Artist Spotlight – James Horstman

James Horstman

James Daniel Horstman

Born in Sylva and raised in Cullowhee, my art is heavily influenced by the natural and urban features of the region and from the study of art history. My grandmother, Mary Jane Ellsworth, was a prolific painter and writer. She introduced me to the fine arts at a young age. Producing only a handful of sketches throughout my early life, I devoted myself rather to literary pursuits in the form of prose and poetry. She died in 2017 and following this I began investing time into the study of visual art appreciation and history.

Eventually I began creating visual works of my own with the aim of coalescing aspects from multiple art movements. Working predominantly in pastel for the speed afforded by dry mediums, I use the bold application of pure color and high contrasting shades to convey the tension and loneliness experienced throughout Appalachia. Applying vivid realism alongside understated areas of two dimensional abstraction, I strive to create compositions which pull in the viewer and elicit a physical response.

I draw most significantly from American Tonalism, Post-Impressionism, and all forms of Expressionism. I began using the term Appalachian Expressionism as a means of defining the sense of place and time which are integral to my art. I now work as a completely self-taught, professional artist out of Asheville, NC selling prints of my work throughout Western North Carolina.


Instagram: @jamesdanielhorstman