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Déjà Blue

By Linda Samson

Ceramic tile painting. Framed in white wood


  • Framed
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Linda Samson

‘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”

I was born in Glasgow, but my family moved to Fife in the east coast of Scotland when I was still very young. My early childhood was spent exploring the coastline of sand and rocks, experiencing the gales, wild seas and surprisingly hot summers. As an adult, these elements are often dominant factors in my work; wheeling gulls, 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. 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 images and symbolism 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. My main influence was Picasso and his use of large areas of colour and simplified forms. He often refers to classical Greek art and early Renaissance art for inspiration and I did the same, discovering Della Francesca among others.

I trawl through the past, memories, sketchbook notes, doodles, drawings, but I’m also constantly drawing new images that sometimes 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 my art. For me, the reservoir of the past is a constant source of creative energy in the present.

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. 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 handmade ceramic tiles, allows me to use utilise both strong colours and the images I have used in my paintings. Whether it be a canvas, an etching plate, a piece of clay, I see it as a surface on which to inscribe a seductive image.