Samantha daSilva’s Fearless Abstract Painting class was a breath of fresh air. She shared her artist-discovery story, which opened up an environment within, and allowed me to see and accept where I am in my own artist journey. Samantha’s abstract techniques are loose yet she has designed the class to follow steps that will allow you to build a rich piece of art while releasing preconceived fears.
Undisclosed | Calgary, AB
This is the first time I sat with a canvas and only had an inspiration of be free. I did not over think the colors nor where the painting would end up. Typically, I have a spot where I can hang a piece so I create it for the space. This took off in just a few hours. I had felt the passion of the journey as I created my Transformation Piece. I was FEARLESS!
I have had a significant weight loss journey from dark to light. The raised areas represent different parts of my body the dark as I saw myself before and the light where I am headed. Also, from dark to light. Along with me on this journey was my dear BFF of 29yrs. She was there for support and encouragement. In the end I gifted this piece to her for her 50th birthday. The wall she chose to hang it brought just the right setting in her home to showcase the piece.
PA Cohen | Chicago, IL
Since attending your workshop I was inspired to complete an application for membership to one of the oldest art leagues in IL. I was accepted! I also completed 30-35 paintings since the workshop. I'm going to update my website and in 2018 try to get my art work in a few galleries. I continue to follow your blog and have been using rollers to complete new, interesting art. I used/use the plaster product and was successful initially--with the aged look, textural look (my term). I need to complete more art using this technique!
Kimberly Smith | Dallas, TX
I recently took a Long Distance Learning class with Samantha. I was so excited as I knew I would learn some new techniques. What I didn't know is that I would meet such a beautiful, peaceful, inspiring and positive soul. She has such a peace about her that makes learning easy.
This course completely changed the way I think of abstract painting. I'm more relaxed and fearless when I create now. Samantha is very encouraging and you feel like you could paint the world after her class. I recently sold my first painting 2 weeks after her class. I'm so excited! She also shares openly and honestly to help you reach your painting goals. I can't wait to connect with her again for more instruction. Truly amazing and so glad I took your class.
Karin Cutler | Sydney, AU
I can’t speak highly enough of the 2-day Fearless Abstract Painting workshop I was lucky enough to attend recently. Having travelled far, Sydney to Atlanta, expectations and emotions were high, and I’m delighted to say the experience exceeded these expectations and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to meet and work with Samantha.
Samantha’s generous, gentle, encouraging, inspiring, non-judgmental way of sharing her unique techniques and philosophy about art-making truly resonates with me. Striving to be an intuitive, process-focused painter, I have felt at times held back by fear and self-doubt. The workshop really was transformative for me, freeing me up to trust, play and experiment.
Back in my own studio I’m loving my new mindset, merging my own ways with my new techniques and no rules. I’m so excited to see what evolves. As well as empowering, the workshop was just so much fun, it was over way too quickly, but it has stayed with me and I intend taking the opportunity to immerse myself in another workshop in the future. Sam, I’m so thrilled to have come across you, forever grateful,
Carolyn Jerrard | Calgary, AB
Before I jump into tomorrow night, opening my first solo exhibit, it wouldn’t be right for me not to give a proper thank you to the woman who got the fire started in me. If you don’t already know Samantha daSilva, you need to know now. To say that she is a talented artist is a drastic understatement. Her pieces can stir up all kinds of emotions in you and make you see further into art than you ever imagined.
5 years ago, to kill time while I was pregnant, I took one of Samantha’s classes and what she showed me in technique, I realized, was what I’d been wanting for years but didn’t know how to get it. Her teaching style is truly unorthodox, and thank goodness! If you ever wanted to feel a sense of letting go, and ability to be OK with the unexpected and the release to not be tied to something you don’t even know you are tied to, Sam would give this all to you in her sessions. Beyond her teaching however, it needs to be said that this woman glows with genuine joy, excitement and encouragement for others. People instantly feel confortable with her. This is what happens when someone treats people the way Sam does.
I am indebted to her for opening up my artistic life to a whole new freedom and love. I would literally not be where I am as an artist if it wasn’t for her. It’s not everyday that someone changes your life so significantly and I couldn’t be more grateful. She is an inspiration to many by the way she faces challenges and is willing to be bold and fearless in all she does. Thank you Samantha from the bottom of my heart.
