Spreads 0085 & 0086 – Inspirations & Under the Surface


Acrylic paint, Sigano white gel pen, black gel pen, Stabilo Biggie pencils, Sharpie china markers, pencils, black and white gesso.

19 May 2012

“Under the Surface”

19 to 24 May 2012

Vintage and personal papers and images, acrylic paint, black and white gesso, black brush pen, Sigano white gel pen, black gel pen.

What I chose as my inspiration:


Jean-Michel Basquiat

Where do you find inspiration? Some artists I admire are Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg. Just look at my tumblr account and you can see hundreds more. Where does inspiration stop and copying begin? We explored just that in Orly Avineri’s most recent class. It felt odd and strange to me to copy an artist’s work. For the first few years of my art journaling I was a copier. It feels so odd and foreign now. I was so inspired by my choice by Jean-Michel Basquiat, I wanted to do my own work right from the start. I wanted many, many layers of papers, paint, gesso, ink, and pen work. I am a more is more artist. THAT IS MY VOICE. I wanted to get lost in my own visual world and express it. I get inspirations from everywhere. My past, my memories, climbing roses in my yard, Boston ivy climbing my fence, a runway line at the airport, the way the back of a billboard looks, graffiti, advertising, films. It comes from everywhere.  I get ideas all the time doing the most mundane things. Ideas just pop into my head that must be expressed in my journal. My mind does not stop. Welcome to my world and my visual expressions.

2018-05-03T13:39:58+00:00May 26th, 2012|Art Journals|10 Comments


  1. Orly May 26, 2012 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    Gotta start my way right now to San Diego to teach that same class, but I just had to comment before I leave and say FANTASTIC, to the art that was inspired by Basquiat and the words that accompany. PURE MAGIC, and wonderful lessons learned. Proud, proud, proud!

  2. Mary May 26, 2012 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    Oh how I love your pages!

  3. Seth May 27, 2012 at 11:36 pm - Reply

    This is a fascinating issue and always one that generates some lively discussion. The artists you mention also inspire me. As do your pages. While I see the inspiration…I also see you voice come through loud and clear!

  4. Monica May 28, 2012 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    I love your post on the topic of ‘copying’ artists and the question you pose is such an important one: “where does inspiration stop and copying begin?”

    It is very clear that you have your own distinct voice in your approach to your artwork Brian and one can see the artist references in your work but its clear that you no longer need to copy the work of favorite artists.

    I also love that your inspiration comes from so many varied sources – past memories, your garden, being in interesting places such as the airport or street art. Those vast sources of inspiration really come through in your work, which is rich with color and dense with layer upon layer upon layer…thank you for inviting us into your marvelous world!

  5. John May 28, 2012 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    Amazing work, Brian! So powerful! Yes, I see the influence, but you went way beyond to create your own voice. Strong!

  6. […] Spreads 0085 & 0086 – Inspirations & Under the Surface (apaperbear.wordpress.com) Category: Articles on Art, Creating Art, PaintingTags: Acrylic paint > Experiment > Gesso > Materials and Supplies > Paint > Surface […]

  7. Angelia May 29, 2012 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    These are great, Brian! Basquiat’s work has definitely been an influence with me, too. In fact, one of the very few things I ever bought on eBay was one of his prints.

  8. Marit June 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    It’s a thin line between ‘inspired by’ and ‘copy’… but it’s so worth exploring and yes, you DO have your own voice. It shines through – no, it speaks loud and clear in your art. Love these pages Brian!

  9. annaschueler June 11, 2012 at 8:26 am - Reply

    I’m reading your blog since a while now and I’ m very touched by your work and also by your words..I love what you wrote about finding your own voice and I sometimes feel, that people making copies of inspiring art just have forgotten, that they have actually their own voice from the beginning of their walk on earth, they just need to find it again.
    I includes you blog in my list of art that touches me and wish you a wonderful and creative week

  10. Irene June 11, 2012 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    brian!! you’ve outdone yourself. these pages vibrate right off of the page.

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