Who and What Influences your work.
The July theme for the Etsymetal Team Blog Carnival* is "influences on your work, with examples".
It is said in art, that we are all standing on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. This is certainly true, for there is virtually no one that can claim to have not been influenced by someone or something in the progression of their art. The popular notion is that an artist sees another’s work and then goes off and tries to emulate it. This is rarely the case. Influences are much more oblique and subtle than that. Influences come from many directions and sources over a lifetime. Some influences are immediate and direct like a punch in the nose. Something stops you dead in your tracks, and you know it will haunt you till you find a way to express it in your art somehow. Other influences take years to develop, appreciate and find a voice for. These can be an experience from childhood or a philosophical point of view.
Most artists are sensitive to other art forms and their environment and are often influenced by them. We see influences in our own work of our musical tastes and political views. These influences don’t necessarily take center stage, but they are there nonetheless, and tell part of the story of “why did you do that”. In that sense, influences are an elaborate “connect the dots” trail of thought and emotions that result in a particular artistic expression.
Here are some of the dots that connect our work:
Stainless steel, brass, color on metal.
Influences: Old botanical manuscripts and Caravagio.
Corliss was apprenticed as a floral designer at a very early age. This has had a deep life-long influence in her artistic voice. John virtually grew up in an art museum and thus had extensive contact with classical painting and sculpture from an early age. Classicism has been a recurring thematic device in 2Roses work whether expressed literally or abstractly.
|A botanical manuscript circa 1500 by Pietro Andrea Mattioli|
|Bachus by Carravagio. Side Note: John was expelled from the high school art club over a dispute about Carravagio. Fuck you Shell Fishburne, Carravagio was an influence and still is. There, we feel better now.|
Circuit board, sterling silver
Influences: The Jestsons animated tv show. Like most children of our generation, we spent countless hour watching, and being influenced by television. What started out as a simplistic situational comedy view of the future soon blossomed into a heavy interest in futurism and science fiction. Frank Frazetta made our eyes water with his virtuoso painterly technique, but Syd Mead really blew our minds. This was industrial design done with a narrative.
Vaquero Concho Earrings
Nickel, sterling silver
Influences: Armor and early Western Tack.
We were introduced to engraving early on through interaction with antique edged weapons and armor. This has manifested itself by getting sidetracked into knife making, but in recent years we've finally come back to focusing on engraving.
|California Style vaquero tack|
|Spurs with Spanish style rowls|
Hurt Yourself Earrings
Influences: Robert Williams iconoclastic style and artistic "piss on your shoes" attitude puts him in the vanguard of artists you love or hate. There seems to be no middle ground, and Robert would have it no other way. We happen to love him. We also love New Zealand art forms, Moko in particular.
|Robert Williams, Empire hanging by a stretch|
Ghost of the Red Fort
Sterling Silver, bone
Influences: Islamic and Indian art. The rich classical tradition of Eastern pattern and textural decoration has been a great influence on our art. We almost always go back to ultra-conservative forms when we get in these moods.
|a Mughal palace|
Ancient coins, repousse, micromosiaic, bone, neoprene
Influences: Ramona Solzberg, Ron Ho, Roman Mosaics
The work of Ramona Solzberg and Ron Ho has had great influence on the philosophy and form of our work. This has played out with the use of found objects seen in other examples on this page. The convergence of found objects (electrical components) with exposure to Roman mosaics gave birth to the technique of micromosiaics that we have developed.
|Necklace by Ron Ho|
Artifact of Faith
Sterling silver, brass, rutile, Italian liturgical print
Influences: We were both raised in the Catholic religion and attended parochial school. This exposed us to lots and lots of religious-based art, the Catholic church being one of the great historical patrons of the arts. We did our stint at vatican-bashing with our art in our youth, but we've come around to appreciating the more ornate forms of Catholic religious objects. In particular, Spanish influenced cathedrals and Russian icons
|Valencia Cathedral, Guanajuato, Mexico|
Be sure to check our EtsyMetal friends to learn more about how artists are influenced and what plays out in their art.
* Blog Carnival is a team project of EtsyMetal. Each month, volunteer members of the group all write on the same topic. Topics are usually related to the artistic/creative lifestyle or metalsmithing in particular. The purpose is to give readers a sampling of the the diversity of thought that artists hold on common subjects.