Some Artists That Have Inspired Me!/ James Ramsdell

Jim Ramsdell with friends

How can artists spend so many hours alone in their studios? Answer: because we’re not alone!!! Recently I took some promotional photos of myself in my studio and when I down loaded them on the computer I was surprised to see some other images implanted in the back ground. They seemed to be the ghosts of John Singer Sargent, Anders Zorn, and Joaquin Sorolla floating around behind me. My buddies! Certainly these are some artists who inspired me over the years. I have this photo on my studio wall just to remind me. Isn’t photoshop fun! These three artists of the past have certainly inspired me, but there are also favorite contemporary artists including: Kim English, Calvin Liang, and Zhang Hongnian.

Another contemporary artist that has inspired me is David Higgins. I first met David Higgins in the late 90’s; one evening at a friend’s studio where we had gathered to paint from the model. I had just had a show at the Artists’ Guild Cooperative Gallery in Binghamton, NY. And when we met, he said,”I saw you show downtown and I really liked your night paintings! Where did you get your inspiration to paint them?” 

I was amazed I couldn’t even imagine that he would know who I was, let alone had seen my work! I looked at him and didn’t know what to say! I felt like I’d been caught! So had to admit the truth,”From YOU,” I said! “I saw your recent show at the Binghamton University art gallery and loved YOUR night paintings! I thought, I just have to try that.”

Again art is not done in a vacuum, our inspirations come from all around us- from nature, from writings and from other artists. We just need to put our own spin on it.


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