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  Frank Sampson  
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In looking for past experiences and antecedents that may have influenced my work as an artist I think immediately of my childhood on a farm in North Dakota surrounded by pigs, chickens, horses and cows as well as a story-telling mother who entertained and rewarded her five sons with vivid adventure stories. These wonderful tales were full of fantasy and frequently animal played major roles.

My formal training as an artist began when I entered college. I loved the world of the university and the art department itself with its artist-teachers and “would-be artist” students. Besides the studio classes I enjoyed the art history classes which the academic environment provided. In my years of graduate work at the University of Iowa, I was particularly fond of the classes with  Mauricio Lasansky and his world of Intaglio Printmaking. The graphic qualities of the etching media continue to influence my work even today though I am working primarily with the media of paint.

Following my graduate work I lived in Belgium for eighteen months working as an artist in the wonderful world of Flanders, the Museums with Breugel and Ensor and  a lovely studio for my own work. On my return to the states I reentered the world of academia with my teaching position at the University of Colorado. This work usually seemed complimentary to my own pursuits as an artist. The school provided a community of other artists and an environment of art geared to the historian and the traditional as well as the contemporary scene with an active program of visiting artists.

My experience as an artist is so entwined with my experience of life itself that it is difficult to analyze it and evaluate critically the particular periods. The energy and enthusiasm of youth versus the maturity and wisdom that may come with age: Both have produced some greater and some lesser works. Perhaps the fact that the sought-after masterpiece seems to lie just ahead is a healthy propellant for the continual search.


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