Marca-Relli was a graduate of Cooper Union before World War II. He began his career painting landscapes but following his service in Italy during the war he moved in a different direction. He was a founding member of the Eighth Street Club that also included Willem de Kooning.
Hodgkin studied at Camberwell and Bath Academy of Art in England. Very often when artists try to explain their work they use jargon or they try to be deep and profound and wind up saying what every other artist says about their work. On the Hackett Mill website they note that Hodgkin said that he painted "representational pictures of emotional situations." This seems both succinct and apt.