Artist's Statement

Philosophically, I'm a purist when it comes to the art of painting. In fact, I’m unabashedly “Old School” and revel in the great traditions passed down from the Golden Age. Proven principles and methods form the foundation of my work. I believe in that which is timeless and universal; humanity's interdependence and our shared experience with nature and environment. The poetry of the visible world provides an endless source of inspiration from which to draw. Beautiful, simple or dramatically conceived imaginative works created with these principles in mind are perennially sought after by the gallery-visiting public and discerning collector alike.

My training from age fourteen to twenty-four was in the American Impressionist, Naturalist and Academic traditions. Many of our greatest painters belonged to this group including Dennis Bunker, John Sargent, Edmund Tarbell and Willard Metcalf. Bastien LePage, Anders Zorn, Joaquin Sorolla and PS Kroyer were their European counterparts. This training was roundly supplemented by in-depth study of late 19th and early 20th century painting both at home and in Russian and European collections, and of Frank Duveneck and the Cincinnati School. These deep-rooted traditions embrace truth and beauty as a credo, delighting in form, light, color and atmosphere. Their hallmark is a poetic visual approach which subordinates detail in favor of breadth of treatment and grandeur of vision, painted from life and illuminated by the light of day. I take pride in the fact that I've made these skills my own.

The last several years I have been wrestling with the significance of the modernist/post modernist paradigm and its impact on the contemporary representational painter. This has led to a groundbreaking series of paintings, exploring the integration of a contemporary sensibility with the great painting traditions of the past. Some say the unusual combinations of form and color afforded by this approach, and its jarring juxtapositions with a strong figurative component, has led to surprising and challenging imagery. As “realist” painters, I believe an evocative and multi-faceted body of work depends upon fully understanding where we are now historically, exploring how we’ve arrived at this point, and then taking action with courage, sincerity and truth to one's own beliefs.


copyright 2008, Carl J. Samson - Site design and development by Melissa McClanahan