Directory of Artists

This page contains some of the most useful and inspiring Artists used within my teaching. My students have found endless links between their own developing themes and the work of the artists below. It is important to note that there are lots of crossovers between the different directory pages on this site. My students are encouraged to look at a range of different research sources to inspire their own developing ideas. I often use artists from a range of different places to allow students to add extra layers of meaning within their work. This usually involves looking at artists who will help them to depict elements of British values and promote a higher level discussion within class.. regardless of their age or working ability.

I hope you will find them useful too – please check back regularly as the list will be updated whenever I find someone new.

Artists who use the figure and portraits in their work

Jenny Saville: an artist well know for her depiction of larger figures. This artist would provide good inspiration for anyone wanting to explore weight issues, body image or distortion/scale in their work. Perfectly teamed with some firsthand life drawing/painting for high quality project development.  

Find more information about Saville here:  

Loui Jover: an artist who uses mixed media papers as a ground for working upon. His figures often depict women and close ups of their features. His drippy ink drawing techniques help to show emotive qualities within the work (the faces often look as though they are crying.) Look at this artist to inspire work based on emotions and feelings or maybe if you are exploring ways to show identity. Experiment with different papers and materials in the background to help give extra layers of meaning to the image/portrait drawn on top. 

Find more information about Jover here:  

Keith Haring: Well known for his controversial imagery of the figure as well as his work to promote gay rights in the USA. Haring is an ideal artist to look at if you want to work with pattern, bold colour or even want to add layers of social awareness in to your work. His simple lines make this a really accessible artist for all different abilities but can easily be teamed with textile processes (print and appliqué etc.) during experimentation to push ideas towards a more sophisticated outcome. 

Find out more information about haring here:  

Artists who use still life objects in their work (see also artists within print techniques and sculpture sections)

James Rosenquist: well known for the tryptich and collage style paintings depicting political issues in the USA, this artist provides an excellent link for those wanting to explore more subtle composition and combinations of imagery in their work. Try thinking about the theme that you are developing.. what objects could help to communicate this? Create still life sets ups to record these before then merging together to create a Rosenquist style composition. 

Find out more information about Rosenquist here:  

Artists who create landscapes 

David Hockney: an artist who has used a wide range of locations throughout his career as inspiration for his art. Developments relating to colour as well as digital painting techniques can be created as a result of researching Hockney. His more recent work created on an iPad and based on the countryside of Yorkshire can allow students to look into different recording processes, apps and also make comparisons between the quality and depth within both Hockney’s early work and his digital pieces.  

Find out more about Hockney’s work here:  

Georgia O’keeffe: an artist who provides links with still life as well as urban landscape. Her tower block skyscraper works are accessible and provide inspiration for abstract painting. Her floral works show close up images of flowers with subtle links to the female body (a good artist for linking with the figure artists.)  

Find out more about O’keeffe’s work here:  

Claude Monet: an often overlooked artist when researching landscape artists as students feel that Monet has been ‘done’ so many times before. However, if you want to develop your work into something a little more organic and textured either through paint application or with mixed media/textile processes then Monet is a good option. His most notable works are his water lilies. 

Find out more about Monet’s work here:  

Artists who create Abstract or pattern based artwork 

Jackson Pollock: an artist well known for his ‘drip’ painting. The large scale mark making style pieces are layered with paint applied with sticks etc. A good artist for prompting exploration with different methods of applying colour and line to a surface. 

Find out more about Pollock’s work here:  

Bridget Riley: Riley is one of the most notable ‘op art’ artists using a limited pallet and geometric lines to create optical illusions. My students have used Riley’s work as inspiration linked to literature research sources and in particular looking at the different ways to visually describe hallucinations within Alice in wonderland. There are lots of potential developments to be had from exploring the work of Riley including fine art painting, textile surface pattern or even constructed textile or mixed media surfaces. 

Find out more about Riley’s work here:  

Damien Hirst: an artist who could possibly fit into any of these categories.. a definite all-rounder but one of the areas of his work that has provided inspiration for my students seems to be his spot paintings and his butterfly works. The psychedelic patterns created in bold primary and pastel colours allow lots of links and potential developments into pattern work. 

Find out more about Hirst’s work here:  

Sonia Delaunay: a bold tonal pallet is used to create the geometric patterns. There are lots of crossover links with set design and textile surface pattern/fashion design. A good artist to research linked in with colour work and colour wheel development. 

Find out more about Delaunay’s work here:    

Rothko: an artist who is best known for his use of giant canvases and tonal painted rectangular shapes to create an emotional reaction. This artist is a brilliant link to colour theory and the links between colour and mood/emotion.  

