Sam became interested in surfing as subject matter in the 1970s. The fluidity of the watercolor medium was a good match for the action of this water based sport. In addition, by the 1970s his sons were actively involved surfers which provided him some insight into the sport. Sam did a very small number of surfer painting, probably 10-12, all painted over the span of a few years.
A series of four paintings by Sam Colburn of Carmel Valley in 1937 were just discovered. These paintings are the earliest landscapes of the area known to exist by the artist. Colburn moved to Carmel that same year and continued to paint Carmel Valley for the next fifty years.
In 1937 Robinson Jeffers completed Solstice and John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men had just been published.