Keeping with the theme of birthdays, today is Gerhard Richter’s 85th birthday. One of the most influential artists of the last century, Richter is constantly reinventing himself, refusing to let his art be categorized. His works span from photographic realism to a stained glass window in the Cologne Cathedral.

Though relatively less well known than other 20th century German artists, Richter’s influence can be seen and felt in museums all over the world, as well as for me. Many of Richter’s abstract paintings develop without names or descriptive words, allowing for the art to become a painting rather than be created. My process also develops organically, working in layers to let the paintings evolve as I go.

Richter’s art currently impacts what I do as an artist. Not all of my works are painted in the same style and I use various themes, such as animals, figures, and landscapes. Richter has paved the way for artists today to follow any path that the art may take them, without being limited to school and style.