Sam Scott

Portrait of artist Sam Scott in his studio



Sam Scott was born in Chicago, IL in 1940. He started attending classes at the Chicago Art Institute at the age of ten. He committed to painting in Florence, Italy in 1963. He had his first one person show in Rome at the age of 23.

In 1965, after a brief period as a commercial fisherman in Kodiak, Alaska, Scott was offered a job teaching at Morgan State College in Baltimore, Md. Here his work was seen by Eugene Leak, the President of the Maryland Institute College of Art, and Scott was offered a full scholarship and teaching job there. Some of Scott’s teachers during this time include: Clyfford Still, Philip Guston, David Hare, Grace Hartigan, and Savatore Scarpitta. During this period, Scott also served his country on a classified mission to the Amazon jungle working for the DOE and the State Department. As a result of this mission and others, all atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons by the United States was stopped. Scott graduated Summa Cum Laude at the head of his class and was awarded the Walters Art Museum Traveling Scholarship award to the outstanding graduate student.

In 1969, Scott settled down in Santa Fe. In 1974 he was awarded the first one person show ever given to a living artist by the New Mexico Fine Arts Museum. In 1975, Scott was among the first artists to represent New Mexico at the Whitney Museum Biennial of Contemporary Art in New York City. In 1977, he was one of three artists elected to represent 110 artists at the City Council of Santa Fe, and was elected at that time also to direct and hang the first Santa Fe Amory Show. In 1978, Scott accepted a teaching position at the University of Arizona and was subsequently invited to become a tenure track Professor of Painting and Drawing. Scott returned to Santa Fe in 1983 and has been based there and in Pilar, New Mexico since that time.

In 1994, Scott received the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts from the City of Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 1995, he was invited to address the United Nations, where he was awarded the Peace Rose by Sri Chinmoy, of the United Nations Peace Meditation Group. In 1997, Scott was given a 30-year retrospective at the New Mexico Fine Arts Museum, entitled Sam Scott: An American Voice Paintings 1967-1997. In 1999, Scott was one of three artists chosen by the State Department to represent the United States in person at its first post war cultural exchange with the republic of Vietnam, through the Meridian Foundation and the Kimsey Foundation. In 2002, Scott was among the first American painters to be invited to show at La Maison Francaise Museum of Contemporary Art at the Embassy of France in Washington, D.C.

In 2007, Scott wrote Encounters with Beauty: Excerpts from an Artists Journal 1963-2006, which was edited and with an introduction by William Peterson. This book was one of three finalists for the New Mexico Book Awards Foundation: Best Book: Other/Non-Fiction.

Scott lives in Santa Fe, where he enjoys walking to work at his studio every day. Sam Scott is one of five artists in various media who were chosen to represent the Capitol Art Collection as a “State Treasure”, in the Capitol Building of Santa Fe.


View Sam Scott's iconic The Four Tides series.



Blue Summer, 2023, oil on canvas, 80 x 70 in.


Moment, 2018, watercolor on paper, 4 x 9.5 in.

Dewfrost I, 2018, watercolor on paper, 7 x 10 in.

Dewfrost II, 2018, watercolor on paper, 7 x 10 in.

Rising Seas, 2024, watercolor on paper, 12 x 9 in.

The Approaching Storm, 2024, watercolor on paper, 9 x 12 in.

The Spring, 2024, watercolor on paper, 12 x 9 in.

The First Light (Anza-Borrego), 2024, watercolor on paper, 9 x 12 in.

Jungle Trail, 2024, watercolor on paper, 12 x 9 in.

The Grand Traverse, 2024, watercolor on paper, 12 x 9 in.



Inquire about available artwork here or call 505-372-7681


Oreja, 1979, oil on canvas, 66 x 72 in.

Prayer for the Elephant, 1986, mixed media on canvas, 66 x 80 in.

The Cloud of Unknowing, 2004, oil on canvas, 48 x 36 in.


Sam Scott 'Mind Mirror III', 2021-2022, 30 x 24 inches Oil on canvas
Gateless Gate III, 2021-2022, oil on canvas,  30 x 24 in.



Sam Scott, 'Mind Mirror IV' 2022 30 x 24 inches, Oil on canvas
Gateless Gate IV, 2022, oil on canvas, 30 x 24 in.



Gateless Gate I, 2021-2022, oil on canvas, 72 x 48 in.

Gateless Gate II, 2022, oil on canvas, 72 x 48 in.


Ishi, 2021, oil on canvas, 30 x 24 in.




July, 2022, oil on linen,  18 x 14 in.

Snowfall, 2024
, oil on canvas, 20 x 16 in.

Hearts on Fire, 2023, oil on canvas, 20 x 16 in.

Deconstructed (I), 2022, watercolor on paper, 18 x 14 in. (framed)

Deconstructed (II), 2022, watercolor on paper, 18 x 14 in.




Deconstructed (III), 2022, watercolor on paper, 18 x 14 in. (framed)

Deconstructed (IV), 2022, watercolor on paper, 18 x 14 in.


Inquire about available artwork here or call 505-372-7681