Artistic Influences

departure oil on paper ChrisCarterArtist 2004 900

Artistic Influences:

The following is a list I created on February 2, 2016 in preparation for a radio interview.  It was the first interview during which I was not asked what artists influenced my work!  The list, however, turned out to be full of surprises.  Most of the artists who influenced my work have been sculptors and photographers working in black & white.  I will continue to add to the list, unveiling (for myself) the images that steal my breath and excite my senses.

There is no intended order to the following list:


Aubrey Beardsley

Aubrey Vincent Beardsley was an English illustrator and author. His drawings in black ink, influenced by the style of Japanese woodcuts, emphasized the grotesque, the decadent, and the erotic. Wikipedia

Born: August 21, 1872, Brighton, United Kingdom  Died: March 16, 1898, Menton, France

Siblings: Mabel Beardsley  Parents: Vincent Paul Beardsley, Ellen Agnus Pitt

Periods: Aestheticism, Art Nouveau

Died at the age 25.

Maria Helena Vieira da Silva

Maria Helena Vieira da Silva was a Portuguese-French abstractionist painter. Wikipedia

Born: June 13, 1908, Lisbon, Portugal  Died: March 6, 1992, Paris, France

Artwork: La gare inondée (The Flooded Station), More

Died at the age 83.

Arshile Gorky

Arshile Gorky was an Armenian born American painter, who had a seminal influence on Abstract Expressionism. He spent most his life as a national of the United States. Wikipedia

Born: April 15, 1904, Van Vilayet   Died: July 21, 1948, Sherman, CT

Spouse: Agnes Magruder (m. 1941–1948)

Education: National Academy Museum and School

Children: Maro Gorky, Natasha Gorky

Died at age 44

Egon Schiele

Egon Schiele was an Austrian painter. A protégé of Gustav Klimt, Schiele was a major figurative painter of the early 20th century. Wikipedia

Born: June 12, 1890, Tulln an der Donau, Austria    Died: October 31, 1918, Vienna, Austria

Spouse: Edith Harms (m. 1915–1918)

Siblings: Gertrude Schiele    Parents: Marie Schiele, Adolph Schiele

Died at age 28.

Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt was an Austrian symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. Klimt is noted for his paintings, murals, sketches, and other objets d’art. Wikipedia

Born: July 14, 1862, Baumgarten, Vienna, Austria     Died: February 6, 1918, Vienna, Austria

Fields: Painting

Periods: Symbolism, Modern art, Vienna Secession, Art Nouveau

Series: Stoclet Frieze, Klimt University of Vienna Ceiling Paintings

Died at age 55.

Édouard Vuillard


Jean-Édouard Vuillard was a French painter and printmaker associated with the Nabis. Wikipedia

Born: November 11, 1868, Cuiseaux, France     Died: June 21, 1940, La Baule-Escoublac, France

Education: Lycée Condorcet, Académie Julian

Periods: Modern art, Les Nabis

Known for: Painting, Printmaking

Died at age 72.

Trina Schart Hyman

Trina Schart Hyman was an American illustrator of children’s books. She illustrated over 150 books, including fairy tales and Arthurian legends. Wikipedia

Born: April 8, 1939, Philadelphia, PA     Died: November 19, 2004

Education: Konstfack, University of the Arts

Awards: Caldecott Medal, Golden Kite Award for Picture Book Text

Died at age 65.

Charles Mikolaycak

Artist and Designer Of Children’s Books


Charles Mikolaycak, an illustrator of children’s books and a book designer, died on Wednesday at his home in Manhattan. 

His wife, Carole Kismaric, said the cause was cancer.

In his 30-year career, Mr. Mikolaycak illustrated more than 60 books for children and hundreds of book jackets. His illustrations, often inspired by his Polish and Ukrainian heritage, were widely acclaimed for their rich color and evocative design. One of his most popular books is “The Man Who Could Call Down Owls” (Macmillan, 1984), by Eve Bunting, with his dramatic pencil drawings of the powerful, mysterious birds.

Died at age 56.

Morris Louis

Morris Louis, born Morris Louis Bernstein, was an American painter. During the 1950s he became one of the earliest exponents of Color Field painting. Wikipedia

Born: November 28, 1912, Baltimore, MD     Died: September 7, 1962, Washington, D.C.

Education: Maryland Institute College of Art

Artwork: Tet, Alpha-Pi, Beta Lambda, Ambi I, Russet, Drawing [D88], More

Influenced by: Helen Frankenthaler, Jackson Pollock, Clement Greenberg

Periods: Hard-edge painting, Washington Color School, More

Died at age 49.

