I have always been attracted to the still life paintings of the Dutch and Flemish artists of the 15th and 16th centuries. While there are quite a few master painters who came out of that era, such as Davidz DeHeem, Pieter Claesz, and Clara Pieters, the one who has influenced me the most is Willem Kalf. His compositions are dramatic and complex. His use of light is superb, and his handling of details is masterful. Whenever I need a boost of the creative spirit, I pull out the books I have collected of the paintings of this period and just walk through the pages and remind myself of the genius of those painters.