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Inspiration and Influences

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

I Thought I'd write about where I find some of the inspiration and influences for my works.

My inspiration comes from varied sources. Most often a line in a song will spark a thought which will then become the starting point of a piece of artwork. Sometimes my stimulation begins after watching a movie, at other times a story I'm told or a piece of writing will be the launching pad from which I begin my works.

As varied as my inspiration is, so to are my influences.

My introduction to art came through my mother's aunt. I grew up with hundreds of drawings and paintings adorning the walls of my family home. My aunt was an artist from Hungary, who emigrated to Australia during the second world war. She was born in Budapest, lived in Paris before living quietly in the leafy eastern suburbs of Melbourne (Australia). Her name was Margit Pogany, and during her time in Paris in the early years of the 20th century she met the Romanian Sculptor Constantin Brancusi, eventually becoming his muse for the next 20 years. It is a connection that I am honoured and humbled to have an association with. Margit has a beautiful drawing style, very simple and refined, I suppose it would be labeled as "Post Impressionist". Her subject matter was of Hungarian peasant life (figurative) and her interpretation of the Australian landscape.

There is also an artistic lineage running from my father's side as well. His uncle was Pietro Scopetta, who was an artist famous in the Campania region of Italy. An Impressionist painter, he was posthumously honoured with an exhibition at the 1920 Venice Biennial (in the year of his death). There is a piazza bearing his name in Amalfi (Italy) as well as numerous artworks in museums and a mural on a wall along the famous coastal road along the Almafi coastline.

Some of the artists who influence my works are also very diverse and were the subject matter of a painting titled "Artist List" (2018), from my "Doodle Series".

"Artist List" (2018)

Acrylic on Board

Private Collection

The influences that these artists have upon my work are sometime very noticeable and at other times more reserved and hidden. Sometimes a combination of artists will have an involvement with the outcome of a particular piece. During my travels around the world, I have been fortunate enough to visit the studio spaces (museums) of many of these artists, and perhaps that is the biggest source of inspiration for me, the spaces where an artist practices their art. I am always drawn to photographs of artists in their studios. I'm really not sure why, perhaps because they are windows into the minds of the artists? Perhaps it is seeing the tools that they used to create their works, and an insight into their working process? Perhaps because they are warm and personal opposed to the sterile environment where their works now lay? Photographs of artists in their studio spaces, have a realness about them, an honesty. Artists sitting, standing, surrounded by their art, smoking, looking, contemplating, sometimes alone, sometimes with fellow artists, just being human. Sometimes the humanity is what is lacking in art, sometimes it is lacking in our daily lives. The best art is the art of being a human.

May 2020

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