Undisclosed | Calgary, AB
One of my favourite quotes by Marianne Williamson that always reminds me of you... "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." Thank you for giving us permission. Thank you for allowing us to find freedom through your presence. Sam, I can't thank you enough - feeling so blessed and grateful. Thank you for being you.
Mary Petersen | Victoria, BC
Just wanted you all to know it was another fantastic week with all the magic I expected. I took Samantha daSilva’s Fearless Abstracts class, Wow… It was outstanding. I enjoyed everything about it, from the gentle philosophy to no rules. It was pure BLISS. I am hoping I can make a recommendation for her to be invited back next year. I understand she teaches another class on metallics, it sounds wonderful. I just wanted to put in my two cents. Thanks and many thanks for all the work you all do to make MISSA happen. Cheers.
Charlene Mayer | Calgary, AB
Yesterday was the last day of our “3-Day Fearless Bootcamp” and I didn’t want it to end! I can’t fully express in words the joy and freedom and transformation I felt in this class. This is the second course I’ve taken with Sam, the first being a more introductory “Fearless Abstract Painting”, and the experience was very similar. There’s a reason so many other testimonials have used these words to describe Sam’s classes… they are truly transformative.
She has such a magical energy and presence, and a natural warmth/openness that allows genuine connection. Her unique teaching style and painting process are incredibly liberating. She helped each of us tap into the energy and passion that come from authentic creativity. Not only did we learn new painting skills, we learned how to let go of old conditioning, how to create like a kid again (i.e. fun and free and without judgment), how to follow intuition and be kind to ourselves. And as a result, allowing something beautiful to create itself in the process.
I came away from this class with so much more than new painting skills… I found a renewed inner peace and happiness in life, and unlocked a well of creative energy that I’d been holding prisoner for years. I feel alive again and excited for what lies ahead.
Thank you Sam, for everything :)
Iris White | Red Deer, AB
I want to let you know about the huge impact you have had on my art and how I see myself as an artist. I was in your "Fearless Abstract Painting" class at Red Deer College last summer. I loved it! I felt rejuvenated and so excited during the class and that feeling has stayed with me. I am painting large and enjoying the freedom, fun and excitement of your approach to art. I have also been working on getting my work 'out there'. I have started a Facebook page, I have been in a couple of art shows, and have displays in our MLA office and corporate offices. You are a truly gifted artist, inspiring teacher and insightful psychologist! Thank you!
Elizabeth Cranmer | Calgary, AB
So I started this canvas in your Fearless class. I've been saying ever since that it's not done. And put it leaning in a corner. The other day I turned it and fell in love again. I decided it's done. For now. Maybe it will evolve in the future as I'm not sealing it yet. But today it's meeting my needs and speaking to me, just as it is. A bit of self acceptance.
I have to tell you... Your class was a catalyst for some real self discovery that I needed. I've been able to relate so many beautiful concepts to the painting I did that weekend. It's been so cool! Thank you for being a giving spirit, and a light along my journey. It's almost a year later and I'm still thinking about your class and finding gems. With love, Liz
Brenda Dyck | Calgary, AB
The magic that is Samantha! Yesterday I finished taking my 2nd Fearless course with this woman and it leaves me wanting more... More instruction, of course, but also more of the feeling that this tiny woman can create in her workshops. In her presence, I can feel weight and doubt being lifted and replaced by a joy of sheer abandonment and acceptance. Besides the sense of empowerment Samantha evokes, it is wonderful to see the joy and brightness in many of the faces that have tentatively entered into her realm.
Samantha is like a magical being who unselfishly opens her creative soul for all to enjoy. Those that are open and able to receive the gift that she is willing to share are the lucky ones, because the philosophies that she espouses can be applied to many areas of life. Life is art. Art is life. Samantha is a gift to art and life. Samantha, I am so lucky to have met you!
Evelyn | Calgary, AB
I just wanted to say a great big THANK YOU!!! I have taken your fearless courses a couple times and they have been great, after this last time (Oct 2014) I promised myself that I would step out of my comfort zone and try to sell a few pieces.
I sold my first painting today and have my first commission I am starting shortly. I had no idea when my husband first signed me up in 2013 (7 months pregnant) that I would love doing this or even think that I could come close to selling a piece.
