This Wilmington artist paints in color at Delaware Contemporary



Photo by Joe Del Tufo

Amid a vast collection of fine art, Delaware artist Samara Weaver leaves a vibrant paper trail with her macrame hangings and paper landscapes.

In a rented studio of 245 square feet on Contemporary from DelawareOn the second floor of, multimedia artist Samara Weaver unrolls about 5 feet of architectural trace paper on a wooden worktable stained with watercolors, ink and rings from a coffee mug. Through the treetops and three massive windows on the east side, the morning sun shifts the light around the room. With a flat brush, she brushes diluted turquoise and sap-green pigments back and forth across her surface until the strokes peak in a shade as deep as the current of the Malvinas.

Handmade paintings for paint mixes and clay glaze test tiles color the austere studio walls, along with macrame hangings, tall shelves filled with baked pottery, and large-scale paper landscapes. scale like the one Weaver now paints.

Photo by Joe Del Tufo

“I’ve been doing art my whole life,” says Weaver, who also holds a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Philadelphia. Tyler School of Art and Architecture. His father, an illustrator, and his mother, whose teaching position at a private school in Philadelphia afforded Weaver many opportunities to explore the arts, have long fostered his creativity.

“My high school offered ceramics, woodworking, metallurgy and photography, which I explored for four years,” she says. In graduate school, access to different materials and mediums deepened Weaver’s interest in the arts, and she learned to paint and glassblow. “I have learning problems that affect my memory and my reading skills,” she shares. “Having this opportunity – something I was good at – made it much easier for me to overcome these challenges. “

Productive stints in construction (she was part of the project management team for The Pilot School and Howard high in Delaware), as well as the healthcare and business architecture, offered the “secure career path” that Weaver initially sought, but the demands of the job did not match his personal goals of raising a family and pursuing his career. dreams.

In 2017, while working in construction full time, she also launched Design tints, an LLC providing handcrafted flowers, from wedding decor to full scale installations, away from home. When the studio space opened in the summer of 2020, she seized the opportunity to focus entirely on fine art: hand-painted porcelain jewelry, sculpture, pottery, and paper art.

“The [latter] started in 2015 when I was helping a friend make paper flowers for her wedding, experimenting with how to add color and texture, ”Weaver recalls. She found that tracing paper allowed her to create lighter flowers and she loved playing with layers. The project turned into a passion on a larger scale.

On a wall in Weaver’s studio, a handmade wooden frame, measuring 6 feet by 3 feet, contains abstract swirls of coral, lavender, gray, and dark purple. “I call it a ‘Java Pond Heron color study,'” she said, pulling a photo of her namesake bird, native to Southeast Asia, onto her droid.


Longtime artist Samara Weaver’s work draws inspiration from natural landscapes and their vast layers of color, many of which are overlooked by the untrained naked eye. Here she mixes watercolor paints in a deep oceanic hue. She will do this on hundreds of sheets of architectural paper before fanning them and overlaying them all into an abstract paper landscape reminiscent of a river, forest, mountain range, or some other image she saw in a magazine on. nature./Photo by Joe Del Tufo

“My pieces are completely abstract,” she points out, as I struggle to find the outline of a heron in the countless folds of some 400 sheets of paper arranged in the frame. “They are only inspired by the colors in pictures, mainly in nature, and the feelings that these colors give rise to.”

Outside the room, a small tapestry of blues and greens is inspired by a forest hugging a body of water. Beside it, waves of crimson reminiscent of the mountains were “just an experience of color,” says Weaver, who is not inspired by any landscape.

When the ocean hue gradient on the table dries, Weaver crumples it to add texture and body before smoothing it out and folding it back and forth into 2-inch-wide sections, like a paper fan. Then she will cut them into strips before placing them in a frame and securing them in place with Elmer glue.

Some pieces that Weaver approaches like paintings, sketching out the end results before even starting to mix watercolors. Others evolve as she moves between arranging folds of paper and applying fresh paint to others.

“I allow him to talk to me while I do it,” she said. “What I like is that through this medium I can express myself through different methods in different ways.”


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