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We got together with fine artist Samantha Floyd to pick her brain and see what her art is all about.  This Georgia native has a lot of talent and direction, she is definitely someone to keep an eye on.
 
ESR: I think the first question we have to ask an artist is, how long have you been creating art?
SF:  It is such a cliché, but I’ve literally been creating art since I can remember. I was always finding pictures in TV Guide and any household magazine to recreate when I was little. In almost every grade in elementary school I won the art contest for a prize to go see the latest Disney movie that was out, or some prize like that. Not until high school did I realize that I really wanted to pursue art professionally.
 
ESR: How would you describe your current style?
SF: My style of painting would have to be described as impressionistic. That is clearly what I aim for. Impressionism is not outdated. The Impressionists painted in a changing world of industrialization, and I still think this definitely applies to today and to my life because I moved from a slow-paced, small town in the south to the overwhelming busyness of New York City.
 
"Power Lines" 30x40 (Oil)

"Power Lines" 30x40 (Oil)

ESR: I can imagine there would be a little bit of adjusting to do.  What medium do you most enjoy working in?
SF: Oil paint. Hands down. It is slow drying and I can modify the thickness easily.
 
ESR: What are your goals as far as art is concerned?
SF: My goal is to always do what I love and stay true to that plan and everything will fall into place. The ultimate goal would be to create a following of buyers to appreciate my work. I’m not looking to become famous or super rich, I just want people to appreciate my work.
 
ESR: What/who are some of your influences?
SF: I am influenced by Mark Rothko and Henri Matisse for their pure and ardent sense of the use of color; Claude Monet for defining the Impressionist era with his superb brushwork and the attention to color of things when light strikes it; Vincent Van Gogh for making painting simple and about the movement of the brushwork. Last, but not least, Penny Dobson, my high school art teacher for showing me what art really is. She paints what she loves and loves what she paints and she is where I get a bit of my folk art inspirations in my beaded paintings –and maybe a little bit in my oil paintings. She also encouraged me to go BIG.
 
ESR: What are some accomplishments/moments that you are proud of?
SF: Accomplishing my Senior Solo Exhibit as a graduation requirement from Shorter University was a proud moment. 24,000 square inches of paintings and less than 3 months to do it in. It turned out really nice to have a completed body of work hanging in a gallery for the first time. I also sold half of the pieces in the show!
 
ESR: That sounds like a successful debut show to me.  So why would you say that you create art?
SF: I create art because I honestly don’t know what I would be doing without it. And I couldn’t stop it if I tried. I don’t just look at a field of grass and see green, I see yellow-greens and blue-greens and then it doesn’t stop there, I think about how I would make those greens… “a little cerulean blue, with cadmium yellow, maybe add some ultra-marine…” these are my thoughts all the time. Sometimes it feels like a curse, but then I pick up a paintbrush and it works all those thoughts out.
 
"Daisies" 5x7 (Acrylic & Seed Beads)

"Daisies" 5x7 (Acrylic & Seed Beads)

ESR: Can you tell us a little more about your decision to incorporate beads in your work?
SF: My high school art teacher I mentioned before showed me the bead technique. I fell in love with the tediousness and she encouraged me to work with it. I am pretty sure she is still doing beaded work as well. I use a refined “folk” look in the beaded paintings because I like to consider it an ode to my southern heritage and appreciation to my inspiration from Penny. Bead work is the high craft and more fun side of my work; it is a break from the oil painting body of work. (Plus I like the reaction of people realizing they are hand placed beads one-by-one)
 
ESR: That’s very cool, those pieces definitely have a unique look.  So do you have any events coming up?
SF: Right now I am going to be entering some work into the National Lighthouse Museum’s “Lighthouses and the Harbor” that is tentatively scheduled for November 11-13. More information can be found at www.lighthousemuseum.org. There are several holiday shows at local community centers, Jewish Temples, and churches I am looking into right now, so as soon as I enter a show I place it on my website for anyone that is interested.
 
ESR: Speaking of that, tell everyone where they can find more information about you and your work.
SF: More information about me and my work is available on my website. You can also follow me on twitter @samflo821.
 
ESR: Before we go is there anything else you would like to share?
SF: I want to mention that I am from northwest Georgia and the body of work I am working on reflects that. I work mostly from photos that I have taken myself of objects and scenes around my home in Georgia, so this paired with my impressionist style comments on the fleeting moments of home that are stored as memories now. And painting them creates a perpetual and emotional homage to them. I talk more about this in my artist statement on my website.
 
I also only work from 11 colors of paint and I mix my own greens, oranges, and blacks.
 
"My Morning Coffee" 24x30 (Oil)
“My Morning Coffee” 24×30 (Oil)
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