Ithaca, NY, United States
About Michael Sampson
Born in Boston, MA , 1969. Grew up in Rockport, MA. Attended Montserrat College of Art 1988-1993. Lives and works in Ithaca, NY since 1998. An artist for over twenty years. My work starts out from life, abstracting from the figure, interiors, and cityscapes in quick and direct line drawings. I am concerned with capturing what is in front of me in an uninhibited and simplified way that allows intersections in line to happen in the drawing process. The shapes created by the lines create vibrant and interesting images that become positive shapes that I expand on. It is important for me to work from what is in front of me and to capture the moment as well as my surroundings. I like to have that experience of being somewhere, and to have that atmosphere and memory to work from. Since I use my drawings as a foundation to build on I want the personality of the model or of the place to come through in my work, and by having that real thing to go from I always have that theme in my mind to ground me as my work progresses. In most cases I draw on a paper that is sized so I can use paint directly on to the paper. This allows me to finish a drawing in color and to have smaller works on paper to work out color combinations and compositions as I go. My paintings on paper are a kind of testing ground for larger works on panel or canvas. In my figurative abstractions I include the entire figure in the composition. Even though they are non- representational, having the entire figure in the composition captures the movement of the model’s pose more completely. The nude figure as a starting point allows me to interject atmosphere and complexities into my work that are more grounded then working purely from my imagination. I enjoy combinations of colors that have a tension and resonance that is exciting and has depth. I layer the colors so the surface of my paintings become textural over time and those layers of paint show my thought process. Along with brushes I apply the paint with a palette knife, spatula, and rags so my surfaces are varied and have depth. I truly believe in looking at all art -work from the past and present for inspiration in a serious and open manner. Even though my influences are many, I am most inspired by Abstract Expressionism, and I find gestural, physical painting that shows process, like the Abstract Expressionists is the most interesting to me. I think that by accepting all forms of art I can clearly pursue painting that brings together my influences, and also does not limit me to one way of thinking.
BFA, Montserrat College of Art Beverly, MA
Sola Art Gallery, Ithaca, NY, November 2014 opening, pin press monotypes. New American Paintings Magazine #104.
CSMA Ithaca. NY Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester. NY Everson Museum, Syracuse. NY Rochester Contemporary, Rochester. NY