The original creative spirit, mother earth, it is this that i try to connect to whenever making art, so that it can grow and develop as part of the natural process that forms a tree, a sunrise, a cloud formation or a smile.

In this way I feel i can become part of the intended scheme of life and work in harmony with the rest of creation, fulfilling and aiding her in realising some of the infinite potential.

The visual beauty of the natural world brimming with life and vitality is my main inspiration - the crashing of waves and dance of flame, the curve of a woman's thigh, fresh leaves budding from hazel branches in spring, the flight of myriad birds weaving through the sky or ripples dancing across a sunlit pond.

More recently human interactions and relationships have become a source of material in my work. Not through conscious study, but arising as a matter of due course whilst living, watching and experiencing day to day life, with all its little dramas and idiosyncrasies.

All time favourite artist is Franz Marc - a life cut short by the first world war. His use of colour and forms, the balance of real life and abstract representation and the inherant joy and life in his painting really give a warm feeling inside. He was in the blue rider group along with Klee and Kandinsky, another big influence, in his writings he talks of the 'Stimmung' that a work of art should possess in order to be 'alive'

'Stimmung is almost untranslateable. It is almost "sentiment" in the best sense, and almost "feeling."
Many of Corot's twilight landscapes are full of a beautiful "Stimmung." Kandinsky uses the word later on to mean the "essential spirit" of nature.'
M. T. H. Sadler - translator of Concerning the Spiritual in Art by Kandinsky'

Picasso (and Braque)'s cubist works explored a way in which artists can perceive the world by deconstructing it and re-assempling it, which at the time must have been revolutionary.
I remember studying the work in art theory lessons, but then seeing them 'in the flesh' at the Kröller-Müller museum in Holland. It was a revelatory moment as I grasped what they were doing and how impressive that was.

Mocha's representations of beautiful woman with elegant borders of flowers and sensual lines are enchanting. The whole Art Nouveau movement created some amazing naturalistic examples of architecture design and art.

The british artist John Martin's apocalyptic and epic landscapes express the force and power of nature with no need for human interactions to express drama and emotion. The people in his paintings are tiny and insignificant in comparison with the thundering skies and towering mountains. Breathtaking stuff.

The italian futurists created some stunning artwork, though i disagree with their politics, glorification of war and fascism... however, I really love the flowing lines and representations of movement and speed.
This sculpture by Boccioni is truly futuristic, even today.

Art from cultures other than the western: native american design, huichol string paintings, pre conquest artforms of the americas, african masks - particularly those from Gabon, Oceanic sculpture to name a few.

The pull of these other cultures and the spiritual world their arts represent is like an antidote to the materialistic, scientific culture in which I have grown.

As for popular culture, recent artists, music and literature a blog will serve better. coming soon!