‘The figures in Linda Samson’s work exude a distinct sense of solidity. Captured in paint, pen and ink or ceramics, they inhabit an enviably tangible space, as though they live deeply felt, vibrant lives just beyond their frames.’
Judy Darley “Sky Light Rain’ 2014
Portrait of Stuart Christie . Oil on canvas
Being trained at Glasgow School of Art, then a very traditional school, drawing, and particularly life drawing formed the foundations of my figurative style. I also loved portraiture and catching a likeness on paper, canvas and clay.
The stylized forms in my work came initially from my discovery of Oceanic art and the joined or reflected images from a study I did at the British Museum of conjoined twins.
I find I move happily between a variety of mediums, including ceramics, oil paint on canvas and drawing. I don’t have a preference for one technique in particular, in fact, I like the way an image will change and develop depending on the medium used. Having said that, I’m probably more emotionally attached to the oil paintings, because these take longer to make and go through so many changes in the process. They are a struggle, a challenge and therefore much more satisfying when resolved.
Bowl of Cherries. Oilcanvas
I was born in Glasgow, but moved over to Scotland’s east coast with my family when I was still very young. My early childhood was spent exploring the coastline of sand and rocks, experiencing winter gales, wild seas and surprisingly hot summers. Thus as an adult, these elements are often dominant factors in my work; birds, the effects of the wind, the sun and the rising moon; glimpsed through a window or a door, they often feature in the enclosed spaces of my paintings.
Covering My Tracks. Oil on canvas.
My work has been often been influenced by a passion for the French capital city. I was a teenager when I first visited and fell in love with Paris. I returned regularly, mainly to visit galleries or particular exhibitions. However, in recent years I stayed for longer periods and started to explore the city.
Fag Break at Bon Marche. Pen on paper
Fag Break at Bon Marche 2. Pen on paper
The result was a series of ‘genre’ paintings and ceramic pieces about people glimpsed on buses, in brasseries, outside a department store, or a scene spied from a window or glimpsed in a park. I drew these images from memory on returning to my apartment and later worked the images into paintings, ceramics and etchings. Paris never seems to change, certainly the inner city with its boulevards and little back streets. being a people watcher I became intrigued by the attitudes of smokers relegated to perching on steps and pavements when the bye-laws on smoking changed in France.
I like to use strong colours. The cool bluish light of the north makes colours appear very luminous, especially the pinks, oranges, and turquoises that have always featured strongly in my paintings and ceramics.
Working with ceramics, in particular ceramic tiles, allows me to use utilise both strong colours and the images I have used in my paintings.
Starry Night 2, Ceramic tile
I trawl through the past, memories, sketchbook notes, doodles, drawings, but I’m also constantly drawing new images that sometimes suddenly spring into a life of their own. I like the way the finished pieces have a quality of stillness and how everything I do, see and feel is translated back into the art I produce. For example ‘Harbour Lights’ below shows the influence of the ceramic tiles reworked on canvas. For me, the reservoir of the past is a constant source of creative energy in the present.
Harbour Lights, Oil on canvas
Recently I have returned to a French theme and am working on larger paintings of views of Paris such as the Tour Montparnasse glimpsed from an apartment window or the Hotel du Nord seen from a barge on the Canal St Martin.
Tour Montparnasse at Dawn (Oil on canvas)