I've had some good realizations recently about how I am a product of the blending of those who have influenced/inspired me. I feel good about my methods and techniques now and am ready to produce some work that is really authentic to me and really "Santoli".
What really hammered this home for me was trying to paint like those who inspired me and realizing that "trying" to paint like someone else is a terrible idea. I've had this realization several times and always come to the same conclusion. There's a line in a Bukowski poem that goes, "if you're trying to write like somebody else, forget about it." I know it's hard because I'm always looking for the "secret". And it's a sobering thing to realize, "hey man, there's no secret." Not that I would even want there to be a surefire way to make a good painting. Sure, there are ways of doing it that might work better for me, but I'm still bound to make a lot of shitty paintings.
Anyway, this is what I've been thinking about lately and now I'm going to go do some drawing and realize that I don't know anything at all.