Here we are on this, the (final hours of the) final day of August, which happens to have been American Artist Appreciation Month. I was asked by fellow illustrator and artist extraordinaire Patience Brewster to join her in writing a blog post about an artist by whom I am inspired. What a fun task!! I was glad to jump on board and participate.

This is one of Patience Brewster’s whimsical illustrations!

You are likely well aware of Patience Brewster, whose whimsical illustrations come to life these days most notably as her line of highly collectable christmas ornaments, andgorgeous greeting cards. Patience and I are both artists living and working in Upstate New York – her studio and business are located in Skaneatlas, not far from me. Just a bit of trivia, Patience and I were also both featured in Jo Packham’s Where Women Create, a richly designed quarterly publication highlighting artists in their creative spaces.

This is not easy for me. I mean, yes, I am very easily inspired! But… by SO MANY amazing artists. It would be impossible for me to list them all.

Inspiration, as defined by Mirriam-Webster, is “a divine influence, action, or power of moving the intellect or emotions”. Inspiration is very real to me, as I experience it often and rely on it to fuel my daily practice of art. I found it interesting that another definition (which I had never heard before!) was, “the drawing in of breath; inhalation.” It’s not surprising, as inspiration is definitely experienced in those moments that take your breath away.

Choosing just one artist, to me, is akin to choosing my favorite child! Or my favorite color! Impossible – I love them ALL! But, for the sake of this challenge, I’ll say that one artist, who inspired me during the early stages of my career, is David Wiesner.  Wiesner is an award-winning author and artist who creates children’s books. His stories are told through realistic illustrations, with minimal use of words.

Wiesner’s book, “Tuesday” is one of my absolute favorites. Luckily, I remembered to bring it with me when I saw him speak in Rochester NY in 1994, and was able to have him sign it for me.

This is one page of Wiesner’s book, “Tuesday”. It is a fabulous representation of his style which really inspires me.

What really drew me into Wiesner’s illustrations were the way he could incorporate so much detail and information into one image, telling many threads of the same story, and still keep composition and balance. Each illustration stands on its own as a beautiful painting, and yet when strung together, the pictures weave an intricate story. I can read – and re-read – each book, noticing more detail each time.

This is another one of my favorite books by Wiesner called, “June 29, 1999”. It’s about one student’s science experiment gone completely haywire, resulting in gigantic mutant vegetables taking over her town!

I feel that Wiesner continues to be an inspiration in my work today, as I strive to keep solid storytelling qualities (like intrigue and humor) in my paintings, whether in murals or oil paintings.

I want to thank Patience for this thought-provoking question! I continue to be inspired by the many people (artists and otherwise) whom I meet, both in person and virtually. I feel blessed to say that, without a doubt, inspiration is one thing that will be ever-abundant in my life!!