Hey Vince - Please pardon my "denseness"
as I'm not sure what you mean by fresh ideas - I consider myself pretty much "old school" in appreciation and taste in art - though I like a variety and try to stay open minded, and am not sure any idea I offer could be considered "fresh", but thank you.
Shoot, I'm even giving the digital painting world a look-see when five or so years ago I wouldn't have given anyone a plug nickle for what was being produced on computers - now software and tools are allowing some really good artists to make some great digipaintings and I want to exlpore the options.
As for when I became a Bloch fan: In truth, I was a fan of his before I even knew it. When I was just a snot nosed kid at a single digit age, I remember finding a book in my parents' limited library that had a reproduction of the first graphic below in it.
I was amazed at the life-likeness, the power and movement. I remember not liking the seeming flatness in perspective in the face of the Satan character (high art appreciator and critique both born at the same time!!!) but just thought it was amazing.
Many moons after that I began seeing repros of Bloch's work and really loved his figures. When doing a little more extensive research, guess what pict I found amongst his gallery of works? Yep, that same picture I loved as a boy - I had come full circle and now could put a name with the artist of that first pict. (I know, a real tear jerker, eh?!)
I've only seen one of his originals (graphic #2). It is life size and absolutely incredible.
If you like Bloch's work, you might be interested in another artist, R.H. Ives Gammell (heard of him?). His technique is a bit more stylized and modern, but his figure work is amazing too.
I was first introduced to his work when I saw a traveling exhibit of his illustrative paintings done for a poem called "The Hounds of Heaven". I was floored by these paintings. I later was able to see another rather large painting of his in person (graphic #3) - I mean, I could've just stood and stared/studied this thing for hours!
You can see more of his work at: