Try to imagine what inspires artists as you view their work, and you probably think of sunlit landscapes, a stormy sea, an arrangement of fruit, a cityscape, perhaps a moment of emotional turmoil.
But sometimes what inspires artists most, according to the 17 members of the Depot Square Artists collaborative, isn’t scenery or emotion — it’s other artists.
And so when they gathered at one of their monthly discussions to decide on a theme for their winter show at ArtSpace Gallery in Maynard, someone came up with the idea of using the painters, sculptors, and others whom they most admire as the uniting topic for the ongoing show, which is fittingly named “Artists Inspired by Artists.”
“I’ve been inspired by many different artists in my lifetime,” commented Rani Sarin, a Boston-based printmaker who works in mixed media.
“It was hard to choose just one. For this particular show I decided on David Hockney. What really attracted my attention was his show at the Museum of Fine Arts that had to do with landscapes. I find his Grand Canyon paintings to be really breathtakingly beautiful,’’ she said. “The two pieces I have in the ArtSpace Gallery show are of China and Bryce Canyon, the latter of course most directly influenced by Hockney’s Grand Canyon depictions.”
The group first met at — and took its name from — the Depot Square Gallery in Lexington. When the gallery closed, the artists resolved to continue working together and supporting each other’s efforts.
“Every year we have a couple of exhibits in different venues,” explained Carole Parrish, an artist from Sudbury. “We meet every other month or so and brainstorm interesting ideas for a show. Everyone seemed to migrate toward this one. Throughout our lives and our careers, artists have inspired us, and this was an opportunity to really focus on and pay attention to the artists that have in some ways informed our work or inspired our work.”
“I’m fascinated by color,” commented Lexington painter Emily Passman. “What inspires me as a painter isn’t necessarily the pretty pictures. It’s the components. So I looked to Cezanne. One of the important things about his work is his focus on the individual brush strokes that make up color and form. So much of his work has to do with sunlight contrasted to shadows, with the shapes and colors that make up an item, with the interplay of colors, and also the brush strokes. My painting in this show, which is 36 by 36 inches, is intended to make a statement about areas of light and shadow and brush strokes.”
Sarin confesses that much of her time as an artist involves studying other artists’ work.
“When you look at images in a museum or gallery or in a book, it’s something that gets into your subconscious,” she said. “When you decide to pay homage to an artist, you look that much more carefully at his or her work, and you see even more in it than you did when it first inspired you.”
“Artists Inspired by Artists” is on exhibit through Jan. 11 at the ArtSpace Gallery, 63 Summer St., Maynard. The gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call 978-897-9828 or go to www.artspacemaynard.com.
FREE HAND AT MUSEUM: The Danforth Museum of Art, at 123 Union Ave. in Framingham, offers free family fun Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.
Tours of the “John Wilson: Eternal Presence” exhibition will be provided, and artists of all ages may try out hands-on activities related to Native American symbols, as well as drawing, painting, collaging, and other media.
For more information, call 508-620-0050 or go online to www.danforthmuseum.org.
ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL: Fountain Street Fine Art celebrates a milestone with a group show titled “2d Anniversary: Cotton,” juried by Joanne Mattera, opening Friday and running through Jan. 27 at 59 Fountain St. in Framingham.
A reception will be held Jan. 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. for the show, which features 33 works by 25 artists in acrylic, oil, fiber, photography, steel, and wax. For details, call 508-879-4200 or go to www.fountainstreetfineart.com.
FUN WITH MUSIC: The Circle of Friends Coffeehouse features comedic musicians Christine Lavin and Don White at 8 p.m. Saturday at the First Universalist Society in Franklin, 262 Chestnut St.
Admission is $25; doors open at 7:30, and beverages and desserts will be available. For tickets or more information, call 508-528-2541 or go to www.circlefolk.org.
AFTERNOON TUNES: The Friends of Goodnow Library will feature the Guy Van Duser and Billy Novick Jazz Duo in its “Sunday Afternoons at Goodnow” series this weekend at 21 Concord Road in Sudbury.
A duo for more than 30 years, Van Duser and Novick have performed all over North America and Europe.
Admission is free for the 3 p.m. concert Sunday, and refreshments will be served.
For more information, call 978-443-1035 or go online to www.library.sudbury.ma.us.
Send ideas to nancyswest@ gmail.com. Please put the date of your event in the subject line.