Lisbeth Zwerger

Lisbeth Zwerger is an Austrian illustrator of children’s books. For her “lasting contribution to children’s literature” she received the international Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 1990. Zwerger was born in Vienna in 1954. Wikipedia

Born: May 26, 1954 (age 61), Vienna, Austria

Education: University of Applied Arts Vienna

Books: The art of Lisbeth Zwerger, Wizard of Oz Notecard Pack, Mia christugenniatikē historia

Awards: Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration

Nominations: Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko, born Markus Yakovlevich Rotkovich, was an American painter of Russian Jewish descent. Although Rothko himself refused to adhere to any art movement, he is generally identified as an Abstract Expressionist. Wikipedia

Born: September 25, 1903, Daugavpils, Latvia     Died: February 25, 1970, New York City, NY

Structures: Rothko Chapel

Periods: Color Field, Modern art, Abstract expressionism

Influenced by: Edward Hopper, Friedrich Nietzsche, Milton Avery, John D. Graham

Died at age 66.

Waylande Gregory

Waylande Desantis Gregory was one of the most innovative and prolific American art-deco ceramics sculptors of the early 20th century. Wikipedia

Born: 1905, Baxter Springs, KS     Died: 1971, New Jersey

Education: Kansas City Art Institute

Died at age 66.

Adolf Konrad

Konrad (1915-2004). Dubbed the “Painter Laureate of Newark”, Adolf Konrad was born in Bremen, Germany. Konrad’s early training was received in …

Died at age 89.

Joaquín Sorolla

Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida was a Spanish painter. Sorolla excelled in the painting of portraits, landscapes, and monumental works of social and historical themes. Wikipedia

Born: February 27, 1863, Valencia, Spain     Died: August 10, 1923, Madrid, Spain

Periods: Luminism, Impressionism

Children: Joaquín, Elena, Maria

Parents: Concepción Bastida, Joaquin Sorolla

Died at age 60.

Anders Zorn

Anders Leonard Zorn was one of Sweden’s foremost artists. He obtained international success as a painter, sculptor and etcher. Wikipedia

Born: February 18, 1860, Mora, Sweden     Died: August 22, 1920, Stockholm, Sweden

Spouse: Emma Zorn (m. 1885–1920)

Education: Royal Academy of Arts

Artwork: Summer Fun, Queen Sophia, A premiere, More

Parents: Grudd Anna Andersdotter, Johann Leonard Zorn

Died at age 60.

Vincent van Gogh

Vincent Willem van Gogh was a Dutch post-Impressionist painter whose work had far-reaching influence on 20th-century art. Wikipedia

Born: March 30, 1853, Zundert, Netherlands     Died: July 29, 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise, France

Influenced: Pablo Picasso, Edvard Munch, Henri Matisse, More

Influenced by: Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Rembrandt, More

Died at age 37.

Maurice Prendergast

Maurice Brazil Prendergast was an American Post-Impressionist artist who worked in oil, watercolor, and monotype. Wikipedia

Born: October 10, 1858, St. John’s, Canada

Died: February 1, 1924, New York City, NY

Period: Impressionism

Artwork: Central Park, More

Education: Académie Colarossi, Académie Julian

Known for: Post-Impressionism, Painting

Died at age 65.

Georges Seurat

Georges-Pierre Seurat was a French post-Impressionist painter and draftsman. He is noted for his innovative use of drawing media and for devising the painting techniques known as chromoluminarism and pointillism. Wikipedia

Born: December 2, 1859, Paris, France     Died: March 29, 1891, Paris, France

Education: École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts

Periods: Pointillism, Divisionism, Post-Impressionism, Modern art, Neo-impressionism

Children: Pierre Georges

Died at age 31.

Alexander Calder


Alexander Calder was an American sculptor known as the originator of the mobile, a type of moving sculpture made with delicately balanced or suspended shapes that move in response to touch or air currents. Wikipedia

Born: August 22, 1898, Lawnton, Swatara Township, PA     Died: November 11, 1976, New York

Periods: Surrealism, Section d’Or, Kinetic art, Modern art

Education: Art Students League of New York (1923–1926), More


To an engineer, good enough means perfect. With an artist, there’s no such thing as perfect.

The underlying sense of form in my work has been the system of the Universe, or part thereof. For that is a rather large model to work from.

My fan mail is enormous. Everyone is under six.

Died at age 78.

Auguste Rodin

François Auguste René Rodin, known as Auguste Rodin, was a French sculptor. Although Rodin is generally considered the progenitor of modern sculpture, he did not set out to rebel against the past. Wikipedia

Born: November 12, 1840, Paris, France     Died: November 17, 1917, Meudon, France

Parents: Jean-Baptiste Rodin, Marie Cheffer

Periods: Impressionism, Modern art


Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.

The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must be ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation.

To the artist there is never anything ugly in nature.

Died at age 67.

