First and foremost- the most influential painter to me/my work/my life. Before I decided that I’m not a painter I tried really, really hard to paint like him- Henri de Tolouse-Lautrec.

The above is one of my favorite paintings- Lamé by John Currin.
The above two are also by John Currin, a contemporary painter who often references classical painting or traditional portraiture but gives it a cynical modern twist.

Above and below are paintings by Eric Fischl, another contemporary figure painter who works in a more classical realism style.

Below are three paintings by Edward Hopper, another “classic” (at least, to me, and in the contemporary painting world). His paintings convey incredible loneliness and emptiness in such a beautiful way.