Inspiration from other artists

This summer has be jam pack full of inspiration for me as an artist. With that said, I wanted to share my feelings on how other artists work can help build a visual vocabulary.

My talk with David Bates is still lingering in my brain. The biggest thing that I took away from the conversation was that the history of other artists and their inspiration could help me find my own groove and style in art. I’m still trying to establish this one-of-a-kind “Matt Kaplinksy” style, but by looking at artists that inspire me, and researching who inspired those artists, is leading me to the right path.

When I look at those who inspire me, David Bates, John Alexander, Matisse, Picasso, and so many more, I learn which brush strokes are right for me to use in my work. Every new piece of art I see is expanding my visual vocabulary. I examine how an artists chooses color and how they can create a cohesive look among all of their pieces. Each element of another artists work can be decomposed into pieces of a puzzle I can try to fit together they way that they did. I can take what they do and apply them to my own art, in my own way.

To see a painting in a museum is very different than seeing a beautiful print of a piece. I can not express the importance of going to museums to see paintings. When I went to the Oklahoma City Museum of Art to see the exhibit “Matisse in his Time”, I realized the importance of having other creatives around you to inspire and challenge your work. Matisse and Picasso are one of the greatest examples of this. Although both men were supremely different in their artistic style and personality, they had a power play to challenge and push each other. It has been said that their relationship was similar to one of those of rivaling siblings.

A quote from Matisse can sum up their relationship pretty well

“We must talk to each other as much as we can. When one of us dies, there will be some things the other will never be able to talk of with anyone else.”

Henri Matisse to Pablo Picasso

To know that two of the greats had such a strong connection, truly shows how ALL artists need inspiration to help push their own ideas further.

I am always trying to further myself to become a better artist. Surrounding myself with other artists, exploring the history of art and attending exhibits is just part of the evolution of who I am.


mpThe Dream of 1940 by Matisse; and right, Femme aux Cheveux Jaunes, by Picasso


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