Thank you for your great course, your infectious enthusiasm and your honest feedback. I look forward now that you are back to taking more courses with you and continuing to grow as an artist.
Elizabeth Cranmer | Calgary, AB
I couldn't let today finish without thanking you for how you teach, what you teach, and for sharing your hard earned lessons. You have grown up so much in the several years that I've known you. You are positively oozing with self security, love and joy. Corny as that may sound, it is infectious!
As I hinted towards yesterday... I've struggled the last while with anxiety and subtle depression and the inability to just let go of things. I felt as though this class was an answer to my prayers. I felt myself breath again. I felt the power that comes from creating. It is a power isn't it!? I once thrived in the artistic world and found peace there, and I find that it my photography as well, but attached to responsibility and commitment. This class felt familiar and new all at once. My heart was at home. Thank you for the reminder.
I am so beyond excited to keep working on these canvas' and to teach V. She has been chomping at the bit and painting on her own and doing still life drawings all with no direction or prompting. I just know that she'll be happy exploring this too. I'm so excited to share it with her. My goodness, to get to create with a little being that I made.... Does it get any cooler!!
You are undoubtedly one of the most fascinating people I know. You see others..... that's a real gift. Too be able to build another person known to you or not, and help them to know their worth on another level...... special, REALLY a special journey to have in this life. I'm so glad that you were put in my path so long ago. I felt happier and more whole today. With admiration and love.
Barbara | January 2015
I wanted to let you know what a glorious time it was taking your Fearless Metallic class this past two days. It was insightful, invigorating, challenging, and very fun. It was the very thing I needed to take me out of the caregiver place I find myself in right now with my dear ill husband.
The very act of entering a canvas has the magic to draw us away from things that distress us or sadden us, and move us into a sanctuary if you will... a circle of color... the lure of the muse. I know I will be dancing in a pot of paint for a very long time! I am so hue-stricken! It was a delight to meet you Samantha. You are a true inspiration to me and to everyone in the class, as I am sure you are to many you come across daily.
Undisclosed | June 2014
I just wanted to thank you again for the amazing workshop. I am now over my fear of using water!!! Yay!!!!! I know the origin of my fear now; I was afraid to remove what I had worked so hard to put on. Now I am not afraid!! It clicked for me today especially when I saw what cool things were under that water.
I'm in love with my painting!!! Is that egotistical? Should I be all modest and humble?? I'm calling it 'The Origin of Fear', like the article you read to us on one of the Monday evening classes.
Thank you, as well, for helping me to get over my fear of getting critiqued, you did it in such a gentle way that I wasn't afraid to show it and usually I am sooooo shy. It was so easy and I thought it would be tough. That critiquing process helped so much because you turned the canvas and I fell in love with it.
Nancy | May 2014
I took my first Fearless Abstract Painting Class in January and I have now completed over 35 paintings! To say this class was transformative is surely an understatement. Samantha’s wonderful technique and teaching has enabled me to express myself through my art with confidence. I knew it was there but I didn't know how to 'unleash’ it. Her philosophy of “the process of creating evolves into the idea” really gave me permission to approach any canvas with a new outlook and excitement. Thanks Sam and I look forward to the next leg of my journey in your classes.
Shannon | February 2014
In January 2014 I travelled from Sault Ste. Marie Ontario to Calgary Alberta, to attend Samantha daSilva's Fearless Abstract Painting Workshop. I had stumbled upon the Chinook Learning Services Continuing Education's on-line advertisement, and then followed through by visiting Samantha's website, where I was struck immediately by her oh-so- refreshing approach to art-making! Samantha's empowering artistic philosophy sounded absolutely liberating, and promised to put both fun and adventure back into one's painting process!
During this exciting two day workshop I was swept up into the shear joy of putting paint to canvas, and came away, not only with two vibrant acrylic paintings, but a whole new perspective on what it is to become a "Fearless Painter"!
