Further art discussions and notifications for the artwork of Sam Thorp

Thursday, January 31, 2013



Drawing... not just figure drawing.... but drawing.... at it's most basic form is a record of your arm movement. Beyond perception, proportion, composition, etc.; it records how you move.
How you move depends on your inner state. Whether you are anxious, confident or bored.
Drawing is more than reproducing an image, you are producing something more.
This is why I often find hyper realism shallow and superficial. It's just lifeless.
In order to make a drawing engaging you have to give it life. Your life. Your inner state. Your heart beat. Your chi. Your flow. Your rhythm. To make a drawing soar you have to reach deep down inside your self and shake that psychic booty.  

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Got Drawn, now what?

So  tonight is end of the Get Drawn show at Stuff n Such Society.
There will be a small closing 6pm tonight.

Then SSS will be putting up the new show for February, called All is Fair.
About Love & War obviously and I'll have a piece in for that show.
A little something I call "Low Blow"

The show will start on Feb 1. during Unblurred 6-11pm.

Upstairs from SSS will be Donnie Toomer's Convergence show, so don't miss that either.
And here:

Actually it's looking like there's gonna be a lot of great shows at Unblurred. There has been much buzz about Spaz & Spazimon. I look forward to that.

Sunday. The GLCC will be hosting another art show for an up and coming artist of  the LGBTQ community, Torey Bocast.  She will be exhibiting 2 themes abstract compositions and photos from a trip to Israel.  Come check it out 6-9pm downtown.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013


End of the Get Drawn Show.

Thanks to your generosity we were able to send a $150 check to the Women and Girls Foundation.

Sylvia K. One of the artists in the show has recently created an illustrated video for the band Il Feno.

You can still see the show up to and including the closing party, Wednesday Jan 30th. 6-9pm.

Friday, January 18, 2013


anxiety du'jour:

Fresh out of school I got my first art show.
It was a coffee shop in Shadyside that doesn't exist anymore.
I had no idea what i was doing. I had no access to email or social media at the time.
I made postcards and mailed them to anyone and everyone I knew.  When I was hanging the show the Cafe owner commented that I was the most professional artist he ever had. The compliment made me feel awesome. Only a few friends actually showed but I still sold out the entire show.
Imagine, complete strangers bought my art.
Near the end of the opening this guy comes running in, looking around trying to catch his breath. He turns out to be a gallery director from the current big time hot spot of the Pittsburgh scene. He buys the last piece available. He starts raving on about my work. He thought i was a brilliant talent who could do great things.  He wanted to offer me a show at his gallery on the Southside. He starts telling me what I need to do, such as tips on framing and showing.
I'm delirious.
I want to go home and make new art.
The only problem is... my personal life is a mess.
This was the time my parents had divorced and moved out. I was living alone in the family farm house with my brother. The house was up for a sheriffs  sale. I had two shitty part time jobs at minimum wage that barley made 20 hours. I had a psycho "girl friend" who treated me like dirt.
I couldn't concentrate enough to make any new art.
I went to see this gallery and was blown away. The work was out of my league. The gallery was breathtaking and most of the clients assumed I was some homeless person who wandered in for the free food.
I had no idea what I would make for this place. Do i make the same stuff? Or do I make something different. What if it isn't as good? What if I can't pull it off?
Within a week there's a knock at my door. Some guy bought the house at the tax auction and I had to move out.
I had ot find a new place to live.
I had to do something with all this stuff (3 generations of stuff) in the attics and basements and workshops.
I had to get a new/ better job to afford a new place.
I had to do something about this, that, and the other thing.
So the art show ended up on the back burner.
It's completely understandable.
And the amazing thing is.... I handled pretty much all of it.
Got a new apartment and foudn a home for most of the items and antiques. I moved furniture, refridgerators, washing machines myself with a station wagon. I didn't even have a dolly. I just moved it at all time sof the day and night becuase of the schedules between two jobs.
 Got a new job teaching. That would eventually lead to me being the Dean of the school.
Got a new girlfriend who was actually a decent human being.
I was even able to start paying off that student loan.
I had everything ... except art work. I didn't know what to draw or paint. The offer from the big time galelry was way in the past. I blew it. I choked.  I kept myself busy with  a few comissions and class projects. During htis time I made the figure drawing book. And I was good at it. I did great commssions, great class projects, I was a pretty good teacher. I told myself this was enough and I was still contributing to the "art scene" in some small way.
I should have been content and happy.
I wasn't.
After a time I couldn't take it anymore.
I had to ruin it all.
The job, the home, the girl.
I couldn't make just any art... i had to make THE ART. My art.
Not for anyone else. Not about anyone else.
The "Art"  wanted to be made.... and I was neglecting it.

