This week’s Portfolio of the Week is one of the newest users - Professional Artist, Sam Earp.
Sam is a landscape artist who paints in a traditional realism style. He also paints outdoors in the field known as ‘en Plein air’. He was born on the Island of Guernsey in 1979 and grew up in Exeter in south-west England. When he moved over to New Zealand in 2009, he started painting as a career. By doing so, he resumed his love of painting landscapes, and has also expanded to teaching online through his website and YouTube channel.
We asked Sam what inspires him to paint:
“I am inspired by the beauty of nature, especially rolling green landscapes, majestic trees, epic mountains, and the ocean. I am also inspired by the 19th-century landscape painters as I think they were some of the best painters around. I see potential paintings everywhere I look and I feel compelled to capture the beauty and atmosphere of a landscape on canvas. One of the things I love to do is to go outside and paint which is a wonderful way of improving your painting skills.
When you paint outdoors it makes you really look at the landscape and the relationships between the colours, values, and the landforms you are painting. It also really good for your mind and spirit, I love being outdoors in the fresh air and the sun. The other cool thing about painting outdoors is that for me it’s like a visual diary of my life and the places I have travelled too. A Plein air painting captures the essence and atmosphere of the place you painted.”
Sam has taken his struggles and flipped them into positives by helping others. He has done this by teaching through his YouTube channel. After reaching out to many fellow artists for help, it was one landscape artist who set him back on the right path and taught him skills such as colour mixing, composition, and painting tonality in a manner that was easy to understand. As a result, Sam has decided to teach others, because he kept seeing artists struggling with the same problems.
In addition, Sam wants to expand the niche of painting, and make it as accessible as possible, from complete beginners to pro’s. He wants people to feel inspired to just ‘have a go’ at painting, as well as learning art theory, colour mixing, and composition as they go.
Painting is something Sam has always been involved in. He stopped painting when he was 18 years old, but took it up again 10 years later as a way of relaxing and taking his mind off things. When he moved to New Zealand, he was so inspired by the landscape and immediately purchased some art materials within the first week of being there, and has never looked back. Painting brings a sense of happiness and calmness to Sam’s life, and has become ‘like oxygen’.
One of Sam’s favourite places to paint is the Glenorchy area on the south island of New Zealand. The area is surrounded by towering, snow-capped mountains, lakes and streams, forests, and farmland, and he says there is a never-ending amount of subjects to paint there.
We also asked Sam what his favourite, or most used piece of equipment is:
“My favourite item of gear is my hand made pochade box easel which I use for painting outdoors. It is a wooden box that opens up to an easel, complete with a palette and storage compartments for finished paintings and paint tubes. It mounts conveniently on a camera tripod and it is very intuitive.”
Sam is currently based in the Bay of Islands area in northern New Zealand.
We would like to thank Sam for giving us a little insight into his life as a professional artist and thank him for choosing Portfoliobox. If you are interested in learning how to paint, regardless of your skill level, you can check out Sam’s website.