I first came across Pierce Voltaire's pieces in the NC Museum of Art. The french painter travelled around France, and used his keen sense of observation to paint ports, volcanic eruptions, etc. Looking at his painting The Eruption of Mt.Vesuvius, I liked how he captured the naturally bright light illuminating the sky and the citizens who were interrupted from their day-to-day activities. His painting inspired me to create a realistic, detailed painting, that would also use the effects of moonlight to illuminate the scene. My painting also answered the essential question of "What is small?" I wanted to depict a natural scene and let the viewers come to a conclusion on their own, just like Voltaire painted with honest depiction and open-mindedness. The scene in my painting shows a small ship lost at sea, in the midst of harsh powerful waves. The dark night-time sky is illuminated by the moonlight, and the white clouds and thick fog cover the ship's mast. Voltaire's work helped me grow as an artist. He showed me how realism in painting can successfully capture a powerful scene, evoke emotion, and cause the viewer to think. The meaning we often try to convey through our paintings, doesn't have to be forced or painfully obvious, simplicity and honesty can achieve the same results in a better manner.
The other artist I was influenced by was Worth Kellie, who painted The Blue Parallelogram displayed at the NC Museum of Art. The piece was just a geometric shape, painted in a simple blue. To be honest I didn't really like the piece, it was exceedingly plain and boring, and I felt like the artist could have given the project more depth. However, I like how he chose to explore geometry in conjunction with art, and I wanted to explore this through the Teen Inspire project. I drew a triangle, and within that I drew 4 more triangles, and within those ones I drew three more triangle each. This new shape was complex, and I cut out all the negative space with an exacto knife. I painted these empty space
taking the idea further
triangles with a variety of bright colors, like yellow, red, orange, blue, purple and green. The piece came together really well, and I have Mr. Kellie to thank for that. He showed me that while you might not like the content of a piece of art, sometimes the idea behind it is what's more important. When the idea appealed to me, I explored it and let my unique ideas shine through.