"Fearlessness" according to Sam:
1. Painting is about self-exploration, self-expression. It is NOT a team sport! 2. Be your own liberator, artistic decision-maker, evaluator and friend! 3. Set reasonable goals. Stay actively involved, gradually lifting your own bar. 4. Celebrate! Enjoy the entire process! 5. Don't let others disvalue your art, or, conversely, "steal it "from you. YOU must decide its successes, learning curves, challenges and gifts into your own life, and then into the wider world. 6. Stay centred squarely within your own artist self while enjoying others' mutual journeying. Don't pander, squander or prostitute your artistic gifts. Let them be a vehicle for love of self, the world and others.... 7. Be willing to share your intention, your process, your self-evaluation, but do not defer to external opinions unless they are personally requested. 8. Then filter all input through your own lens before integrating/changing your process or your product!
Thank you, Sam, for this wonderful learning experience, for being YOU, and for these many precious take-away nuggets... I treasure every one!
Jessica| January 2014
Transformative. This is how I describe the daSilva method experience. I had been considering taking Sam’s class for a couple of years, but always hesitated. Some part of me held me back. It’s called fear. I knew that taking the time to attend her class, to do something for myself, would add change to my life. So, instead, I assigned myself several excuses why I couldn’t possibly sign up:
It’s a waste of money that I should spend on something “practical”.
I’m too busy with all my responsibilities; I don’t have time for something frivolous.
It’s too inconvenient to make it to class.
At the end of the day, I’m too tired to leave the house.
I’m not an artist. I just like art. I don’t deserve to just enjoy the artistic process.
Although I knew these were all excuses based on fear of my own shortcomings, I comforted myself with them anyway. I denied myself something I wanted. By doing this, I felt like a martyr for my supposed sacrifice, while also feeling resentment for not getting to indulge in my interests.
The thought of confronting my fears slightly terrified me. However, I had reached a point in my life where I needed to overcome my own self-doubts. I really needed to find a fresh perspective on my life. How fitting that fearlessness is a motto that Samantha lives her life by.
I had no idea how transformative the daSilva method would be. By signing up for her class, I began to take ownership of my life. Each week I attended,
I began to flourish. By the last class, I had learned how to begin to be myself. I learned to trust in myself. I learned that I was capable of setting my own course.
Carrying this newfound knowledge forward, I applied it to all facets of my life. Now, the world is a place worth being. Life is for living, in any way that makes you happy. Leaving or changing things that don’t make you happy is not selfish. Making choices that make you happy is a wonderful thing.
The so-called impractical monetary amount I spent on learning from Sam has turned into a priceless investment in myself. I have learned so much about art, creativity, authenticity, and myself. I am so grateful. I am transformed.
Taylor | December 2013
I wanted to say a big Thank You on behalf of the art world for doing what you do.
You are an incredibly brave person... from your abandonment of the corporate "cushy life", to sharing your beautiful work, to teaching other's your trade secrets, along with yourbrutally honest and touching blog entries. You really put yourself out there, and it is incredibly inspiring.
Huge courage deserves huge thanks! I've really appreciated learning from you and trying to adopt your strength. Your workshops are delightful and I look forward to taking more in 2014! Art Marketing is on my wish list!
Merry Christmas yo you and your loved ones! I hope this little gift gets used and abused fro years to come.
Tanya | November 2013
I took your workshop this weekend and wanted to send you a note. For years I've been a frustrated artist, I actually avoided painting because there was so much pressure and fear of making mistakes! Now I am free of the expectations, and free to embrace my "mistakes"! Thank you so much for that :) Perfectionism is a curse sometimes, and you've helped me let go of the crazy failure self-talk that has held me back. Many many thanks!
Undisclosed | November 2013
What a fantastic blog. Thank you. You have a very lovely teacher and I seem to reap the benefits with consistency. I love how she says that art and sharing information is a vehicle to empower people and that abstract art is mostly all about emotion.
For those of us who have sat in front of their psychiatrist for five years, unable to put words to my emotions.... I am ecstatic! Because I can use this creative work as a means to unlock and move energy. The bonus is, according to what I am reading, is that I don't have to label it. I don't need words. I can use colour and texture and just let it all happen. In fact! This work has helped me to recognize my emotions and label them. For me, this has been a very healing new thing in my world. And I thank you again and again. I thank your teacher who is so willing to share her knowledge and pass it to you, to me, to my children.
Now I think Matt is going to give it a whirl too! What a gift! One day, I will take a class and learn more and talk about it more and we can make a mess in my basement.
