Sam Thompson. Photo credit: Angela Brushe
Robert Hannaford’s SALA Festival exhibition may have come and gone, but his work lives on in multi-award winning artist Sam Thompson’s ghostly and powerful portraits. In our latest spotlight, Sam tells us about his love for Richard Schmid’s tome, Alla Prima.
Q: Hello Sam! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
A: I am 25 years old. My art journey began when I was quite young, although I didn’t really pursue it until I was about 18. Since then it’s pretty much all I’ve done. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
‘Jack 2’ (charcoal)
Q: Who inspires you? What inspires your art?
A: Nature. Nature is my greatest inspiration. I am also very inspired by artists such as Richard Schmid, Joseph Zbukvic, Hans Heysen, Robert Hannaford, Casey Baugh, Daniel Keys, and many others.
Q: Do you have a preferred medium?
A: Charcoal, watercolour and oil are my favourites. Charcoal has always been a favourite of mine. I like it’s natural feel and look. I worked in watercolour pretty much exclusively for about three years and really enjoyed it even though it is very challenging. I learned a lot about the importance of planning ahead using watercolour. About a year ago I started using oils and I think I’ve found my place with them.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I would say pretty much traditional realism. Expressing how I personally experience the world is what does it for me.
Q: Can you please describe your artistic and creative process i.e.: from lingering idea to putting it into practice?
A: I like to work from life as much as possible. So once I have established the subject, whether it be a landscape or portrait, usually all I manage to do in preparation is a tonal/compositional thumbnail sketch. This is simply because of the limited time before the subject changes or decides their bored of sitting still. So most of the planning is done in my head.
‘Hahndorf Gums’ (watercolour/gouache)
Q: Where do you see your art practice taking you in the next five years?
A: I would love to be making a living out of my art. That’s the goal!
Q: If you could recommend one artist, who would it be?
A: Richard Schmid is my all time fave artist. I think he is a true modern master and a great teacher. His book Alla Prima has helped me no end.
‘Jesse 2’ (charcoal)
Q: What is your favourite gallery?
A: Im not sure I really have a favourite gallery. Although I did have a very memorable experience at Robert Hannaford’s SALA exhibition this year. So I guess I’ll say the Art Gallery of South Australia.
Q: Where can we find more of your work?
A: You can check out my work on my website, Facebook or Instagram. I also exhibit at Penny’s Hill Winery and the Hahndorf Academy, although due to some mental health troubles I wont have any new work up for a little while.
‘Leaf Study #4’ (oil on canvas paper)
Q: What are your New Year’s Resolutions?
A: As I said have I’ve been struggling with some mental health troubles. So I’d like to get past those.