One of the most important eras of art history, in terms of the influence on my work, is the late 17th and early 18th century Rococo period. Rococo was a direct response to the visually elaborate and naturalistic style known as the Baroque period, which spanned the 15th through 17th centuries. Prime examples of Baroque art and culture can be seen in the art and architecture of the Vatican and throughout Europe.
The Rococo movement is known for its perfectionist approach to subject matter in which beauty and idealization are emphasized over natural appearances. Art of the Rococo period reflects traditional Rococo philosophy which includes simplicity, purity of line and form, curvilinear rhythms, and classical subject matter. There are many artists who lived and worked during the Rococo era whose work I admire greatly. However, there are two who have had immense influence over my artistic philosophy and visual style.
I became aware of Francois Boucher and Antonio Canova around more or less the same time and was immediately captivated by the use of line, form and colour. If one had to describe their work in a single word… perfection. The paintings of Francois Boucher primarily show classical subject matter in which scenes of men and women are combined with figures taken from ancient Greek mythology (Venus, Cupid, Eros, Diana, etc.). His canvases are vibrant and full of life, and his brushwork is hypnotizing. Boucher’s colour palette is bright yet subdued in typical French manner. His works seem to live in a world of silver light which emanates throughout each piece. The sculpture of Antonio Canova must be seen to be believed. His line is incredibly vibrant and full of life and his use of form is sheer perfection. The Kimbell Art Museum here in Fort Worth has one of his pieces in its permanent collection. Each time I stand before it I fully expect her to come to life and look at me.