1958 (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Brett James Smith
Often Known For
sporting art painting, illustration, etching
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|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Louisiana sporting artist Brett Smith received his early training from
his grandfather, who took him fishing and camping, and his father, an
art director who taught him to rise to the top by getting good at one
thing. Smith spent time as an illustrator before devoting himself
to fine art and the outdoors.|
Smith's paints nostalgic outdoor
themes. His work, which he says mostly comes from his
imagination, tends to be scenes from the 1920's western
landscape. He likes to keep his figures somewhat anonymous so
that the viewer can imagine himself in the picture. Smith paints both
broad landscapes and up-close pieces.
While most of his work
is done in oil Smith also likes to use watercolors to capture his
scenes. Smith has also recently taken up etching.
Art of the West, September 2002
|Biography from CALIFORNIA WESTERN and SPORTING ART BUYER:|
|Brett Smith is dedicated to capturing today's sporting experience with
yesterday's sense of adventure. Born on March 19, 1958 in New
Orleans, Louisiana, Smith was introduced early in his life to the
sporting world by his grandfather who exposed him to the gentlemen's
sport of quail hunting in the Longleaf Pine country of East Texas.
Pursuing his interest, he spent much time hunting ducks by sitting in
cold wet marshes and swamps. This activity became his true passion and
a great source of inspiration for his later works. |
His early introduction to art related to sporting themes came from his
father, who worked professionally as an illustrator contributing
paintings for covers of the early outdoor and western magazines, and
moonlighted as a fine artist.
In college as a fine-art major, Smith realized that the art curriculum,
focused on contemporary styles, would not equip him with the background
needed to pursue commercial illustration, the area that interested him
It was at that time that he enrolled in the Famous Artist School that
stressed painting and drawing of the human figure and designing
pictures that tell stories. Unhappy with the direction of his
college experience, Smith left school and began a career on his own as
a commercial illustrator. Realizing that the majority of work in
this field originated out of New York City, he acquired an artist
representative and began working for a wide variety of corporate and
editioral clients. After a few years, he decided to try his hand at
"easel" painting for the fine art market. Now he chooses familiar
landscapes and acquaintances he has made over years of hunting and
fishing across the country as subjects for his paintings.
His goal is to create work that is visually exciting, nostalgic, and
also authentic, bringing to bear his intimate knowledge of his sporting
experience. By looking back to the early illustrators such as Howard
Pyle and N. C. Wyeth for inspiration, he manages to distance himself
from his contemporaries. As he puts it, "What is important in these
outdoor paintings is mood, a feeling of how things were and still can
be. The idea is to convey the natural ruggedness of the sport without
missing the subtle nuances that make the experience personal".
Smith's preferred medium is transparent watercolor or oil paints. The
subject usually dictates the medium used. He uses oils for large
complex scenes. Watercolors are used when more spontaneous results are
desired. Working in three dimensions, he recently completed his first
bronze sculpture of a flyfisherman.
Brett Smith now employs the timeless art of etching to create the
luster of an ageless sporting scene. Although it is a painstaking
process, he strives to produce an antiquated appearance that, when
successful, cannot be duplicated in any other medium. With over
150 images to date he knows enough to realize that you never "master"
this process but only learn more with each experience.
Smith's work has been featured in publications including Gray's Sporting Journal, Ducks Unlimited magazine, Sporting Classics, Shooting Sportsman, and Double Gun Journal.
He has contributed to several books, most recently a reprint of William Faulkner's classic Big Woods.
Smith has been recognized for his work with such organizations as GCCA,
Atlantic Salmon Federation, Ruffed Grouse Society, and Ducks Unlimited.
He divides his time with his wife Cindy and two children in Covington, Louisiana and Noxon, Montana.
|Biography from Altermann Galleries & Auctioneers VI:|
Lives and works in Atlanta, GA
Georgia State University, Atlanta, BBA 91 – 95
Self taught artist
Brett Smith currently lives and works in the Atlanta, GA, area.
Brett was received his BBA from Georgia State University. He describes himself as a 'self taught' artist.
goal as an artist is to distill that which has been observed into a
simple mark or gesture so that each dot and each line will possess a
life of its own. I tend to filter the botanical world through my
conscious and sub-conscious mind, meditating on the various forms and
images, finally drafting a new reality through a process of automatic
drawing and painting. Experimentation, invention and accident play a
pivotal role in my quest to achieve visual poetry."
As a child
I remember being fascinated by the forms and shapes of trees, flowers
and leaves, being amazed by the endless combinations of form, texture
and color. Therefore it is not a surprise that these are the same
images and themes that move through my paintings and drawings now. By
observing the constant change as things grow, flourish and finally
decay, I find that I am able to examine that fine line between beauty
and destruction." --Brett Smith
Source: artist's website
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