Samantha Guelden- Artist. Designer. Photographer
I am an artist, photographer, and teacher working in Omaha, Nebraska.
I am currently working full time as an Art Teacher at Benson High School, as the head of the Graphic Design Program. My curriculum focus on all aspects of Graphic Design from intro to internships, the practical application of art in the design world, and 3D digital design.
As an artist I am always looking for a creative outlet. Currently I am working with acrylic and water color paints. I am always working with photography in a professional and artistic way.
As an artist I am constantly working on a piece of my imagination. I might not even have a project going on, but I am observing everything around me and taking it in, on what I think is a completely different level then most people. My work then becomes a reflection of my understanding of these things.
I have ended my venture with print making only because I no longer have access to the studio that I loved so dearly, but this allows me to open my mind up to new and exciting mediums. My current body of work is a study of India Ink and Liquid Acrylics. I have fallen in love with the way these tools interact with water and how they move on paper. Any medium I use, I find a way to be able to use my hands and physically alter the details.
I am always working with Photography, in a studio setting or as an artistic endeavor, I love capturing a moment exactly as I see it, and having the ability to move and change this image in any way that I want to.
I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and that is the only place on earth I find myself completely at ease. It is my literal home away from home and my personal sanctuary. I visit Hawaii in the summers and typically take this time to reflect and cleanse my artistic thought process to a blank slate upon arriving back home.
I have otherwise grown up in Omaha Nebraska. I was a "Theatre Kid" in high school which certainly was one of the reason I have such an open and accepting mind/personality. I have always had the best, most amazing and supporting group of friends and my family means more to me than anything.
I worked in and out of the photography from the young age of 16 and have always been amongst people. Getting into my art allows me to have some personal time to myself and reflect on who I am and what I'm doing.
I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Studio Art: Printmaking with a Minor in Art History: Modern and Contemporary from The University of Nebraska at Omaha. I studied under the late Wanda Ewing and she taught me more than I could ever hope to share with my students. I decided late in my undergraduate career that I was truly interested in Education. I continued my own education to earn my Masters Degree in Secondary Education through the University of Phoenix. I will continue to strive for my own education to benefit not only myself, but also the education of my students.
Current Body of Work
As an artist, I've grown to understand my work as a reflection of my study. In any work that I create it starts out as an exploration of the subject or medium I am using. With this body of work I am exploring the use of India Ink and Liquid Acrylic as well as studying the use of Laser Etching and Laser Cutting with digital work. The theme "Of the Earth" came into play based on the materials I have used and topics that I've been studying. What I enjoy most about combining these two mediums and methods of creativity is that I have literally every option open to me. All ideas start as a sketch, I work these ideas in a digital format, they are then etched or cut with the laser printer and finally the background is created with the free flow of India ink and liquid acrylic. I enjoy having complete control over the medium until the very end when I let water take control and create whatever it wants.
I believe that I do not ever want to master my craft, or become a "professional" in my area, I ALWAYS want to be learning more about what I am doing, and in turn, who I am as an artist.
I am currently teaching Art within the Construction and Design Academy at Benson High School. I hope that my desire to never stop learning and reflecting is something that I can instill in my students as I see them learn and grow with me.
Bachelor of Fine Arts: Studio Art, Printmaking Body of Work
In the past I have worked with uncomplicated figures, male or female. I later began to explore my own sexuality which led me to discover a voice rooted in feminism. My work is an exploration of my sexual awareness. Simply put, beautiful people are beautiful people. It is an exploration of my own feminist views. I am currently working with the nude female figure. I place the figure in dark scenes and awkward poses and I cover their faces with animal masks in a way that should destroy the sexuality. Ugly and generally disgusting animals and creatures are not ever used in a sexual context but paired with a naked female body the simple and beautiful sexuality is still very present and I think that is something that will never be destroyed.
With my Printmaking I have discovered that I love having the ability to work digitally and manually at the same time. I can manually create an image combined with options and techniques that allow me to create digital composites to enhance my work. The number of reproductions that I can create with printmaking has also allowed me to begin exploring multi media production.
My manual plates begin with a simple drawing or digital composite in which I etch into a zinc plate and from there I meticulously work at the etching, or use aquatint to create and render my image into the plate. I have found that with manual plates I like to work a bit smaller than a photo plate because it allows me to work on smaller areas with more detail rather than have too much going on in a larger area. During the printing process I like to manipulate the ink into shades of black that have just a hint of another color, just enough so that the same color can not be produced in any other edition.
The process that I follow for choosing a mask all has to do with the woman and the pose that she is in. I use a mask that I feel fits the body type, or flows with the pose, and then I make sure it is an animal that will make the viewer very uncomfortable or simply question why I made that choice. These images are intended to make the viewer question what they think is sexual, beautiful, repelling or inappropriate. The nude female figure will always remain beautiful and intriguing even in the their awkward, uncomfortable and dark masked settings.