5 Painters You Should Watch

From time to time I like to do a roundup of painters I’m interested in for one reason or another. Well, all of these artists are people I have either met in person or via some online channel, and have had some really great conversations with them. And they’re all doing something different. Despite all the differences I think I have something in common with each one.

You’ve heard of a man crush or a bromance or a girl crush. Consider these five fantastic artists to be artist crushes!

David Sandum

Source: David Sandum’s Instagram Feed

When you look at David’s work, a couple of famous artists come to mind. The Vincent Van Gogh influence is unmistakable, as well as the influence of another Post-Impressionist, Paul Gauguin. David’s brushwork and vivid colors tell such a powerful story regardless of subject matter. He paints a lot of landscapes with and without figures. He occasionally does cityscapes.

Not only does he paint, he does really nice etchings that carry over the same style very well. His #twitterartexhibit has been going for several years now and has raised thousands of dollars for education in various places around the world.

I’m really looking forward to his memoir on art & depression, I’ll Run Till the Sun Goes Down, where recounts his struggles with depression and how he chose art instead of self-destructive behavior. You can pre-order the book here and save 20% off between now and the end of April. It’s sure to be a great book. What David does is courageous and inspiring.

Mandy Thompson

My friend Mandy is married to a pastor. And as someone who grew up in a family with a lot of ministers I can safely say that one’s faith journey in that sort of situation is a little different from that of others. Mandy documents her faith journey in her art, making it uniquely personal yet relatable. She tends to paint smallish abstracts, though lately she’s been obsessed with drawing pears in ink on postcards, doing colorful washes over them.

Adam Hall

I actually discovered Adam’s art on Pinterest a few months ago. I fell in love with his landscapes with moody weather. His paintings are rather abstract when viewed far away but show a lot of polished realism up close. His scenes are of right before or after the weather has gotten really dangerous. And it was fun to discover that he is also based in Nashville!

Jeff Bertrand

Also based in Nashville, Jeff loves to paint pop-culture references both obscure and well-known. His work is often macabre and twisted. He rides the line between pop culture parody and an obsession with death. He admits it is weird to collect bird skulls and things like that. For his day job he’s a barber. From what I can tell, he’s fantastic. If anything happens to my barber I’m going to Jeff.

Nicholas Wilton

Source: NicholasWilton.com and Instagram

Nicholas paints large, graphic abstracts. I discovered him when Mandy (mentioned above) shared one of his videos on Facebook. He had put a GoPro on his head and filmed himself in the studio. It was exciting watching him squirt colors onto his palette, mix them up just so, and make marks on a 60-inch canvas. I think he comes from a graphic design or illustration background, since his work has a particular characteristic that seems informed by a specific, bold color palette and series of shapes.

Who is inspiring your work these days? I want to know!