Hi there! Welcome to The Clay Moon!
My name is Sammantha Archibald-Stafford (what a mouthful), but you can call me Samm. I am a fine-artist that focuses on nature-inspired paintings (you know, plants, animals, and the like). I am located in Memphis, TN. I have started this blog to provide some insight on why I love creating art and what my work means.
Art comes in many forms, whether it is music, fine art, or writing. I have never been much of a writer, but I love storytelling. One of my main motivations to create art is to tell my story. Everyone has their own story to tell and I believe that each one is special.
My hope is that the works I create and their meanings will make others feel brave enough to go forth and share their stories in their own way.
As a little girl, I loved to make things. I sculpted figurines to play with out of oven-bake clay, colored portraits of my sleeping babysitter (sorry Aunt Lisa), and glued googly eyes on pom-pom balls because I thought they made cute “critters". I suppose I got it genetically, if that's a thing? My parents are both crafty in their own way. My big brother was also very talented at sculpting and creating stop-motion videos. There was many a time that his films featured my dollhouse being overrun by some sort of green, sticky creature. The desire to create was always there, but one day it became something more. When I was eight years old, my older brother, my best friend, passed away.
I was still a child when my brother went to Heaven. It was hard to face such extreme loss. Earth-shattering felt like an understatement. It is safe to say that I didn’t deal with what happened until much later. I wanted to be tough for my family, but I also just flat-out wasn't ready to comprehend what happened to us. I got a little older and started drawing whenever I had free time. My parents were nice enough to let me paint all over the walls in my bedroom (seriously, they were the coolest). It became my outlet-my escape. When I took art courses in college, I allowed my work to get a little more personal. I was finally able to grieve as well as remember some of my fondest childhood memories through my paintings. I was able to remember how generous my brother was even as a little kid. I remembered when he let me have "sleepovers" in his room and watch Winnie-the-Pooh because I couldn't sleep. I let myself go back and feel the emptiness that rang through our home after he left us.
Art helped heal the broken heart of an eight-year-old me. It has been such a gift in my life, and I hope that my art brings joy, healing, and understanding to those who view it.
There are many themes and elements (nature, family, etc) that inspire my work.I will touch on those in posts to come.