Award-winning artist Jeremy Sams became a professional painter at age 19, “as a matter of survival,” he says. Meet Sams and hear his story on Saturday, August 27, at Alta Vista Gallery in Valle Crucis at the opening reception for his new show, “I Saw the Light,” hanging now through September 14.
The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Refreshments will be served.
Gallery owner Maria Santomasso-Hyde says, “Sams is a detailed Impressionist who knows how to capture the light in a way that truly moves the viewers of his work. His list of awards is a full page long, and this show reveals why he wins so many competitions. My favorite Sams painting depicts morning light glowing behind trees, making them seem almost heavenly. An avid art collector told me that Sams will be internationally famous one day, and I think he just might be right.”
The show features 25 new acrylic paintings, all painted en plein air, or from plein air studies, and includes a variety of subjects, such as night scenes, rivers and streams, forests, farms, mountains and meadows. Sizes range from small (8×10 inches) that could sit on an easel or bookshelf, up to 30×40 inches.
Sams says that “ Crystal Clear” is his favorite painting in this new show because, “This painting encompasses some of the most influential elements in my life: water and light. I spent a lot of time playing in the rivers and creeks in my youth and I’ve always loved the rich colors of rocks in shallow water, especially when illuminated by the sunlight. The scene then climaxes when you witness the dance of reflected light, foliage and blue skies rippling across the top of the water. Painting this piece had to have been as satisfying to me as Monet painting his water lilies.
“This painting is one of those that I forced myself out of my little artistic box and attempted to paint an angle on a river that I just don’t normally do. This piece was a great exercise in painting not only the surface of the water, but also what lies under the water, what’s being reflected on the water, and shadows going across the water.”
Sams says, “I have to paint. If I’m not making art, I’d be a fish out of water. I couldn’t survive. There’s no greater means of joy than doing what God designed you to do, especially when you’re able to pay your bills at the same time.”
Sams says all of his paintings are “impressions” of scenes, with special attention to the effects of light on the landscapes. “My goal was to capture the impression of a particular moment in time with special attention to the effects of light and atmosphere in that moment. With the age we’re living in today, it is my aim that these attempts at capturing God’s light will help to offer a measure of hope and peace to the viewer.
“I not only want to represent a particular scene, but to also capture the emotional reaction that I have to the scene. This style is not so much intentional as it is ‘reactional.’ When painting en plein air, and struggling against all of the obstacles that painting outdoors presents, you can’t help but paint in a quick manner that focuses on things that are important and letting the rest be peripheral.”
Sams, who discovered painting “en plein air” in 2011 when he and his wife were mourning the death of two children, says that during this trying time, he “found new inspiration and healing through painting outdoors. Painting en plein air has become a means of therapy and release of emotion for me. Outdoors, I can enjoy God’s creation and relish in the beauty He has given us to enjoy in this short life.”
View images of Sams’ work at www.altavistagallery.com and on the gallery’s page on Facebook. Alta Vista Gallery shows over 100 artists in all media, specializing in landscapes. Also: Sculptures, art tiles, and Mangum Pottery. For info, call the gallery at (828) 963-5247.
Alta Vista Gallery is located only 10 minutes from Boone or Banner Elk, N.C., in a National Register historic farmhouse at 2839 Broadstone Road, Valle Crucis, — between Mast Farm Inn and Mast Store Annex. For a map and directions, visit www.altavistagallery.com.