Alberto Giacometti

Alberto Giacometti was a Swiss sculptor, painter, draughtsman and printmaker. He was born in the canton Graubünden’s southerly alpine valley Val Bregaglia, as the eldest of four children to Giovanni … Wikipedia

Born: October 10, 1901, Borgonovo, Switzerland     Died: January 11, 1966, Chur, Switzerland

Nationality: Swiss

Influenced by: Joan Miró, Auguste Rodin, Jean-Paul Sartre, Samuel Beckett


I’ve been fifty thousand times to the Louvre. I have copied everything in drawing, trying to understand.

Artistically I am still a child with a whole life ahead of me to discover and create. I want something, but I won’t know what it is until I succeed in doing it.

I paint and sculpt to get a grip on reality… to protect myself.

Died at age 64.

Steve Mumford

Steve Mumford is a contemporary American painter. His practice has recently included the depiction of scenes from the ongoing American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Typically he works in large, realist oil paintings, as well as watercolor on paper. Wikipedia

Born: 1960

Parents: David Mumford

Books: Baghdad Journal: An Artist in Occupied Iraq

M. C. Escher

Maurits Cornelis Escher was a Dutch graphic artist who made mathematically inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints. Wikipedia

Born: June 17, 1898, Leeuwarden, Netherlands     Died: March 27, 1972, Laren, North Holland, Netherlands

Full name: Maurits Cornelis Escher

Period: Modern art


My work is a game, a very serious game.

Are you really sure that a floor can’t also be a ceiling?

We adore chaos because we love to produce order.

Died at age 73.

Friedensreich Hundertwasser

Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser was an Austrian artist and architect who worked also in the field of environmental protection. Wikipedia

Born: December 15, 1928, Vienna, Austria     Died: February 19, 2000, Pacific Ocean

Structures: Hundertwasserhaus, Waldspirale, KunstHausWien, Kuchlbauer Tower

Spouse: Yuko Ikewada (m. 1962–1966), Herta Leitner (m. 1958–1960)

Children: Heidi Trimmel

Died at age 71.

Alphonse Mucha

Alfons Maria Mucha, often known in English and French as Alphonse Mucha, was a Czech Art Nouveau painter and decorative artist, known best for his distinct style. He produced many paintings, illustrations, advertisements, postcards, and designs. Wikipedia

Born: July 24, 1860, Ivančice, Czech Republic     Died: July 14, 1939, Prague, Czech Republic

Spouse: Maruška Chytilová (m. 1906)

Periods: Modern art, Art Nouveau

Parents: Amalie Mala, Andreas Mucha

Died at age 68.

John La Farge

John La Farge was an American painter, muralist, stained glass window maker, decorator, and writer. Wikipedia

Born: March 31, 1835, New York City, NY     Died: November 14, 1910, Providence, RI

Artwork: Double Study of Dawn, Moorea Seen across the Water, Tahiti, More

Children: Christopher Grant La Farge, Christopher Grant LaFarge

Education: Fordham University, Mount St. Mary’s University

Grandchildren: Oliver La Farge

Died at age 75.

R. Brownell. McGrew

77, Artist Who Captured Lives of Two Tribes

Born 1917    Died 1994


TUCSON, Ariz., June 22— R. Brownell McGrew, a photographer and artist who traveled the back roads of the Hopi and Navajo reservations of the Southwest for 30 years, leaving a unique portrait of tribal life, died on Friday at his home in Tucson. 

Died at age 77.

N. C. Wyeth

Newell Convers Wyeth, known as N. C. Wyeth, was an American artist and illustrator. He was the pupil of artist Howard Pyle and became one of America’s greatest illustrators. Wikipedia

Born: October 22, 1882, Needham, MA     Died: October 19, 1945, Chadds Ford, PA

Spouse: Carolyn Bockius Wyeth (m. 1908–1945)

Artwork: Bronco Buster, More

Children: Andrew Wyeth, Henriette Wyeth, Carolyn Wyeth, Nathaniel Wyeth, Ann Wyeth McCoy

Grandchildren: Jamie Wyeth, Howard Wyeth, John Wyeth, More

Died at age 57.

Henri Matisse

Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse was a French artist, known for both his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter. Wikipedia

Born: December 31, 1869, Le Cateau-Cambrésis, France     Died: November 3, 1954, Nice, France

Influenced by: Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Edvard Munch, Paul Signac, John Peter Russell

Periods: Impressionism, Modernism, Modern art, Fauvism, Neo-impressionism


There are always flowers for those who want to see them.

What I dream of is an art of balance.

Impressionism is the newspaper of the soul.

Died at age 84.

Rosa Bonheur

Rosa Bonheur, born Marie-Rosalie Bonheur, was a French animalière, realist artist, and sculptor. As a painter she became famous primarily for two chief works: Ploughing in the Nivernais, which was first … Wikipedia

Born: March 16, 1822, Bordeaux, France     Died: May 25, 1899, Thomery, France

Period: Realism

Artwork: The Horse Fair, Ploughing in the Nivernais, More

Siblings: Isidore Bonheur

Parents: Sophie Bonheur, Oscar-Raymond Bonheur

Died at age 77.

