I am a "self-taught" artist. Although I use that term very loosely. I have learned from many artists via extensive reading and research and with the advent of Youtube was able to avail myself to the many masters that are not only leading artists but educators as well. I have never taken an actual art class or workshops other than a couple of watercolor demonstration years ago. I have never had the time. Raising three kids and juggling a film and television acting career that often took me out of town for months at a time, simply did not afford me the time to commit to an in person learning environment. I had to make time for my art and find creative ways of furthering my studies. In the end it was countless hours in front of my easel, painting sketches, life studies, color studies, and finished works, in addition to many days and weeks working on large wall size murals where the majority of my education came from. My favorite artists are Joaquin Sorolla, John Singer Sargent, Anders Zorn, Cezanne, and contemporary artists, Richard Schmid and Jeremy Lipking.
I have always found a sense of belonging as an artist. When I was a young
boy my third grade teacher was always enthusiastic regarding my drawings, paintings. and sculptures in clay. Upon my mothers passing, I inherited a clay frog sculpture I gave her from that 3rd grade class. I have it to this very day. She kept it on the shelf of her bathtub all those years. I think it was then that I figured out that I was on to something important. That art making was timeless and had a way of nourishing the spirit and the soul. And that it is forever. It was a meaningful and tangible legacy that I could leave behind. Many of my murals still exist today after having painting them many years ago. That gives me a real sense of accomplishment and validation as an artist. I've always envied those who were able to study art in University or renowned art school around the globe. It just was not my path to do so. Museums are my temples. I could spend days and hours in museums.
I don't think an artist can divorce themselves from their "voice" if you will, as easy as some might think. I can recognize an artist's work simply by the"footprint" they leave behind, regardless of palette, style, theme, or medium."