Art Inspired by Other Art: The Winners

We're delighted to announce the winners of our contest on the subject of Art Inspired by Other Art. We had an unprecedented number of  beautiful submissions, and it's been both a pleasure and a challenge sorting through them all. I've chosen more runners-up than usual, because I liked so many of the entries and because we could use an extra dose of good art at this time.

Collection of all entries here:


Julie Riker
Through the Blue Door
16" x 20"

We were touched by Julie RIker's story of a personal experience visiting the setting of an admired painting. The significance of the door being open, and leading to another open door, offering a glimpse into the mysterious world of Christina Olsen makes the painting seem like a beautiful poem.

"My painting 'Through The Blue Door' was inspired by a visit to the Olsen House in Cushing, Maine, the home of Christina Olsen - where Andrew Wyeth painted his famous 'Christina's World' as well as 'The Blue Door.'  I had the opportunity to stand where he was viewing this actual scene, only the door was opened, giving me a glimpse of the sparse sunlit interior."

Honorable mentions:

Josie Mendelsohn
The Table
Mixed Media on Board
24" x 19"

"This painting was inspired by the poems of David Romtvedt. He is the former Poet Laureate of Wyoming, the author of many books, and was recently featured in the NY Times Magazine section. 

I think his work is moving and powerful. He’s also a great friend of mine. David has a background in the visual arts, and I have a background in English and creative writing. This has helped make our communication during this project rich and interesting.

I’ve tried to reflect some of the layering, imagery, and symbolism in his poems by using actual layering in these multi-media paintings."

Linda Adato
City Geometry
Oil on cradled wood panel 
12" X 12”

Adato's quietly beautiful painting of city rooftops was inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper. "My etchings and monotypes depict diverse architectural themes: ancient ruins, New York City buildings, bridges and my own backyard. I enjoy exploring the geometry of the structures in these images and capturing the light at a certain moment or time of day."

Jack Siegel
Home Builders
Oil on Canvas
30" x 40"

Jack Siegel's bright, energetic,  geometrical painting is Inspired by the work of Thomas Hart Benton. 

"Much of the art produced by the great 19th and early 20th century painters had a profound influence on my work from my earliest memories.

The visual paradise I found walking through the galleries of the Art Institute of Chicago, the smell of oil paint in the classrooms and all the intensity of achieving perfection still resonate in my memory.

Even today, when I feel the need to experiment in new directions I seem to be drawn back to my first infatuations. But I know the urge to try 'something else' will always persist, leading who knows where. It’s an inevitable part of the creative process."

Alexander Lee
Acrylic on Board
45" X 57"

Lee Alexander's witty, beautifully-rendered painting explores the distracting quality of ever-present technology in the framework of classical painting subjects.

E. Ross Bradley
Figures in Motion: Walking
After Muybridge
Limited Edition Print

"The excitement of going into a studio with a model and capturing the spirit of that figure on paper, in clay or on film continues to make the quest worthwhile and that nine year old boy, who drew the picture of himself standing by his easel painting a mountain sunset hasn’t lost the wonder of trying to be an artist."

Salvatore Gulino
Madame X's Mustang (After Sargent)
24" x  34" 

I attribute my love for the masters to the eight years I spent during high school and college at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Living almost daily during those years with the work of some of the greatest painters that ever lived certainly had a profound impact on me. I eventually developed an approach to painting that can best be described in contemporary terms as Appropriation Art.

Using a flat poster-like technique, I borrow images from the masters and combine them with images from popular culture such as storefronts, roller coasters, antique automobiles....The choices of the combinations are primarily intuitive. There is no underlying message in the juxtapositions of images, and there is no attempt to criticize or satirize the works of art that are assimilated. When combined with contemporary images, my paintings are a bit startling, but remain as homages to the great artists that inspired them.


Catherine Roberts Leach
Second Sight 1
19" x 13"

"As a lover of art, I am a frequent visitor to art galleries. But I when I go, I am eager to notice everything about the rooms, not only the art on display. What about reflections, natural and artificial light, walls and floors, partial views? This series is the result of reliance on my 'second sight' to shoot the environment of galleries and their works in a way that produces a 'new' composition created by my inclusive framing. A change of focus, then, is what makes possible a new work of art out of the original."

Paul DiZefalo
A Variety of Morbid Symptoms
20" X 16"

"Pantalone is a stock character of the 'Commedia dell’arte,' a popular, touring theater group originating in Renaissance Italy. The characters were fixed types having roughly standardized costumes.Either as a wealthy merchant or elected official, Pantalone is a boss, greedy and stingy, a womanizer, a vain old man, hungry for money and power.
Ajax, a hero from the Iliad, had acted unreasonably and foolishly in the presence of his peers.   When he came to his senses he realized he had humiliated himself.  In ancient times a hero, a person of honor, could only restore dignity by 'falling on their own sword.'”

Elisabeth Moss
What Flowers From Within Finds Her Presence Everywhere 
acrylic on canvas 
30" x 24"

Inspired by William Stafford poem :
The Way It Is
by William Stafford
There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

Will Hubscher
The Flowers Will Never Die

“The Flowers Will Never Die” is inspired by an unreleased Elton John song. "Flea markets, old basements and attics, dumpsters, and objects found while walking the dog, have always held a fascination for me. What is cast off by society, thrown out, and discarded, may still hold value in this world as it is repurposed and recycled, into something new, something interesting, something now wanted and appreciated again by the world."

Brenda J. Watson
Art on Clay

Whenever I visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (The Met), I am very often drawn to the African wing of the museum.  For many of the carvings of faces and masks from Nigeria and other parts of Africa, the artist is unknown, as is the case for the art that inspired me. A few Nigerian carvings (Queen Mother (Iyoba) & Head of an Oba (both of the 16th Century) are appealing to me and are the inspiration for the artwork. The image of Lady Metoba is an original creation sparked by my imagination. The shape of the clay vase, on which I sketched and painted the artwork, inspired Lady Metoba’s jeweled crown. 

The name of my artwork combines 'Met' (from The Met) with 'Oba,' a name given to rulers in West Africa.

Kumar Saraff
When Did You Last See?
30 cm x 80 cm

Oil on board

This was inspired by the painting - When Did You Last See Your Father by William Frederick Yeames. 

Kumar's art has its origins in a European oil painting and watercolour traditions as well as printmaking. Using colour and form, light and dark Kumar  takes the viewer on an exploration of paint on surface. The work often suggests a narrative, posing questions and suggesting many possibilities.

For Kumar  the joy of painting is never knowing what will happen on the painted journey and always being surprised by the final results.

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