Over the influence

I've looked at a lot of painters, a many thousands of paintings, many widely varying schools, bushels of styles, hordes of websites, a plethora of magazines and a clutch of art books, or is that a gaggle? In the old days influence was confined to geographic areas, hence the development of different schools of art, movements driven by regionalism, by mentorships and ateliers. It was only if the artist traveled to the big city museums or, better yet, to France, that they were given the opportunity to broaden their horizons, to see over their hills to the possible. After recently looking at so much work, old and new, it hit me that with this massive influx of influence, the gene pool of regionalism and site specific movements get flushed down the loo. I don't know if that's a good thing, I think not, but it is what it is. It seems like too much of a good thing really is too much. I can't adjust my abilities to be like this artist or that artist everytime I see someone new that I like. It just chasing my tail and getting me nowhere. So I'm going to confine my "go-to" artists to a handful and stop confusing myself. After going through the Amercian Society of Marine Artists website (I'm a new member but not represented on the site yet) I noticed one woman's work that I really liked and wrote her to tell her how much I liked her work. She promptly wrote me back and said that she loved my work too and wish she painted more like me... and here I was just wishing to be more like her. The grass is always greener and a little warmer and maybe a little lighter in value on the other side of the fence.