Have a look at her beautiful paintings and let’s hear more from Samantha herself who talks about her journey and her inspiration
|Come & Dine With Me|
|Bright & Beautiful|
|Blooms of Hope|
|I'll be with you always|
|Dressed in Bloom|
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Samantha, an architect by training and I live in Austin with my amazing husband, Jeff and two precious girls who are now 4 and almost 2. I’ve lived most of my life in Oman and some in India (I’m originally from Kerala) and been in the US since 2013.
How did your journey as an artist begin? Did you have any formal training or is it self-taught?
I’ve always loved to sketch, paint and dabble in anything creative and am extremely passionate about design! I did not have any formal training as an artist, except for the standard art class in school. But those classes laid the foundation and taught me the basics in various sketching and painting techniques. I used to also hold onto picture books with pretty illustrations in it, and would try and paint them when I had the time. I realised early on that God had blessed me with a creative gene as I received plenty of affirmation from my art teachers, friends and family. My art teacher was highly invested in anything I produced, displaying them in his room, around the school and at art exhibitions. But I only ever thought of art as a hobby. I went to architecture school, pursued my goals of becoming a licensed architect and hardly picked up a paint brush for anything unrelated to school or work for the next 10 years.
When Jeff and I moved into our first apartment, I was very excited to do some decorating and make it feel more like home. I started looking for some meaningful art for our stark lifeless walls. Not finding what we wanted in our budget, I decided to paint a few myself. And THAT rekindled the old lost passion once again! I did a couple for our own home, and then happily jumped at opportunities to do a few more for family and friends. They were positively thrilled.
As the 2020 pandemic began, I chose to take a break from work to be fully available to my little ones. Though I've been blessed to have this opportunity to spend so much time with them, I began to feel drained and was in desperate need of a creative outlet - something to occupy myself with on a flexible schedule - and I found therapy behind the easel again. If I’m not painting, I’m either organizing or designing spaces.
How would you describe your art style?
This is a hard one. Honestly, I’m not very good at identifying different art styles but I do know that I am naturally more drawn to painting landscapes and objects in a realistic way toning down the colors to a soft, earthy palette. I love the rich character of vintage art and sometimes like to dye my paper or canvas to recreate that look, before I paint on it.
What's your inspiration for your art work?
Painting is therapeutic to my soul and draws me closer to God, the Creator of all things beautiful. I draw a lot of inspiration from nature- from tiny delicate flowers to a beautiful cloudy sky. I love being able to study and capture on paper in my imperfect way, glimpses of His perfect creation. I also have a thing for old buildings, interesting doorways, arches, stone masonry, cobblestone streets and anything covered in blooms! I work primarily with acrylics, watercolours and charcoal, experimenting with light, shadow, fluidity and texture as I go.
What is the most challenging aspect about your work?
Since I get to take out my brushes only when the kids are asleep, I get just a few hours in a day to paint and I try to make the most of it. Acrylics dry very quickly, so I’m always trying new ways to keep them wet longer, so I don’t waste too much paint between painting sessions.
Making time to pursue creativity amidst the demands of motherhood gets challenging at times, but I just take it one day at a time.
What is your creative process like? and what keeps you motivated?
My head is always brimming with ideas for future paintings and collections and so I write these ideas down whenever I have an inspiring moment. I usually listen to my favourite podcasts, music, or an audio bible and it keeps me focused, relaxed and inspired as I work. I am most productive and motivated in the early morning hours, when the whole house is sleeping and it’s just me and my canvas.
Do you commission different projects? And how can people purchase your paintings?
Yes I do! I’m currently taking one commission a month and you can either DM me on Instagram @samanthamathew.studio or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org about it and I will be happy to bring your vision to life! As of now, I only ship to places within the US.
I also sell my work on www.etsy.com/shop/SamanthaMathewStudio or do occasional sales on Instagram itself.
What is your favourite art piece that you have done till date?
Ah, another tough one! But if I had to pick, I would say that the “Come and Dine with Me” painting hanging in our living room is my favourite. It was the first painting I did, after 15 years and the first time I tried working with acrylics.
I just love this scene of the risen Christ, appearing to His weary disciples who were out the entire night fishing, with no luck whatsoever and inviting them to a breakfast that He'd just prepared for them. I didn’t have a reference image for this piece and I just love how it all finally came together.
Any tips or words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career.
I don’t consider myself the best person to give much advice here as my path is pretty unconventional for an aspiring professional artist. But as in any field, the only way to get better at something is with lots of practice! So make time to pursue creativity- if it is through sketching or painting, do a little everyday even if you don’t feel particularly inspired or stimulated.
And most of all, believe in yourself and in your work!
Thank you so much Samantha for sharing your inspiring journey with me and my readers and we look forward to seeing more of your work.
Stay tuned for more artist inspirations in the coming weeks!