Earlier this year, I went to the DAM (Denver Art Museum) to see, "Inspiring Impressionism," an amazing exhibit that focused on how the Impressionists were influenced by the art that came before them. Many of the top Impressionists spent time at the Louvre and other great museums, copying paintings of others, and learning in the process.
I've been to many of the top art museums around the world and have seen some remarkable exhibits, but this one had to rank with the best. It brought paintings together from nearly 70 museums and great collections, and in addition to being beautiful, for an artist, it was instructive of how the creative process worked for these great painters.
Featured prominently at the exhibit was a quote by Edgar Degas, "[An artist] should copy the masters and re-copy them, and after he has given every evidence of being a good copyist, he might then reasonably be allowed to do a radish, perhaps, from Nature."
In that spirit, my painting today, is my impression of part of a great 1939 work, New York Movie, by one of my favorites, Edward Hopper.
So paint on and don't worry about copying or being influenced by others, as long as you are learning your craft along the way.