I wanted to make a list of some of my heroes. Now, I have a lot of friends and family members who are heroes of mine, but I’m not going to talk about them today – we’ll save that for another day. I’m going to talk about people that I don’t really know personally, but they have definitely inspired me in such a way, that I feel that they are true heroes. These won’t be in any particular order, and I think I will just keep adding to this list in separate posts as I think of people.
1. George Stubbs – He was an artist in the 1700’s and at the time I discovered him for myself, I was just beginning to seriously think that I could possibly have some artistic talent. My brother had always been a better artist than me, and although he hasn’t drawn in a while, I still think if he picked up a pencil today, and got back in the hang of it that he would be able to produce works of genius. I never really thought I could draw until maybe high school. Actually, I do remember that I created one piece in middle school that gave me a little hope. It was a pencil drawing of a rhino, and I felt pretty passionately about it. Anyways, animals have always inspired me, and I have always loved horses, so when I was in high school, I really wanted to learn to draw horses well. One day in art class I was flipping through a book with various works of art and I came upon one or two George Stubbs’ paintings. I believe one of them was Mares and Foals without a Background and possibly Whistlejacket. These were the best paintings of horses that I had ever seen, and to me they were some of the best paintings of any subject that I had ever seen. I knew from his paintings that Stubbs had a passion for the creature as I did. I began to study George and learn about his life, and the more illustrations and paintings that I saw, the more obsessed I became. I fell in love with his artwork – even the skeletal illustrations that he drew by observing real carcasses on a regular basis since he had a steady supply from a local tannery. I hate that these animals were killed, but at least something was learned from the deaths, and it was a different time back then. His artwork was just a major influence for me. A few years ago I made a trip to DC and went to one of the museums up there. They happened to have a George Stubbs painting and it was the first time I had ever seen one of his paintings in person and I have to say, I got a little misty. I couldn’t believe my luck. It was amazing. I would love to see more of his works in person. He’s just an amazing artist and he inspired me so much when I first learned about his work, and to this day I am still inspired by him. That’s why he is a hero to me.