The only problem is:  I still had no idea what I was doing.

It took a while to find the right balance of work, money and free time, finding the right place to make work, the right subject matter, the right method; and the right outlet to show it and get feedback.
Don't ever think this has been easy. It took a lot to get back on track.

I suppose it had to happen this way. Who knows what would have happened if I had that show.
And  imagine my chagrin when I witness the cycle repeat itself with someone else. Perhaps there is something to be learned from this .... some giant cosmic truth, some grand quantum secret. Was I supposed to fix it? Make up for it?  For the longest time I though the lesson was to make art no matter what. To be dedicated and produce even if the world is crashing about your ears.
And maybe that isn't the lesson at all.
Unfortunatley .... I still have no idea what I am doing.
But I have to do something.... this is it.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Creativity & Fear

We have to continually push beyond our own comfort zones to improve.
But that often leads to anxiety & frustration.... which in turns disrupts and blocks the cognitive functions we need for creative solutions.

Heidi Grant Halvorson has a few ideas to get through it.
Basically instead of exception perfection, expect mistakes then improve.
The full article is here.

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Monday, January 14, 2013


Kate Middleton's first official portrait revealed: Painting of Duchess of Cambridge met with mixed reaction

Art critics say the painting, unveiled on Friday, doesn't do Kate Middleton's beauty justice. She appears worn and beyond her 31 years, they say. But the Duchess herself called the artwork 'absolutely brilliant' and praised painter Paul Emsley.Read more:

This is why art history is so important, kids. 
The tradition of "Royal Portraiture" as never .... NEVER... been about achieving a likeness. 
All those royal portraits done by Rubens, Michelangelo, Velasquez; arey ou niave enough to think the Kings and Queens looked like that? 
Royal Portraiture is about politics. It's about the image the crown wants to project.
So take another look and ask your self, "what image are they trying to project?"

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Saturday, January 05, 2013


Note taking: Loosely organized thoughts

It's all worthwhile if you learn something. What you don't know can and will  hurt you. So learn from your experiences. Pay attention. LISTEN. Always keep learning.

Try. Take action. Try again. Do what you know.Try again.  Do your best. Try again.
Stay. See it through to the end. Finish what you start.
Engage. Make connections. Relationships. Help others. Make a difference to others.

You can change what you are. You can change where you are. You are limited in changing what happens around you. You can change what goes through your mind.
You are not your circumstances. Your circumstances are things that happen to you, NOT who you are.
When in doubt, make Art about it.
To keep making art is to persevere.
Procrastinate is sometimes a fear of failure.
Perfectionism is sometimes a fear of failure.
Make the art anyway.
Make it imperfect. Make art. Learn things.
There will be a fear of failure. There will be fear.
There will be doubts, insecurites and resistance.
The emotional turbulance is the boundary between growth and the comfort zone.
It's the fence at the edge of the wilderness.
Venture out there anyway. The breakthroughs are out "there".
Don't back down. Don't give up. Keep going.
Make the art. Face the demons. Slay the dragons... better yet, make friends with them.
Make the art and in turn the art will make you.
Do it for what it makes of you to make it.
Do it for the skills you have to learn, for the person you have to become.
Someone smarter, less afraid. Someone who can manage time & resources.
Someone who can motivate and coordinate with others. Someone who can keep your ego in check.
You will learn how to overcome your own fears. How to talk to people. How to deal with success and rejection. How to ask for what you need.
In the end you learn to make you. You  become the masterpiece.

(the late night manifesto for 2013)

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Wednesday, January 02, 2013


Ready To Draw

The show is up an running at Stuff n Such Society (The basement of Most Wanted Fine Art).
Fantastic large scale prints by Sylvia K. and Sarina Meester at a bargain price. 
Plus a few drawings by me.

And I'll be drawing portraits during the opening at Unblurred. 6-11pm.
That's right, step right up and I will draw YOU.
Does it cost anything?  A donation to the Women & Girls Foundation of Pittsburgh.
($10 suggested but a little more or less is ok too. )

Facebook event:

The mission of the Women and Girls Foundation (WGF) is to achieve equality for women and girls, now and for generations to come. Our vision is for women and girls in Pennsylvania to have equal access, opportunity, and influence in all aspects of their public and private lives. To realize this vision, the organization’s active work is focused on developing the female leaders of tomorrow and advancing women’s rights today through advocacy, coalition building, and grantmaking.

Get a portrait done and support a good cause. 

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