That’s Farming speaks to Samuele Scomparin of Irish Farm Art, about his professional career, moving to Ireland and his first book.
Samuele Scomparin was born in the Venetian countryside just at the foot of the Italian Dolomites but calls Ireland’s capital home for the past eight years.
He was born and raised on a large family-owned and operated farm, trained as a professional pianist, and taught piano and composition. He now works as a lawyer on a full-time basis, is a talented visual artist and freelance illustrator, and an aspiring author.
“I have always been fascinated by art and always made art since I can remember. I came across visual arts quite late, though. At about 25, I was gifted my first set of oil paints, and that became my main and best medium,” he told That’s Farming.
“I did not have a formal art training degree, but I took some art lessons at the local library. It was funny because it was me and about ten other older ladies having the chats and learning to find our way through colours and canvasses,” the owner of Irish Farm Art laughed.
“Art is still a ‘dream’ for me, and I hope I will be able to become a full-time professional artist. My art is all about showcasing the beauty and care of Irish farming, animals, and rural traditions in Ireland,” the 33-year-old added.
“I was looking to get a catchy name that could set me apart from other artists and reflect what the essence of my art is, so I went with Irish Farm Art.”
Irish Farm Art
Sam strives to seek inspiration from the farming world: each and every single one of his paintings come from a story, a place, a tale, a photograph, or a moment spent on a farm in Ireland.
“Every animal I paint does exist somewhere on an Irish farm, and every landscape is out there to be admired.”
“Quoting one of my favourite poets, Gabriele d’Annunzio: ‘everyone’s life should be like a work of art’. Art should aspire to be better every day, and artists should give people the possibility to read the beauty that lays in front of everyone.”
The lawyer aims to raise awareness for all environmental issues our modern age faces through colours and canvasses.
“We cannot live without farming, and farming cannot live without green fields and shiny sun. So I would like to see less asphalt, concrete, and CO2, towards a better and more sustainable way of life.”
To produce his work of art, he works from an art studio, which he carved in a spare room. He uses primarily oil paint that he sources locally from an Irish artisan. Alternatively, he makes them himself, grinding powdered pigments and linseed oil.
“I do not like to become a fussy artist, so I try to keep it basic, choosing, when possible, local and environmentally friendly art materials.”
“I do not have a gallery. However, I am looking out for a good venue to host some of my artworks.”
His paintings have international appeal, garnering interest in Ireland and across the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Paintings range from €30-€400 (approximately) and can be purchased from his website.
“Projects take from a few hours to a couple of weeks. It all depends on the scale of the artwork and the level of detail. Occasionally, I have painted portraits that took me months.”
“My absolute favourite animal to paint are cows. I find them beautiful animals with a giant, kind soul. I am trying, though, to get to paint more and more portraits of farmers, to try and immortalise this generation of hard-working, incredible people (this project is coming soon).”
“Anyone who wants to bring some of the Irish countryside indoor is welcome to enjoy my paintings.”
Covid-19 and other challenges
Before the Covid-19 pandemic struck, he attended art exhibitions to gain exposure but now relies on social media and his website. “Sales have been massively impacted,” he said.
“It takes courage to be truthful to yourself and what you are painting: there’s always a risk to fall into painting what sells better rather than what you want. Also, you need to be mindful of your role as an artist and the message you are conveying.
He admitted that breaking into the industry in Ireland is no easy feat but stressed that individuality is paramount. “It is hard, especially in Ireland, where we have so many talented artists. So the competition is fierce.”
“I think the most challenging thing is to develop my own art style: I am fascinated by other artists, and I admire the way professionals can use colours.”
“Honestly, I always tried to incorporate their techniques in my art, risking mimicking them. However, I found that coming up with my own specific style took long and deep research.”
“I like the mindfulness that painting brings: when I paint, I am brought to the scenery I am painting. Then, for a few hours, all the troubles, problems, issues and thoughts go away.
Whilst he has multiple projects in the pipeline, he is now focusing his attention on writing a book about family recipes and life on his family’s farm.
“I plan to illustrate it page by page. So far, I have completed the writing piece; the plan now is to find a possible publisher.”
“I believe my art is particularly bold. When painting a cow, or a sheep, I give them a personality, a look, a funniness or a naughtiness.”
“I feel like other artists paint animals as part of a wider landscape, while I tend to make them the centre and prime subject of the attention.”
“If I could turn back the clock, I would probably dedicate my academic years to art and become a more conscious technical artist,” he concluded.
You can find more information on Sam’s website here.
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