Who Inspires Me...

Along my journey of reinventing myself as an artist, I researched a shit-ton (that's a lot) of artists. I still do, on a daily basis. There are examples and works from other artists through history that are just mind-boggling. Matisse, Pollock, Cézanne, Manet, Goya, Willem de Kooning, Munch. The list really could go on forever.


There are, though, a few modern day artists that leave me just floored in awe of their work. And given the opportunity, I would love to spend even a few moments with them to pick their brains, and watch them execute in their respective studios. These artists aren't the only ones that appeal to me, provide inspiration. They're just the ones that create an emotional response when I see their work. Wanna know who they are? Tough, It's my blog, I'm gonna tell you anyway.


First, and possibly one of North Carolinas best artists, is Jonas Gerard. He produces magical pieces of art that are abundant with light and energy. He is intuitive in his approach to creating, allowing his creativity to be influenced by music as he paints. I've not yet, but certainly plan on, visiting his studio in Asheville, NC, to sit in on one of his live painting sessions, where he creates his beautiful paintings in front of an eager and rapt audience. Why Mr. Gerard's work is so inspirational for me is simple, he lets go, and allows creating to just happen. An aspect of creation that I like to think we share.




The second most influential artist for me is Ed (still not 100% sure what his last name is.), but he goes by the moniker "Swarez", a nickname that stuck with him from years past. Anyway, Ed is an absolutely amazing artist. Innovative, bold, meticulous, and most of all generous. Generous in the sense that he willingly (and, brilliantly) shares his experiences and insights through videos he posts to social media and YouTube. I've learned so much, and gotten so much inspiration from Ed, that I refer to his site daily. If he didn't live in Gloucestershire, England, I would be at his doorstep.




The third, and newest influential artist I follow regularly is another very talented artist from Chicago. I first discovered him on TikTok (of all places), and was stupefied by his talent and presence. His energy, his willingness to share his knowledge and experience, as well as his desire to lift up other artists selflessly is so amazing. Sergio Gomez, aside from being a phenomenal artist, is genuinely an equally phenomenal human being. Where other artists of his calibre may hold their trade secrets close-to-the-vest, Sergio openly shares ALL of his in hopes of inspiring, and helping other artists succeed. He, like the previous artists mentioned, started his journey as an artist later in life (like yours truly).




Lastly, my absolute favorite. Brian Rutenberg is an artist of extraordinary vision, skill, and abundant talent. Originally from Myrtle Beach, SC, Brian attended the College of Charleston where he learned his craft. Now, Brian resides in New York with his family, and produces simply the most amazing abstract landscapes you will ever lay eyes on. Every friggin' example of his finished work just screams to me. His use of color, his palette, his composition, his ability to capture light, his EVERYTHING!!! This man is my artistic hero. I wholeheartedly love his entire body of work, and will have the opportunity (hopefully) to meet him at an upcoming show in Charlotte, NC, in April of this year. If Brian ever reads this (which, for me, would be the closest thing to meeting Elvis) I would just like for you to know that your distant influence on my life changed it...for the better.




So, that's where I gain some inspiration. If you've got an artist where you feel a spark when seeing their work, share it with me! I'd genuinely love to see what creates the same sort of admiration I experience.