Sally | May 2013
Just a note to thank you for the workshop. You put your all into it, and I wanted to tell you that you managed to inspire this possibly calcifying person. I really appreciated your personal approach to teaching. Many thanks again for your clear, simple approach and for your encouragement.
Diane | May 2013
After recounting to my husband yet again this evening about how inspiring the Fearless Abstract Painting Workshop was, and how much I really loved some of my classmates work, and yes, even 2 of my own, I thought to check your website. I find your work inspiring and moving and look forward very much to taking a class or workshop again one day. AND, that lopsided painting that wasn't working - well, you said to have one piece that you were absolutely free with no matter. This was mine, but I'm keen to carry on with it, especially after reading some of your blog and experiences working for so long on paintings that don't seem to come. So thank you for the class and thank you for the richness and open-heartedness of your blog and for following your passion and sharing that with others like me and our class this weekend. What a marvelous group of people they were!
Frances | April 2013
Thank you Sam for being the person you are. Being in your class has taught me how to be less structured and detailed. In other words, you have set me free to have fun with my paint and not to worry about the outcome. You have given instruction with the intent that I use it for my own style, not to replicate the work you did but to pour my own feelings into it and create my own masterpiece. I believe that: "Art Is A Feeling" and now I can show it in my paintings. You are always there to lend a helpful suggestion and to guide us to a happy ending. I also want to thank you for the help you have given me with my website and for your Art Marketing 101 Class.
JQ | March 2013
You Gave Me My Wings
I met Sam in a random park, on a random and beautiful sunny day. She came into my life at a time when I needed her most, though she’ll never know just how much. She had an open, accepting, and inviting aura about her. She said she was an artist, and I asked the cliché question “you can live off that?”. A brief moment, a simple conversation, a changed life. Months later, beginning with her encouragement, I made my way back into the world of art. Never thinking it would be with acrylics, and definitely not abstract. But after talking to several people at art stores I finally looked up Sam’s website, remembering it from our conversation months before. I signed up for her next class. I couldn’t wait. After my first night of painting, I drove home and cried. That night my dreams were made possible. Sam gave me my wings. I could never in my life time thank her enough for all that did for me. I began reading her blog after that day in the park,where she shares openly, honestly and fearlessly about her life. It gives me and many others the inspiration and courage to continue on towards our dreams. You can read it on her website www.samanthadasilva.comas well as a few posts including me. Beyond all of that, Sam is also an amazing abstract acrylic artist and a wonderful teacher! Thank you Sam, always.
Jenn | February 2013
Just wanted to let you know that you play a solid part in being an inspiration for me on many levels... I've started a blog recently that is encouraging me to live life to the fullest. It's called "229 Days Left on Earth" and I am trying to continuously be thinking about what I want to be doing with my life. Your story about quitting your corporate job and painting full time has always stuck with me. When I posted Day 214 - What Do I Desire?... I was thinking about YOU the whole time and how you did exactly what more people in the world should be doing.
Undisclosed | January 2013
I just wanted to say thank you... something I think one can never hear enough. I was one of the students in the Fearless workshop a couple of months ago at Chinook Learning. I did not have nearly the experience that most in the class had but thanks to your encouragement I didn't let that stop me. I just wanted to let you know that I've continued on fearlessly. I have one completed large canvas and I am currently working on three smaller (triptych) canvases. I wouldn't go out on a limb and say they were good... but more importantly to me is that I love working on them. And they make me feel good. So thank you for making my life happier. I've come to the conclusion, however, that I will never get my "spare bedroom" back.
Jacqueline | December 2012
Sam came into my life at a time when I needed her most, with an open and accepting heart. Months later, beginning with her encouragement, I made my way back into the world of art and painting through one of her courses. I began reading her blog and couldn't stop.Sam is open, honest and fearless in her posts and her life. If ever you get the chance to meet her she carries this aura of comfort and acceptance.She's also an amazing abstract acrylic artist and a wonderful teacher! Her blog gives me inspiration and the courage to continue on towards my life dreams.
Gisele | October 2012
I’ve been a watercolor artist for many years but lately I was getting frustrated with my medium of choice, although I could not pinpoint why. ACAD (The Alberta College of Art & Design) seemed like a promising choice, so I decided to embark on a new adventure and work with acrylics. I consider those days as part of my "journey" to try something new, however I was still not satisfied. My next move was to enrol in one of your Thrive classes. I almost second-guessed myself. Not because of you (I always had confidence in your teaching skills) but because or ME! I felt that perhaps because I'm your MOM and an artist, I would have to create a masterpiece every class! Silly me! This idea couldn't be more far from the truth!
