I wanted to learn to paint like the 17th century Flemish Masters, but no one could teach me. It was all abstract and conceptual art at my university, so I cut my classes and sat for hours in the library copying Durer, Memling and Van Eyck. I tried to teach myself how to paint in egg-tempera but constantly failed. Finally I developed a way of drawing that mimicked the technique by building up thousands of tiny lines to get a tone. It was an insane way to draw, and took a horrendous amout of time, but I was able to get the same kind of luminous detail that the Flemish painters had achieved.
Diane Arbus was another of my inspirations, and her use of black and white (the color of ghosts, memory and madness) opened up a world of possibilities for me.
Thanks to artminut for finding this artist!