Random thoughts, subject to change. Painters listed in no particular order. Not everybody I like is in this list.
El Greco. Probably the greatest painter ever. And no, he didn't have astigmatism.
Oskar Kokoschka. Painter of the month. Until recently I was not able to look at the guy's paintings. They seemed to be that murky expressionist sort of tossed salad kind of stuff. For some reason, I can look at them now.
Matisse. A pure painter with no pretensions to anything else. I really like his paintings with diagonals and of course, his goldfish. Was thinking of getting some goldfish in a bowl and do some sort of homage to Matisse. I priced them at a pet store. Could be in business for about $30. Only problem would be the cat or the raccoons.
Philip Guston. Limited pallette. Red, black and white.
Hockney. Good posters and drawings and graphic works. Good intellect as well. Even though for some reason I have this image of him as a dumb guy who is totally instinctive, or at least likes to play this role in public. I probably have him confused with Warhol.
Julian Schnabel. Whatever he did before movies. Not to say his movies aren't interesting. They seem ordinary. His paintings are better than ordinary.
Basquiat/Warhol. The two in combination are more interesting than either by himself. Though if I had to choose one over the other it would be Basquiat.
Picasso. So-so paintings. Never could figure out what people saw in them. Good drawings and etchings and graphic work. Some of his stuff is absolutley brilliant though it seems that he turned out a lot of schlock.
German painters. Some guy in a bar observed that German artists are still dealing with WWII. This guy was an engineer, but I suppose his observation is correct. There seems to be some need for German artists to flagellate themselves in order to feel that they are doing serious work. Their other response to WWII seems to be nihilism.
Max Beckmann. Strong structurally. His stuff looks like it's got steel girders in it. Maybe it's all the black lines.
Anselm Kieffer. The guy paints with dirt or seems to or takes dirt as his subject matter. His paintings look like WWII just ended and he's set up in a field somewhere on the Polish border. Very depressing in a very German sort of way.
Sigmar Polke. His stuff looks good in a book. I saw one of his paintings in a museum. Totally boring. I guess you need to see a bunch of his paintings together to get what he's about.
The Impressionists. I liked them when I was in High School. I have since lost interest in them with the exception of Manet. Manet really could paint and wasn't an Impressionist except by association. Impressionists seem to have inspired a lot of greeting card illustrators.