On the first day of class you put everyone at ease and every class subsequently I felt my false expectations melt away... replaced by an enormous feeling of creativity, possibilities and fun! I’ve heard you say many times: "Be kind to yourself, give yourself permission to create, don’t over think... tap on your intuition... embrace it!" Those ideas were very encouraging to me. Giving up the color wheel was somewhat challenging, but anytime I wanted to refer to it, your words came to my mind: “There are no mistakes in colour as far as nature is concerned". So my inspiration shifted to NATURE, and the rest is history!
I've been so fulfilled in painting abstract backgrounds (thanks to you) and incorporating my love for representational art. To me, it is the perfect balance. Thank you my teacher, my inspiration, my daughter, for helping me on my "journey" of creativity.
I keep wanting to take your classes again and again just so I can feel the great energy that permeates in your classes. The interesting thing I've noticed is that even though you teach the "daSilva Method" to all of us, no painting created is ever the same. Because we are not there not to copy anybody else’s style, but to find our OWN voice THROUGH your method. Thank you again! The future feels promising and exciting! Love you!
Darlene M. | July 2012
The first time I saw one of Sam’s paintings I was at Cactus Art Supplies. I spied her abstract and immediately fell in love with it. Up until that moment abstract was really nothing I was thrilled in. To me, abstract was a bunch of disfigured shapes of faces and circles, squares and the like. However, her abstract painting was soft and just stunning. I looked at the classes and here she was doing a class on Liquitex products. Something I was very familiar with, but wanted more knowledge. I signed up.
That was all I needed! I got to class and here before me was this beautiful young lady with such an enthusiastic approach to this product and how to present it. She talked about many different things that night and by the time the class was over, I wanted to learn her way of abstract. I signed up for my first Surfacing class. What a blast! I so thoroughly enjoyed that class that I signed up for the next and then the next and then... Well, you get the drift. I did it all! I completed my daSilva Method Certification in the summer of 2012.
Anyone out there reading this and wondering if you should try it or continue, my voice says a resounding YES! This beautiful woman is the real McCoy. She is enthusiastic, bright, very caring, kind, energetic, motivated, and most of all encouraging! Thank you Samantha for changing my view on art and life! You are the best!
Sandra | March 2012
Samantha I enjoyed your class so much. I was so excited that I actually did not sleep on the Saturday night after the class because all I could think about was abstract painting. I dreamed of the colors, the different canvases. You are so inspiring, I am cleaning up my house to give myself a painting room.
Peter | March 2012
You're an awesome teacher. If you had ever applied for a teaching position in my school (I was a vice principal) you would have been awarded the position. Your enthusiasm is infectious, the love of your medium is omnipresent. As an artist, well, I have not known many, you set the bar very high I'm thinking. As with all who are at one with their work, you appear to make it all effortless. I will always treasure you and your technique.
Ana | January 2012
Dear Sam, OMG your class is amazing! I am just soooo excited. I was a bit scared and skeptical on the 1st day… but was very surprised with myself on Friday! I posted some of the pictures on Facebook and Instagram… I really though the paintings I made were actually worth it! Anyways… I am sure you hear that all the time, but… one more time: your class is amazing! And you are a wonderful teacher/person. I am so excited for the classes to come! OK… Thanks, thanks, thanks! I finally feel that I can actually make something, and can kinda call myself an artist!
Jane | November 2011
Samantha, This week a 13 year old student of mine lost her father in a tragic car accident. The day after it happened she came to school. Everyone was so distraught at her house she did what she would do every day... she walked to school in the morning. After I got over the initial shock that she was there, I got out my tubes of acrylic paint and I taught her what my teacher Samantha had taught me. She swirled the colours with rollers, brushes and her fingers and for a few hours her grief was swept away by magnificent colours.
Today I went to her father's funeral. At the front of the church, just to the side of the urn which held her father's ashes was her beautiful painting. It wasn't a sad painting; it was a painting full of hope. Thank you Sam for all that you have taught me and for helping me know how to help a little girl begin her healing. You have changed the world Sam!