Wayne Thiebaud

Wayne Thiebaud is an American painter widely known for his colorful works depicting commonplace objects—pies, lipsticks, paint cans, ice cream cones, pastries, and hot dogs—as well as for his landscapes and figure paintings. Wikipedia

Born: November 15, 1920 (age 95), Mesa, AZ

Nationality: American

Awards: National Medal of Arts (1994)

Artwork: Display Cakes, Flatland River, Sunset Streets, More

Periods: Nouveau réalisme, Modern art, Bay Area Figurative Movement, Pop art

Education: California State University, Sacramento (1952), More

Richard Diebenkorn

Richard Diebenkorn was an American painter. His early work is associated with abstract expressionism and the Bay Area Figurative Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. His later work were instrumental to his achievement of worldwide acclaim. Wikipedia

Born: April 22, 1922, Portland, OR     Died: March 30, 1993, Berkeley, CA

Known for: Painting

Education: Lowell High School (1939), University of California, Berkeley, San Francisco Art Institute, Stanford University

Periods: Lyrical abstraction, Color Field, Modern art, Bay Area Figurative Movement, Abstract expressionism

Died at age 70.

Ansel Adams


Ansel Easton Adams was an American photographer and environmentalist. His black-and-white landscape photographs of the American West, especially Yosemite National Park, have been widely reproduced on calendars, posters, and books. Wikipedia

Born: February 20, 1902, Western Addition, San Francisco, CA     Died: April 22, 1984, Monterey, CA

Education: Yale University, Harvard University

Awards: Presidential Medal of Freedom, Hasselblad Award, More


You don’t take a photograph, you make it.

When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.

There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.

Died at age 82.

Elliott Erwitt

Photographer ·

Elliott Erwitt is an advertising and documentary photographer known for his black and white candid shots of ironic and absurd situations within everyday settings— a master of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s “decisive moment”. Wikipedia

Born: July 26, 1928 (age 87), Paris, France

Spouse: Susan Ringo (m. 1977–1984), Diana Dann (m. 1968–1975), Lucienne Van Kan (m. 1953–1960)

Education: Los Angeles City College, Hollywood High School, The New School

Movies: Beauty Knows No Pain, Arthur Penn – The Director

Children: Amelia A. Erwitt, Ellen Erwitt, Misha Erwitt, Jennifer Erwitt

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson was a French photographer considered the master of candid photography, and an early user of 35 mm film. Wikipedia

Born: August 22, 1908, Chanteloup-en-Brie, France     Died: August 3, 2004, Montjustin, France

Books: The Mind’s Eye: Writings on Photography and Photographers

Artwork: Tours de Notre Dame (Towers of Notre Dame)

Awards: Hasselblad Award


To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event.

Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.

The photograph itself doesn’t interest me. I want only to capture a minute part of reality.

Died at age 96.

Jacques Henri Lartigue

Jacques Henri Lartigue was a French photographer and painter, known for his photographs of automobile races, planes and Parisian fashion female models. Wikipedia

Born: June 13, 1894, Courbevoie, France     Died: September 12, 1986, Nice, France

Education: Académie Julian

Books: Diary of a century, Lartigue: Photographs, 1970-1982, More

Artwork: Renée Perle, Portrait with Kiss Curls, More

Movies: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Ginger and Fred

Spouse: Florette Orméa (m. 1945–1986), Madeleine “Bibi” Messager (m. 1919–1931)

Died at age 90.

Emmet Gowin

Emmet Gowin is an American photographer. He first gained attention in the 1970s with his intimate portraits of his wife, Edith, and her family. Wikipedia

Born: December 22, 1941 (age 74), Danville, VA

Artwork: Edith, Danville, Virginia, More

Education: Rhode Island School of Design (1967), Virginia Commonwealth University (1965)

Awards: Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts, US & Canada

“In the exercise of trying to say the old thing fresh again, every week or every year, you learn,” he said. “Pure and simple. You keep coming back to the problem, and you keep touching it and caressing it, and thinking about it, and in a way loving it. You love the problem.”

It’s not that different from the constant reinvention required of an artist. Mr. Gowin mentioned a suggestion he had received from his friend Frederick Sommer that as we age, we ought to read difficult books that push us out of our comfort zones, even if we don’t understand them. Growth requires active engagement, he has learned. The well-lived life comes down to a willingness to explore, to push further into the unknown, and a desire to seek answers to perhaps unanswerable questions.

“You’re always working at the margin of what you don’t understand,” Mr. Gowin concluded. “That’s the only exhilarating place to be. To just illustrate what you already know is condescending, and a waste of your time.”

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