Painters I Admire
There are many painters   that  inspire me on various levels.   However,  there are only a select few  that I gravitate to on a personal level beyond the aesthetic value of the painted image.  Most painters  in this category are painters whose work is immersed in human pathos..the universal.   These are painters whose painted image reflects the mundane...their immediate environment; their   personal lives,   joys , triumphs, pain and sorrow.  Such work is  not driven by the decorative or the trivial, but by attempts to find and reveal  truth.   The following  painters  are  among the  few that illicit sympathy through their painted image.   
Grace Hartigan,   1922 - 2008, began as an  abstract expressionist painter later to create her own path driven by her own genius.   Her direct approach to painting , her fearless willingness to destroy a work  in order to discover a new place is one that I subscribe to.    I was fortunate to befriend this wonderful, master  painter. I am greatly indebted to her. . 
Francisco Jose de  Goya y Lucientes,  1746 – 1828, is unquestionably a master. He was a Romantic...a painter and printmaker.  His life and work, his painted image  are one. I have great respect, admiration..and love.. for this genius , this man.  His painted image does not require words to explain for they  whisper , speak,  scream  and cry all on their  own.    
Chaim Soutine, 1893-1943,  is a painter's  painter.  A master by any definition.  His work is  raw and  direct.  His work is magic  emanating from within his soul.  He is an artist, a creator ; the  direct opposite of Jeff Koons  and his contemporaries.  
Francisco Jose de  Goya y Lucientes 
Grace Hartigan
Chaim Soutine 
"The act of painting is about one heart telling another heart where he found salvation. "

Francisco Jose de  Goya y Lucientes

Saturn Devouring Son    Francisco Jose de  Goya y Lucientes

"Now as before it is the vulgar and the vital and the possibility of its transformation into the beautiful which continues to challenge and fascinate me ... Or perhaps the subject of my art is like the definition of humor — emotional pain remembered in tranquillity."

Grace Hartigan
"Somehow, in painting I try to make some logic out of the world that has been given to me in chaos. I have a very pretentious idea that I want to make life, I want to make sense out of it. The fact that I am doomed to failure — that doesn't deter me in the least."

Grace Hartigan 
Pallas Athena--Earth, 1961       Grace Hartigan

Crowning of the Poet      Grace Hartigan

'Once I saw the village butcher slice the neck of a bird and drain the blood out of it. I wanted to cry out, but his joyful expression caught the sound in my throat. This cry, I always feel it there. When, as a child, I drew a crude portrait of my professor, I tried to rid myself of this cry, but in vain. When I painted the beef carcass it was still this cry that I wanted to paint it.                  Soutine, quoted in M. Tuchman, E. Dunow and K. Perls, Chaïm Soutine 
Carcass of Beef, Circa 1925. Chaim Soutine
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Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa or simply Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was a master  French painter, printmaker, draughtsman, and illustrator...a genius.

A long time ago  when I was just a boy growiing up in a farming community, I  saw the movie Moulin Rouge starring  José Ferrer as Toulouse-Lautrec. It was a life-changing experience. I was captivated. It was love at first sight. 

I fell in love  with this man with who he was and what he did. He was part of  a seedy bohemian sub-culture  fecund with drunks, prostitutes and beauty.   He created masterpieces from it all.                                          

  Federico Correa
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Federico Correa