Sherry | November 2011
Over a year and half ago, I had the great privilege of taking one of Samantha daSilva’s one day abstract acrylic workshops. I did not do this because I was particularly interested in painting but because my daughter gave this day of art to me as a gift. She felt that as a music professional, all I ever did was work and it was time I did something fun. I went to the workshop feeling like a fish out of water, everyone else there had painted in some form before. I had never picked up a brush, let alone a roller!
Ms daSilva was amazing. She made everyone feel as though they were special and that what they had to put on the canvas was important. She was so genuine, loving, interesting and informative, that the inner painter in all of us started to rise to the surface. I felt my inhibitions draining away and it seemed that I was being transported to a time long before I developed my inner critic.
Samantha da Silva gave me permission to be whoever I wanted to be on canvas. Because of her unique teaching skill and her openness in sharing the method of painting she developed, Samantha completely changed my life. Since taking this first lesson from this gifted artist, I have been painting almost continuously. Not only has Samantha daSilva inspired me as a painter; she has inspired me musically as well. I find that since taking these classes, I am more open to experiment and less censoring of my own musical compositions.
Although, Samantha daSilva is a young woman, she is an old soul with much to share with the world. I would recommend her as an instructor and mentor to anyone. She is my hero!
Darlene B. | Spring 2011
After attending my first abstract painting workshop with Samantha daSilva, I was amazed at this tiny young woman and the energy that emanated in the classroom. This energy absolutely seemed to engulf everyone in that room, allowing us to each go about our work in our own way with great enthusiasm and excitement about what we are learning and creating.
As a result, this first and future classes influenced me in a way that I was thrilled and excited about painting again; using different colors together and experimenting with texture, full of wonder about what else I could create. I couldn’t wait to do more, show family and friends and experiment on my own to see what else I could create. Each piece is almost like a new invention – completely different from all the others.
I now enter my art room with the idea that I will work on a piece without any stress of what I might create. I might not really know what I will do that day but I do know that this method will allow me to work or re-work with as much or little color and texture that will undoubtedly turn out something that I like.
I might work on this piece for a short time or a long time, but I know it is finished when it makes me feel something and I am happy and satisfied - this is what is important to me, if I am happy with it, it is ME and probably the colors or movement of the paint portrays what I felt while creating it.
To me, the daSilva way of painting means Freedom – Freedom in the world of art to experiment and put on the canvas what I like for paint colors, textures and a wide variety of other mediums and then to manipulate them to create something different from other artists.
Michelle | Spring 2011
I was introduced to Samantha in January 2010 at a Saturday abstract painting class. I had been painting, but on such a small scale and thought I was not really doing things 'right'. I was excited to see what she had to offer, since I hadn't really taken any classes before and I didn't really know what to expect. I was blown away in that class and quickly became infected with her passion for creating, and her passion in believing in her students.
She said we could do anything we wanted - so we did.
I signed up for her next course, and the next, and the next. I had been painting so small, with contained emotion, and limited scope; Samantha gave me the courage to 'go big' and lay claim to the art I created as my own voice.
And now she's entrusting another student and me to curate a show at Art Central, which is just mind-blowing to the 'me' from a year ago. I'm grateful for the experience she's given me, the knowledge she's imparted to me, and the trust she's placed in me to go forward from this point.
Krista | September 2010
Samantha is as inspiring as the work she creates. Her classes are filled with lively discussions and her guidance is invaluable. At the end of each class I left with new words of encouragement and an uplifted spirit for abstract art. Not only was I introduced to new techniques and a fresh perspective, I gained a new confidence in my ability to paint from the supportive feedback I was given each week. Her instruction has taught me more than just how to manipulate paint on my canvas - it has also made me hopeful that as an aspiring artist, I too can be successful.
Alexis | August 2010
I took your one day workshop through The Calgary School of Art in May. Your workshop was the most fun _ever_! I couldn't stop thinking about it and talking about it. I have used the techniques you taught at home and painted more than I've ever painted. It is positively addictive. Your course completely changed how I think about my own art and how to bring more feeling into my work. It was so much fun, I jumped at the chance to take it again in August. This time was just as exciting and fun and brought an even richer perspective to my work. You are a delightful teacher, thank you!
