Archive for February 19th, 2009

Paul Sample CelebrationSometimes you run across work that really hits you and you wonder, “How have I never heard of this guy before?”

The world of art is full of such people, artists who while popular in their time never have made that shift into the ongoing popular consciousness. Perhaps their style was out of step or out of favor in their time or perhaps they just never caught the big break.  One of my favorite examples is the artist Paul Sample.  paul-sample-church-supper

The poor guy doesn’t even warrant a Wikipedia page of his own.

I first saw a piece of his a number of years ago in a traveling exhibit at the Arnot Art Museum,  in Elmira.  I can’t remember the title or even all the details.  I just recall being struck by the composition and the way he framed the painting with the elements at the picture’s edge (much like he has done in the top painting, Celebration, shown here).  There was an emergence from dark to light that really presented the central part of the scene in a strong way.  

Paul Sample Janitor's Holiday I immediately went home and integrated this idea of his into my own work.  Over the years I’ve come across other examples of his work (I’ve never been able to locate the piece I saw those years ago) and am always visually excited by them.  The compositions have a wonderful triangular quality where everything more less pointed to center of the panel, allowing the eye to settle easily into the painting.  His colors have the richness and dark undertones that  really attract me as well.

As I’ve said, the art world is full of any number of Paul Samples.  They may be less known and less loved than the brighter stars in their galaxy but their work remains alive and vital, full of the potential to influence even to this day.

Give them a chance…

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