About Me

Samantha Long is an artist who loves patterns, bright colors, and whimsy. She started taking art lessons at the age of 10 with fine artist Monique DeWitt and continued with art through high school. It wasn’t until Samantha was chosen as a Sterling Scholar for Fine Art, however, that she started taking art more seriously. After taking her art portfolio over to Bob Barrett and receiving an invitation to study with his department, Samantha decided to study Illustration at Brigham Young University under Christopher Thornock, Robert Barrett, and Bethanne Andersen. “I did Illustration not because I intended to do illustration— quite the contrary, actually; I hate being told what to paint. I did it because the program taught me how to draw. If you can draw, you can tackle pretty much anything— in art and life.” 

 

It was at BYU that Samantha discovered oil paint. “My high school art teacher was allergic to oils, so we weren’t allowed to use them in her class. I also was under the impression that oil paint was dark and brown and cracked, like old 19th century portraits. I didn’t want to paint like that. When I discovered that paint came in colors such as Cadmium Red, Quinacridone Magenta, and Pthalo Green, I was won over.” 

In addition to oils, Samantha took a History of Clothing course in college that fostered her love of period habiliments, especially from the 18th century to the Edwardian Era. “There’s such a timelessness that comes from painting the clothing of the past. There’s a charm that a fine lace gown has, for example, that one just can’t get from jeans and a t-shirt. Jeans ain’t pretty.” Consequently her paintings almost always make use of the clothing of the past. 

 

Samantha has been labeled a colorist. When she was 12, Samantha did a picture of a family of guinea pigs, all without using the color black. “They were my ‘rainbow pigs,’ I was told. I never quite understood why no one else could see the colors I was seeing. All those purples and oranges were in there to begin with; I didn’t make them up.” Recently while in a figure painting session, she received a similar comment from a fellow painter who teased her of painting the portrait with rainbow colors, rather than the mostly brown tones he was using. “I’ve come to the conclusion that I must see color differently. I never feel like I’m exaggerating colors that much. (Others may beg to differ.) Really it doesn’t matter what color you use, as long as the value and the color temperature are right. Why would you paint with such a boring color, like brown, when one can use orange and pink and green?” 

 

So how does one describe her paintings? “I usually say something like, ‘I paint whimsical, colorful figures with subtly moral themes.’ It’s not long after the confused stares that I pull up some images.” It’s true that her paintings are colorful; a person who grows up in a green bedroom with pink, yellow, green, and purple stripes can’t turn out normal. It’s true that her paintings often contain an inordinate amount of pattern and detail— like Rococo in a Skittles commercial. Her paintings, however, are more than just about beauty. “I always have a message,” Samantha says. “I want my painting to say more than, ‘what a pretty gown that redhead is wearing.’ It has to have a point. I’ve done paintings about waiting on the Lord, gathering truth, making decisions, finding a spouse, and I did a whole series based on religious hymns. Lately I’ve been pursuing a vein of paintings about simple pleasures and the things that make life enjoyable. I’ve often been labeled a cynic (I prefer to think of myself as a realist), but I always strive for hope and optimism. Maybe I paint that so much because I have a hard time seeing it in my everyday life. If I can help someone else see the joy in life, maybe I can learn to see it better, too.”

 

Samantha Long currently lives in American Fork, Utah with an empty guinea pig cage, an orderly yarn drawer sorted by color, and several underperforming plants.

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Select Awards, Shows, & Competitions

 

2022 | “Summer Works” Group Show | David Ericson Fine Art | Salt Lake City, Utah

2022 | Women: The Creative Edge | Eccles Community Art Center | Ogden, Utah

2022 | Spring Salon | Springville Art Museum | Springville, Utah

2022 | “All Shapes & Sizes” | JKR Gallery | Provo, Utah

2022 | First Place | Utah County Art Board Early Spring Juried Show | Health & Justice Building Provo, Utah

2021 | Certain Women: Reflections on a Mother in Heaven | Anthony’s Fine Art | Salt Lake City, Utah

2021 | First Place | Covey Center Fall Art Showcase | Provo Center for the Arts | Provo, Utah

2021 | Grand Reopening: Wonderful New Art & Space | David Ericson Fine Art | Salt Lake City, Utah

2021 | Spring Salon | Springville Art Museum

2020 | Utah County Portrait/Figure Exhibition | Bianco Avant-garde | Orem

2020 | Spring Salon | Springville Art Museum

2020 | Showcase Winner | Covey Center Fall Art Showcase | Provo Center for the Arts

2020 | Eccles 46th Annual Statewide Competition | Eccles Art Center | Ogden

2020 | Interview with "Utah Stories" Magazine

2020 | "New Works by George Handrahan & Samantha Long" | David Ericson Fine Art | Salt Lake City

2019 | Certain Women: Statements of Purpose | Anthony's Fine Art | Salt Lake City

2019 | Second Place | Covey Center Fall Art Showcase | Provo Center for the Arts

 

2019 | Eccles 45th Annual Statewide Competition | Eccles Art Center | Ogden

2018 | Honorable Mention | Petite Impressions Art Show | Eccles Art Center

 

2018 | 40 Years David Ericson Fine Art Group Show | Salt Lake City

2018 | Honorable Mention | Spiritual & Religious Art of Utah | Springville Art Museum

 

2018 | Spring Salon | Springville Art Museum

 

2017 | Solo Show | Balcony Gallery | American Fork Public Library

 

2017 | Spring Salon | Springville Art Museum

 

2017 | First Place | Utah County Art Board Early Spring Juried Show | Provo Health & Justice Building

 

2016 | Spring Salon | Springville Art Museum

 

2015 | "Honorable Mention" | Mayhew Show | Brigham Young University

 

2009 | Congressional Award | Annual Springville Student Show

Education

 

Portrait Society of America Webinars | 2020-2021

Brigham Young University | 2010 to 2015

David Leffel & Sherrie McGraw Workshop | Scottsdale, Az | 2015

 

Sherrie McGraw Internship | Taos, NM | 2014