Bobbi K. Samples has always been drawn to the arts. An accomplished dancer, she has owned a dance studio and was, for many years, a freelance choreographer.
But these days, she is an accomplished oil painter – a skill she learned nearly 20 years ago at a somewhat unlikely age.
“I have always enjoyed art. However, I didn’t start painting until around 2004 and was in my mid-50s,” Samples said. “A good friend and professional artist, Maggie Shively, asked me about taking a lesson. I took two lessons and painted 85 paintings my first year. I was hooked.
“My background in art until then had been in dance, so this was a new artistic expression.”
And a new passion.
A Noblesville resident, Samples has immersed herself in her work ever since those initial lessons. She is a showcase artist with Nickel Plate Arts in Noblesville, is a member of its board of directors and has an exhibit on display at the Meyer Najem Gallery in Fishers, 11787 Lantern Rd.
Samples’ exhibit, “Come on, Spring! Indiana Wildflowers!” opened April 5 and continues through the end of June. The display features colorful paintings of wildflowers, ranging from buttercups to sunflowers to purple phlox, on canvases of various sizes. It can be viewed Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. or can be viewed on Nickel Plate Arts’ virtual exhibits page at nickelplatearts.org.
“Obviously, this exhibit is showcasing Indiana wildflowers, and I thought everyone needed spring as much as me, considering the year we all had,” Samples said. “I like taking small flowers and making them very large.”
Samples works exclusively with oil paint and is renowned for her layers of bright, bold colors.
“I paint large gallery wrap canvases,” she said. “The sides of the canvas are always a part of the painting. I use both brush and knife. I usually start with a brush and finish with a knife for lots of texture and depth.
“All of my paintings are finished with a glazing medium as well.”
Samples, who has lived in Noblesville for 20 years with her husband, John Wayne Samples, also owns her own business, The Safety Firm – an OSSHA-certified safety and health training consulting company that works with manufacturing and construction firms.
“I also do a significant amount of safety training for the Indiana and Kentucky chambers of commerce,” she said. “I have done this for over 25 years.”
Although running the business is her occupation, creating works of art is her passion. She is conducting a public reception for her exhibit from 6 to 7:30 p.m. June 5 at the Meyer Najem Gallery. Admission is free, and all of the displayed art will be available for purchase.
“I want people to feel happy and encouraged,” Samples said of her exhibit. “I want them to see the beauty of our state through these wildflowers. Flowers make me happy, and the colors are beautiful. Many people see my work and say, ‘Wow, look at those colors.’ I think this show will have the same result.
“I hope the show brings them some joy.”
For more, visit nickelplatearts.org.