Sam Grisham is speaking…
“I selected these works because I think they are representative of my painting style and my voice, my soul-stuff, that which I care about deeply.”
1. How did your artistic journey begin?
“I could say my visual art journey began when I wrote a novel, hit a brick wall and signed up for a painting class to jump-start my writing muse.
However, the truth is my visual art journey began long ago when I was a youngster
drawing dragons and doodling fairies and elves and gnomes in crayon and water paint.
I drew on the headboard I shared with my sisters.
I doodled all over our dresser and mirror, the bedroom walls, the closet walls, my oldest sister’s notebooks and any unmarked available surface.
But… I grew up in a place where visual art was not seen as a viable means of support and I wasn’t encouraged to pursue art. When I became old enough to understand what was expected of me, despite that I was much too young to be so intuitive, I set aside the doodling for what I understood were more important things. Over time, I forgot the unbridled joy I experienced in drawing and creating pictures.
I forgot that I doodled.
As I put the time in for my various 9-to-5’s, I understood more and more that my core required a creative outlet and so I kept a journal, wrote poetry and short stories. Writing became a critical and effective component to my survival but my writing was also a clue because my poems and stories are very visual. In fact, my first book of poems, in collaboration with a friend, was entitled “We Paint Poems”. But, it wasn’t until I started painting pictures with oil onto canvas that I realized how significant the role of my poems and stories. Writing, while especially dear to me, was a placeholder for my first love, my truest love, my doodling.”
2. Does your art construct or deconstruct?
“Established notions of morality, societal mores, etc., often are contradictory and non-conducive for the evolution of humankind as these notions are a hotbed for the creation of various categories and assumptions which act as inhibitors as much as identifiers.
I believe we have more in common than the boundaries our identifiers, the color of skin, our sexual orientation or religion or philosophies or politics, would imply.
As a species, we are related on levels that defy categorization…
…so I would have to say my intent with my art is to deconstruct the notions that, in my mind, support categorization.
From the perspective of a student of art and the technical application of art, an area that presents frequent struggle for me is ‘sanctioned’ artistic technique. The professional art world reeks of sanctions (and the categories defined and developed to support those sanctions) that are imposed on both the artist and the art lover and, while I don’t want to lessen the importance and benefit of tried and true techniques and methodologies, I do believe the artist palette must always be on guard against the self-censure that can result from exposure and adherence to sanctions and status quo.
Self-censure is the artist’s double edged sword.
It is a tool that can be friend or enemy, capable of moving the artist forward but also capable of corrupting individualism and squelching the artist’s voice.”
3. If the world was less violent (all forms of violence, poverty, destruction, physical) would your art be different from what it is today?
“I have been subjected to the violence of our world and I am a product of that violence.
I have endured violence, witnessed violence, inflicted it, wrote about it and painted it.
I cannot be separate from what is and it cannot be separate from me. But … if the world was less violent, surely there would be more butterflies and unicorns and fields of happy-ever-after on my canvas.”
4. What do you refuse to ignore?
“Color is the flavor of living.
It cannot be ignored.
All other elements are meaningful when and if demanded by the composition and… The Muse.”
5. Why do you think you are an artist?
“I am an artist because
there is nothing else
I aspire to be.”
Sam’s Art-forms: Surrealism / Realism / Oil / Mixed-Media / Literature
Place on the Globe: Atlanta, Georgia
Where you can find Sam’s Work: http://www.samgrisham.com
Femficātiō Perspectives is a dash of colour and culture from artists, musicians, writers, politicians and activists around the world. People who change the shape of things.
If there is a “shaper” you would like to see featured in perspectives email firstname.lastname@example.org.