I know there is a point in which we must stray from the mainstream uber famous artists like Klimt but there is a part of me that will never let go of his work. That and I am also influenced by Egon Schiele who was mentored by Klimt. Again the focus on the figure and the interaction with a made up space is very key.
David Choe's work has a lot of the same elements as mine. layering is rather apparent and shape scribbling often adorns his background. something about lines that aren't too straight or too rendered gets me going.
Gail introduced me to Zak Smith. His work is similar and influential to mine in that he works from photos of friends and images he has taken. Because he leaves the figures black and white, the background acts more as a design and intricate shape work than just the documentation of their space.
All of these artists capture emotional expression in their own way, all of which are unique and all of which are effective. I failed to mention Jenny Saville, Robert Bechtle, Lautrec, Cassatt, and most importantly the artists I encounter everyday, my roommate is a huge influence as well as some artist I practice collaborative pieces with. I am also influenced by the books I read. More often than not, the passages from a Haruki Murakami book will inspire me to paint.