The best type of influencer...
When we think about "influencers" these days, we're most often pulled straight into the world of social media... just look at all the beautiful blonds in bikinis draped over surfboards, wiling their days away taking selfies on white beaches and super yachts, or sunglass-clad brunettes wearing ever-popular earth toned linen, sipping a Negroni on (uncomfortable) designer furniture with the latest Chanel handbag carefully placed in full view...!
Now that you have some interesting, if somewhat cliched images in mind, let me introduce you to some of the people who have influenced me on my artistic journey thus far....
I've been jealously following Alvaro Castagnet for years. Jealously, because he always finds himself painting in the most stunning locations and has a knack of being able to capture human movement with what seems like a single brushstroke, a skill I think I might be working on until the end of time!
His use of light and dark to give a sense of atmosphere and focal point is second to none and it's this level of skill that has Alvaro** referred to as one of the greatest watercolourists of our time; a model for generations to come.
His masterclass videos and a collection of his books occupy prime position amongst my art materials and I find myself returning to them regularly to find inspiration and improve my technique.
I was very lucky to attend a workshop with Keiko a few years ago organised in Fremantle by the Watercolour society of Western Australia. Over two days I was constantly amazed by Keiko, both by the calm, quietly spoken person she is, but also by the speed of her drawing and painting as well as the delicate detail she is able to capture.
Keiko works very differently to Alvaro, always leaving carefully considered areas of white on her paper to give a sense of light... the results never fail to delight me and I regularly refer back to her style and methods when I feel my paintings are becoming too colour-rich or busy.
Eudes is one of the more recent additions to my influencers list, but certainly not the least influential. I've participated in a number of his live online sessions over the last year or two, even waking up at 2am to ensure I don't miss them!
Eudes has a clean, bright style which I find really refreshing.... lot's of white on the page and just a hint of atmosphere place around his subjects so they don't feel too attached to a specific context or too busy.
** You'll notice I refer to these amazing artists, my influencers, their first names, even though I haven't met them all personally. This is by no means intended with disrespect or too much familiarity, but is reflective of how important they are in my work, study and personal artistic journey.