Your writing has reignited my curiosity of these artists. I now look at these treasures with new eyes and excitement. Thank you for this stimulus! Was your writing choice peaked by your curiosity of a muse or how did their friends/family shape their craft?
I can't say that a muse attracted me, nor can I say that the artists' friends or families shaped their craft (except for Artemisia Gentileschi whose use of chiarascuro was modeled on Caravaggio's use of this technique). In the case of Emily Carr (The Forest Lover), the sort of painting--fussy, small, detailed, overly sweet--done by her friends did not appeal to her, and she veered in the opposite direction of simple lines, strong, bold subjects, large canvases, dynamic movement, tending in later years toward abstraction. And Vermeer was influenced by no one. Meticulously he worked out in layers his paintings, developing his own methods over time.