SAM THE BUTCHER contemporary art
Artist Statement


Elizabeth Gorek Photo


I love how light touches darkness…
I love the surrender of a tulip,
the sensuality of a peach
and the storm at the
center of a rose.

To celebrate these
and other inspirations,
I use color and allow
plenty of paint for the brush
to leave its mark – impasto.


My introduction to painting came via my mother, Muriel Kitchen Tonge, who learned from her mother, Beatrice McDowell Kitchen, a 1910 graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago.

I’m proud that my grandmother, at the turn of the century, entered a field dominated by men. Her life was cut short, so I never knew her other than through her legacy of beautiful watercolors.

As I was growing up, my mother was always working on a painting and it fascinated me to watch her white canvases become portraits of children, landscapes and seascapes. “What colors would you use to paint that sky, Elizabeth?” It was an ongoing conversation between us.

In 1982, I studied watercolor with Chin Kok Tan at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto, Canada. After moving to the United States in 1986, I continued my art education at the Otis-Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles and then continued to explore other mediums - everything from ceramics to photography.

Upon relocating to Marin County, I took every Kent Rupp figure painting course I could before setting up my studio. It is there that I spend timeless hours exploring what inspires me.

I love to challenge myself and to create, but mostly, I love to paint.