Marie | Spring 2010
My life has changed since I took "The Workshop". In the first 10 days after the class I painted 19 canvases. I love painting and think about it all the time. Thank you so much for sharing your passion for painting and teaching a super fun way of painting.
My adventure in conquering and embracing the daSilva Method of painting:
1) Conquering the fear that I would be the only person in the class going home with a stick figure painting in an abstract painting workshop. Note: No previous art experience since kindergarden.
2) Thought I would need to get myself a stick of wood with hair sticking out at one end. (aka a brush) Note: In reality not necessary; as we paint with rollers. Discovered this interesting twist when I looked at the supply list for class and realized my pre-conceived idea of art may not be quite what I thought it was. Now intrigued.
3) Finally the big day! In class watching Sam demonstrate the procedure. Looks good. Now, my turn. Pick colours. Start rolling. Step back, glimpse. WOW! A rare occurrence: I am speechless. As I look down, it is overwhelming love and swelling pride that I feel, just like looking at your baby’s face for the first time. I created this! For a moment I am suspended in time, floating about and experiencing a flood of emotions. Until... in the background I hear the sound of plastic wrap being torn off a fresh canvas and realize that some of my classmates are already on their second canvas.
4) In slow motion, I yell out “Wait for me!” as I make my descent back to earth. At this time I am very aware that I do not want to miss the opportunity to do it all over again. Note: Could this be addictive?
5) An extremely satisfying first day of painting, including the purchase of one more canvas at lunchtime and two more at the break. With a big smile on my face and head held high, I am ready to go home. Suddenly I am stopped in my tracks, as I realize I may not have enough space in my car to bring home my five precious paintings. Note: Need new car.
Vanessa | Spring 2010
Samantha has created an unconventional technique to apply acrylic paint to the canvas. This inspiring method has taken me on an exciting journey of self-discovery and self-expression. They are motivated to experiment using a variety of unique methods and will gain confidence in a supportive atmosphere while having fun!
Stella | 2010
As I was working away on one of the pieces from your workshop, I realized how grateful I am for the gift you gave us on Saturday. Your spirit, enthusiasm, and obvious talent combined to make it such a wonderful day. And, frankly, I LOVE working in this genre. In contrast to some of the arts I have worked with, I find that I have no fear in working with this. What a freeing notion that is! So thank you so much... I know we paid for the workshop, but we got so much more from your creativity and concern for each of us.
Margery | 2010
It is my good fortune to have Samantha as my first art teacher as she inspired me to put paint to canvas without fear, and to truly enjoy the process.She helped release the emerging artist in me. She is a generous spirit who unselfishly shares her techniques and ideas giving us the benefit of years of her experimentation and hard work. Samantha is a gift.
Jennifer | 2010
I just wanted to drop you a line after the fact to say once again THANK YOU. I really enjoyed the workshop in Edmonton and do hope you will be asked back. I put the final touches on my piece this week and varnished it last night. I have not stopped painting all week.You were like a little fuel to a fire of something I have been trying to do but have not quite been able to grasp. I greatly appreciate artists like you whom share with an open heart to inspire rather then withhold.
Alexandra | 2010
I took an 8-week abstract course with Samantha daSilva last winter. Every week, I was looking forward to spending some time with Samantha and my classmates because I knew I was going to learn something interesting and exciting. Sometimes, I even wished I could go to class more than once a week. Samantha is young and understanding of anyone and anything, which helps make the class interesting and intriguing. She helps her students understand what abstract painting is all about thanks to her enthusiasm and wonderful experience. She has a gift for guessing how her students feel and she makes it come out in their paintings. She is always so eager to teach that her students become eager to learn as well. Samantha’s painting techniques are very different from anyone else’s, and this makes every class fun and inspiring for everyone. It was one of my favorite classes I have ever taken, and I have taken many. It was worth every penny and more. I have come out if that class with more experience and successfully sold many of my paintings afterwards as a result of what I learned in Samantha’s class. I would definitely recommend this class to anyone interested in abstract painting.
Wendy | 2010
You can't help but come away inspired after attending one of Samantha's workshops or art classes. Her creativity is infectious, and her unique painting techniques and methods always motivate me to push the envelope of color and texture further into the abstract!