“I feel so honored that I was chosen for the March 9 Cover as March 8 is International Women’s Day,” Samantha Meserati says. After spending childhood summers in Westhampton—“Westhampton played a major role in my initial inspiration as an artist”—Meserati worked as a high-risk OBGYN for eight years. “I’ve been exposed to so many different types of situations,” she says of that time, “that have shown me how strong and resilient women truly are.”
More recently, Meserati fully committed herself to art. “My art has blossomed in many different directions,” she says. “I’ve been so busy with projects locally and now my paintings have spread all over the world.”
What was the inspiration for this piece?
My motivation and inspiration was to demonstrate the many different powerful feminine concepts. I believe a cow is the perfect subject to represent the female Mother Earth. In many cultures, the cow is linked to many themes of femininity such as fertility, nurturing, power, youth, beginnings and inner strength. Creating “Cynthia Blue” just came naturally to me because I identify with those concepts.
You’ve suffered from depression. Can you talk about how art helped you through that?
My depression helped me find art again. It pushed me into a corner that I thought I would never get out of. Yet somehow, after falling over again and again, I was finally able to paint myself a ladder, to help me slowly stand up. It gave me a better perspective and understanding—a bird’s eye view, if you will. Art gave me purpose. It gave me strength to finally express myself, without question.
Do you have a favorite memory you can share about your Westhampton Beach summers?
Growing up as a city kid, it was my summers spent in Westhampton that allowed me a new perspective on life. I remember as a child during playtime, my friends would be drawing hearts and stars, but not me. I’d be drawing water, trees, flowers and basically anything I saw in front of me.
Where is the most unusual place your work has appeared?
An acquaintance of mine asked me to paint a portrait of the actor Omar Sharif as a young man. He never told me whom it was for or that it was a gift. I painted it and when he picked it up, he loved it, and said it was going to make an amazing gift. He later told me it was for the Prince of Saudi Arabia. Yes, my painting is now hanging in the royal palace of Saudi Arabia! I still can’t believe it.
Who has been your most recent inspiration?
A New York-based shoe designer and hobby artist named Ambrosia Sullivan. A couple years ago when I got into the habit of compulsively painting for hours each day, Ambrosia told me that she was doing one portrait painting a day. For a year straight, without missing a day, she completed a small tile-size canvas painting. She has now produced a hundred of these small portraits. It was so inspiring to me, to see how motivated and driven she was to stay committed. I, in turn, continued to paint with this kind of passion every day.
What’s next for Samantha Meserati?
I can’t wait to explore my art career fully, to see where it goes. I’m excited to have my work reach new audiences and even first-time art lovers. I want people to look at my art, to feel the raw passion I put into it. And maybe, maybe even influence the next little girl, to find her way, with no apologies or explanation. To stand in the face of adversity, and say yes I did!
Discover more of Meserati’s work at smeserati.com.