Born in the Seattle area on May 19,1958, Sam White started drawing in the 2nd grade with friends from school. The boys would copy comics from the paper such as Peanuts, Popeye, and Casper the Friendly Ghost. Sam also made frequent visits to a lady in the “Projects” in South Seattle. Together they would do crafts, painting, and draw . White was inspired and from that moved into creating his own bold outlines and filling them in with intense colors. This bold and creative use of color provided a outlet for strong emotional escape from the devastating realities of an abusive and broken family life. When placed into foster care at the age of 12, White turned to his foster family for support of his art. “They knew it was what would help me graduate” White remembers. “I might have flunked out without it . I took all the art classes and got all A’s which balanced out the rest of my GPA.” White remained in foster care until he graduated from High School in 1976. Al Kollar, the high school art teacher saw White’s talent and gave him the support that allowed his personal vision to blossom. White began experimenting with drawing faces in an abstract impressionistic style.
After this burst of creativity , other facets of White’s life took precedence over art. Despite being accepted at the prestigious Cornish School of Art, he joined the Air Force, spending five years in the Philippines and then being deployed the Desert Storm. When that military operation ended White was transferred in 1989 to Fairchild Air Force Base, where he remained until he left the Air Force in 1991.
White took up plumbing and worked for years before running into a high school classmate at a class reunion. He told White he was surprised he wasn’t doing something with his art! That got White thinking and re-evaluating , gathering art supplies from yard sales etc. It wasn’t long before he was clearing areas in his home for space to work. He soon rented a art studio for more room for his art and family space returned. Sam White started his own business “ Sam The Plumber ” in 1999 ,which he still runs today.
White began again working with oil pastels and acrylics, as well as pen-and-ink drawings and also started showing his work . Despite being largely uneducated in the terminology , concepts, and history of art , White has a sense of color and composition that evokes satisfaction of the viewer. He sites Picasso, Van Gogh, Matisse as influences . It has been said that his art is reminiscent of the fauvist style of the early 20th century. White simply says “I paint what I’m feeling , I don’t plan anything . After stretching my own canvas and a coat of primer , I just take a black marker and start outlining faces!” White then adds the bold bright colors to bring out the many personalities on the canvas . White also has many leather artworks and applies paint on many different surfaces. Whatever they are wood metal ,rocks or materials they are a Sam White creation which has its one of a kind recognition. Fun, Bold and bright!
‘Sam The Artist’ has evolved and has had many showings . White’s large faces were recently displayed in the store fronts of Kendall Yards , while construction was being completed. As you drove along , you were greeted by the personalities from the bight faces created by Sam White. He has shown his art at the Marmot Gallery and been seen on the streets on market night and many First Fridays . White loves to be involved with many venues where artists gather along with galleries where there are private showings! White also donates to many organizations as he feels a deep connection with community is important. White spends as much time as possible doing what he loves , “painting “!! White is also a loving father of five and grandfather of 10 and resides with his lady in Spokane.