Meticulous Surfaces

Meticulous Surfaces

Sam Ivie

August 7 - 29, 2015

My work is a combination of invented imagery and various other visual references. The subject matter currently moves from figurative imagery to portraiture and some still life images of robot toys or cars. Although the subject matter shifts from one to the other, all three are related.

Surface is one thing that connects all three forms of imagery. In both painting and drawing, I work in a meticulous manner which never fails to leave behind some evidence of pencil, pen or brush. This is only visible upon closer inspection, but subject matter and composition usually draw the viewer in.

In my portraiture, which is an ongoing series, my focus is on individuals. Often, these images are accompanied by some level of invented imagery, primarily in the background or within the figure itself. These “additions” to the portraits, as well as a textured surface created through deliberate mark-making, alter the individual depicted into a setup which operates on an iconic or symbolic level. These additions to the overall image serve to communicate something else about the person which would ordinarily only be clear if the viewer was acquainted with the person being depicted.

Invented images consist of figurative subject matter or objects generated from the imagination. These images give me more freedom to expand my universe beyond what is observed, usually incorporating a kind of personal symbolism or metaphor through the use of specific or repeated figures, buildings or objects in a kind of loose narrative which is left open to interpretation.

In still life images, robotic toys and cars (articles from childhood and items of nostalgia) are interpreted into paintings and drawings. Toy robots and cars have an inherent mechanical quality which appeals to the methodical approach I have to my work. Much like the portraiture and the invented paintings or drawings, these objects are created with a similar sensibility in mind through their pre-existing symbolic elements: a toy is an artifact made three-dimensional from someone’s imagination. The meanings behind the objects allow me to reflect back on childhood memories and the origins of my own creativity, putting me in direct contact with ideas and items that initially inspired me to work.

Throughout all paintings and drawings, I strive to maintain a feeling of calmness or isolation in the figures or forms I depict - I believe this is somehow connected to the textural process in which they were created, which is meditative. -- Sam Ivie


Sam Ivie was born in Midland, Texas. He started drawing pictures at an early age and has pursued art throughout his life. He attended Midland College in 1990-1992 and transferred to the University of North Texas afterward, where he earned his BFA with a specialization in painting and drawing. When not painting or drawing, he spends some time teaching. His work is part of several private collections and he has exhibited throughout the Texas region, in Midland, Dallas, Fort Worth and Denton as well as in Birmingham, Michigan.