Two artists I have recently been introduced to that I have grown to admire are Marilee Heyer and Carol Heyer. They are not related....that I know of.
Marilee Heyer's illustrations I first discovered in a re-release of Tamora Pierce's books, which I absolutely love. I think historically that this would be the 3rd US release of Ms. Pierce's first series, The Song of the Lioness, yet are not to be confused with the fourth and latest release of her books (which also have great illustrations, but of a different quality). Then in illustration class I was shown one of her children's books, The Girl, The Fish, and The Crown. I was amazed by the intricacies of detail and beauty of color that she has in each of her pieces. I need to practice a LOT more with watercolor to come close to her or other watercolor masters, such as Olga and Andrej Dugin and Gennady Spirin. I definitely would like to move my art more in their direction.
Carol Heyer's art is also beautiful and in the areas I would enjoy working in: children's art and fantasy art. Her illustrations are colorful and very volumetric, a tendency that I have been moving toward in my own work. She is also a local artist, which is very exciting. I hope to get to meet her and talk with her at least once while I'm here.