how I though about knowledge, about art, and about how to live. I was lucky enough to take a class with him in college (in architecture, his profession), and eventually built up the courage to thank him in person.

Douglas Adams (author).
Simply put, the Hitchhikers Guide “trilogy” is my favorite work of art. How was he able to distill the essence and absurdity of the human condition into a set of stories about bad poetry, impossible dinners, and the inner thoughts of a plummeting whale. Silly. Ridiculous. And damm it, perfect.

Alexander Calder (sculptor).
I love how Calder is able to create art that combines whimsy, technical brilliance… and simple joy. And there’s that story of how Calder showed up for a solo exhibit with no art. When asked where his art was, Calder pulled out a spool of wire and pliers, and proceeded to create the entire exhibit from scratch.

Marcel Duchamp (crazy genius).
Ah, the wit and insanity of Marcel Duchamp! That was a guy who knew how to have fun with art. Art can be so pretentious, and his work never fails to make me laugh and remember the sensory pleasure that art should always be.

Georgia O’Keeffe (painter).
The first time I had seen Georgia O’Keeffe’s lesser-known abstract work, I was blown away. Without directly realizing it, I have absorbed most of my knowledge of color, shape, and form from her. I am in awe of her vision.

Haruki Murakami (author).
Haruki Murakami has the ability to create entire worlds that are breathtaking and heartbreaking in their originality, yet still feel intimately familiar. His realities are deceptively simple, elegant creations, with massive geologic flaws running straight through them.

Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison (photographers).
I was simply blown away when I first saw their work at the Eastman House. They showed me what a photograph could achieve in the telling of a story or capturing of a mood.

Ted Orland (photographer).
I had the pleasure of being in the same galley as Ted for a short time. I love the simple expression of mood and place he expresses in his work. And his books on life as an artist (such as Art and Fear) are clear, honest, and inspirational.

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