Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Artist Appreciation Month

Black Lab Lending Light Figure
by Patience Brewster

I was recently made aware that August is Artist Appreciation Month and am celebrating this month along with other artists including Patience Brewster, by sharing the names of artists who have influenced my work.  If you are not familiar with Patience Brewster's art, you should definitely visit her site.  I own a few of her Christmas ornaments and they are delightful, whimsical, detailed figures --  it's like meeting up with old friends every year as I unwrap each ornament to hang on the tree.  

"Demitasse with Pear" - watercolor - 21" x 28"
by Marla Greenfield

Of course I studied my art history in college and was completely in awe of the masters and their genius.  Specific artists whose work I was enamored with are:  Jan Vermeer (LOVED my "Dutch and Flemish Painting" class with Professor Upton) . . . and Vermeer's beautifully rendered, serene interiors . . . Andrew Wyeth (of course! That palette, the emotional depth, need I even say more?) . . . Winslow Homer (those moody New England seascapes and sparkling Carribean paintings), Thomas Eakins (his delicate handling of watercolor) and Edward Hopper (watercolor architecture, those compositions . . . yummy!)

A few years ago, I took a watercolor class with Marla Greenfield and at the risk of sounding overly dramatic, she changed my life.  Her approach to rendering light made a huge impression on me - she is a wonderful instructor, please view her work, you won't be disappointed.

In addition to Marla, there are many contemporary artists whose work has inspired me in various ways as well -- and they're permanently listed to the left of this post.

"Toledo House II" - graphite on paper mounted on panel - 12" x 16"
by Charles Kanwischer

Lastly, I wouldn't be where I am today without my early art teachers including Ms. Bullock and Mrs. Hutchinson - who instilled a love of art in me from early on . . . and my art professors at Amherst College: Charles Kanwischer, Robert Sweeney and Carl Schmalz.  Prof. Schmalz was a successful watercolorist and unfortunately passed away before I got the chance to thank him and share my current work with him.  He was a dear, dear man. Robert Sweeney is an oil painter and is the person who taught me the importance of value underpaintings and studies (not to mention my love for still life) that have influenced my current work greatly and Charlie Kanwischer taught me printmaking: a love, excitement and appreciation for, I still have.  Charlie's brilliant work in value is awe-inspiring and I think of him every time I draw.

"Roman Still Life" - oil painting - 32" x 36"
by Robert Sweeney

I am constantly humbled by the genius of my contemporaries and those who've come before and am happy to take this opportunity to thank them for continuing to challenge me to become a better painter.

Thank you for reading my post and have a great day!


  1. What a treat to read your post today! Really great work you shared! I am going to check out your inspirations more in depth! I see how they have inspired your work! You are so gifted Kara!

  2. I really enjoyed reading about your personal list f artists who have inspired you. I really enjoyed checking up on artists I didn't know and they are magnificent. You have stayed true to your roots.


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