Our Favorite Artists

Throughout history, artists are influenced by culture, other artists or creatives, the time period, etc.   We wanted to share about the our favorite artists, artwork and how they influence our process!  Who's your favorite artist?

Leighton Lancaster:

Who’s your favorite artist?   Marc Chagall

What’s your favorite piece?

 "I and the Village" by Marc Chagall

"I and the Village" by Marc Chagall

This work takes my breath away every time I get a chance to view it in the  Museum of Modern Art in New York City. It is large (over six feet tall) and vividly colored with layers of paint. Marc Chagall lived as a Jewish boy during a challenging time at the turn of the century in Russia before moving to Paris to pursue painting and his work often blends his struggles with his happier times later. He married the love of his life and believed that color was the “language of love”. His paintings incorporate bright tones and often dream-like scenes and general invoke a sense of happiness.

How does that influence your own work?

Many artists are remembered as turbulent and narcissistic but not Marc Chagall. I gravitated to his work at a young age because he represented the opposite. Despite challenges in his youth, he persisted and held onto the belief that love conquers all. In my own work, I pull inspiration from his technique and his subject matter. His thin overlapping layers of paint inspired me to play with layers. His subject matter - most often people, places, and things he loved - has inspired me as well and I tend to paint people, places, and things that I feel connected with.

Why is that artist inspiring?

Chagall is inspiring for many reasons but perhaps the number one reason I still adore his work and mission to this day is his steadfast commitment to love and sharing joy. His work is bright, ethereal, and happy. There is no doubt in my mind that when he created his paintings he was attempting to share his inner joy with others or to provide some glimmer of happiness for others.

Emma Bradford:
Who’s your favorite artist?   Paul Klee

What’s your favorite piece? It’s a tie...

 "The Twittering Machine" by Paul Klee

"The Twittering Machine" by Paul Klee

 "Fugue in Red" by Paul Klee

"Fugue in Red" by Paul Klee

These pieces are samples from a couple of the varied styles Paul Klee explored.  “Twittering Machine” is playful and light, though complex with its linear work.  It’s one of those pieces that just makes me smile. “Fugue in Red” is interesting in how he was trying to visually represent music. I am fascinated with how music and visual art influence each other.  The repetition with varying tones here feel calm and create a nice movement. It’s almost as if you could see music notes rippling out physically.  This painting gives the same effect.

How does that influence your own work?

I love patterned backgrounds in my paintings, which blend the line work and repetition.  With portraits, I usually create a patterned “wallpaper” that comments on the subject in some way for me personally.  It's not intended to make sense to others really but it’s a fun way to add something that only I know of in the piece, like a secret purpose.

Why is that artist inspiring?

Paul Klee experimented and transitioned through multiple styles, all of which are enjoyable and simple explorations.  There’s a freedom to just trying and seeing what happens without being too concerned with the final product, at least in the beginning.  I find it inspiring to just get up and create and not put so much weight so that it’s too daunting a task.