Jean R. Sampson


I never paint, write or draw because. I am “inspired”. If I were to wait for the muse to whisper in my ear, I would never even start a piece. Inspiration begins when I put a stroke of paint on canvas, a mark or a word on paper. Then the conversation has begun.
I trust the energy, the life force, the personality of the piece to lead me into areas where paint, lines or words have a life of their own. Once I have engaged with a work, I will not quit working on it, no matter how far from “beautiful” or “meaningful” it seems to have strayed.
I am an explorer hoping to find images, colors, words that have not been used quite as I use them. There are stages in all forms of my creative expression where, in my haste to finish, I could say, ” Enough.” Then the question arises, “I wonder what would happen if…?” and I am off to explore further to see if I can find all the treasures hidden in canvas or paper or any other material I might discover.
Jean R. Sampson has distinguished herself as a poet as well as a painter and teacher. She was the featured artist/poetry for the Fall 2005 edition of Streetlight and has been nominated for a Pushcart prize. A self taught poet, she relies on her image-making ability and her love of words for the crafting of poems. Jean’s evocative abstract paintings sell in local galleries, venues in New York and High Point, NC, where her paintings are featured in commercial showrooms and interior designer’s staging.
She studied painting for many years after graduating from Ferrum College with her beloved friend and mentor: fine artist, designer, printmaker, Morton P. Traylor (1918 – 1996), founder of the Virginia Art Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia. A Charlottesville VA native, Jean maintains her downtown studio in the original the McGuffey Elementary School building from which she graduated in 1960.
Jean teaches Drawing and Oil Painting at McGuffey Art Center, and is one of the most admired teachers there. Her newest class offering is Journaling your Inner Journey, which combines her love of poetry and artistic visualization. She derives great joy from making art and poetry accessible to the artist and poet who lives within each of us.

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