This series began in 2009 as hundreds of tiny artist trading cards (ATC’s). Samantha Claar created them with pen and ink and the characters arrived daily, doing their simple tasks and expressing satisfaction with life in general. In 2010, they began to evolve into full size portraits with backgrounds that helped tell their stories.
Although art is always interpretive, each canvas tells a complete story known to the painter and the character who presented herself for painting. One of Samantha’s joys is hearing the stories that the Gullah folks tell you when you look at their portraits. “These people have stories they want to share, so look for a long, loving relationship with these Gullah folk.”
The simplicity and domesticity portrayed in the art create a sense of beauty that is parallels in many ways to the life of the artist. Ms. Claar resides on Tybee Island and was well known for her TybeeCats art before beginning the Gullah Living series. In her multi-faceted artwork she uses vivid colors and her philosophy is … “life is a canvas we are applying color to.” She paints “everything that will stand still long enough.” This includes canvas, houses, furniture, murals, fences, cars, cartoons and fabric.
Ms. Claar has been painting since the mid 90’s. She is the daughter of an artist, and credits her years of “MotherArt”, with teaching her “enough to be confident in my own style”. “I love this series, and the feedback I get is a tremendous incentive to keep on painting” says the artist. You are welcome to send your thoughts, impressions, and the stories the Gullah tell you, to the artist – through the “Contact” page