Find out more about Rothko’s work here:  

Kandinsky: an artist who’s wide range of bold, bright abstract works look to communicate emotion (similar to the work of Rothko.) A good point of research linked to colour theory and basic mark making inspired by emotions and the senses.  

Find out more about Kandinsky’s work here:  

Artists who use Print techniques in their work 

Andy Warhol: an artist who remains a firm student favourite. A good link for anyone exploring portraits, celebrity culture, consumerism and still life objects. Warhol’s silk screen technique can easily be developed into simple stencils or even linocut techniques. A good opportunity to discuss mass production within art and the value that art has if duplicated. 

Find out more about Warhol’s work here:  

Jet James: a printer who’s work ranges from natural forms through to figures and portraits. The collagraph and etching techniques offer inspiration for numerous developments within student project work.  

Find out more about James’s work here:  

Banksy: another firm favourite with students – possibly due to the intrigue and anonymity of the person behind the work. The often politically charged images provide opportunities for recreating through stencil cutting techniques (with options to cross over to using laser cut techniques if you are lucky enough to have the facilities!) also a good discussion starter regarding the criminal nature of graffiti as an art form. Banksy works on lots of different levels. 

Find out more about Banksy’s work here:  

Artists who use 3D sculpture in their work 

Kathy Dalwood: a contemporary sculptor who uses plaster casting techniques to create her white pieces. A range of still life objects as well as a nod to the more traditional head pieces are used to portray high society. A good artist to use in relation to food or still life sculpture. We have successfully created some quite sophisticated mod rock food sculptures with year 9 as a result of research into Dalwood’s work. A good opportunity to focus on quality of construction without the distraction of colour.

Find out more about Dalwood’s work here:  

Katharine Morling: sculptures created in monotone colours allow students to be inspired to create their own 3D pieces. The white forms depicting still life objects have an almost ‘drawn’ quality by using a thick black line to edge and outline the sculptures. A good development into ceramics or even a good quality paper mache outcome. 

Find out more about Morling’s work here:  

David Oliveira: these wire pieces are a really useful and inspiring point of research for anyone wanting to develop sculpture without the mess of mod rock or clay.. these pieces almost look as if they have been drawn with the wire. A good link to textile processes, free machine stitch as well as continuous line feel of mono print. 

Find out more about Oliveira’s work here:  

Anthony Gormley: a well known figure sculptor who uses a wide range of materials and techniques to create his forms. A good point of research to inspire students to create versions of themselves with different materials to reflect them and their character. 

Find out more about Gormley’s work here:  

Grayson Perry: another artist who could have easily crossed over a few of the areas on this list.. a really versatile creative who is well known for his work commenting on social and political circumstances. His ceramic pots provide an accessible way of discussing how deeper layers of meaning and symbolism can be shown within art. Perry is also a worthwhile point of research for textiles developments. 

Find out More about Perry’s work here:  

Mixed media & Collage Artists 

Tracey Emin: a controversial fine artist who uses a range of different media and techniques to create her work. The pieces that provide most inspiration always seem to be the emotionally charged mono prints with misspelt text elements as well as the textile quilts. A good point of research for anyone needing links to protest themes, artwork including text, feminism or relationships. 

Find out more about Emin’s work here:  

David Adey: a good cross over with photographic techniques, collage techniques used within Adey’s work provide inspiration for large fine art pieces, or even provide opportunities for photoshop exploration, to create abstract shapes pieces from existing images and figurative elements. A good development when exploring body image or cosmetic surgery. 

Find out more about Adey’s work here:  

Patrick Bremer: a collage artist who mostly creates portraits from collage papers. A good point of research for anyone wanting to look for ways to add different layers of meaning within portraits to help to explain identity. Try using papers and imagery that relate to the person within the portrait. 

Find out more about Bremer’s work here:  

Robert Rauschenberg: a Pop artist well known for his work depicting political issues through the juxtaposition of imagery. A good point of research for anyone wanting to explore different contemporary political issues through collage. Try using newspaper/magazine imagery to create compositions to describe the story and theme of the political climate. A good opportunity to link image transfer techniques into painting.

Find out more about Rauschenberg’s work here:    

Andy Goldsworthy: a nature artist who uses the natural environment to create patterns and shapes with elements within the surroundings. Leaves, ice and rocks are all regular features within Goldsworthy’s work. The temporary nature of the work lends itself well to a photographic cross over to record the experiments. A good point of research to explore visual ways to document the effects of climate change for example either through time lapse photography or still imagery. 

Find out more about Goldsworthy’s work here: