It’s hard to look at Samantha Jezek’s art without imagining a big smile on the artist’s face during its creation. Described safely as “abstract,” Jezek’s art reflects her enduring love affairs with colors, textures and faces.
On nearly every canvas is a face staring back at the viewer, one constructed with a handful of bold lines. The paintings range in size from 4-by-4-inch pieces that fit on a bookshelf to larger ones that hang on walls.
“Whenever I started doing the faces I thought it was so cool how you could make a mood with such simple lines,” Jezek says. “With just the curve of a line you can set the mood for a whole painting. It’s just really neat.”
“Neat,” of course, is a humble way of putting it. The neophyte might find it difficult to pin down why and how each Jezek piece feels unique — like a new individual — but there’s an ordered mind behind each one.
It’s no surprise Jezek went straight to Picasso when asked about her influences. A special memory is seeing her first Picasso in person: “The Guitarist” at the Dallas Museum of Art. “It was so massive — I mean, it was huge,” she says of the painting. “I’d studied it, and it’s not the same when you walk up to it.”
Jezek is from Thomas, Oklahoma, and studied fine arts at Oklahoma State University; she also spent time in Tuscany, Italy, studying landscape painting, and moved to Tulsa five years ago.
Even with three children, Jezek finds time to paint every day. “Some days are harder than others but when you really love what you do, you make time for it,” she says. “Since day one I’ve always loved (it).”
Jezek’s work is available to purchase through Instagram and a handful of storefronts, like Shoppe Sasha at 1307 E. 35th Place, an interior design store in Brookside operated by Sasha Malchi. For both Jezek and Malchi, this local connection of artists and businesses is an enthusiastic one.
“I always thought it would be nice, but I didn’t realize how vital it was until it started happening,” Jezek says of being able to sell her work in a local storefront. “People love supporting local.”
“We love to have local art in the shop,” Malchi concurs. “Art makes the room,” she says. “It’s different than a pillow, or a lamp, or something else.”
The pair forged a truly Tulsa-centric design operation, which is gratifying for both women.
“It’s just so nice the love you can have in a community (with art) locally available, helping another business out, as well,” Jezek says.
Both Shoppe Sasha and Jezek are on Instagram, @shoppesasha and @samanthajezekart, respectively. In addition to her paintings, Jezek makes holiday ornaments, which are on sale all month.