Matt Read Smith
Matt Read Smith is active/lives in Arizona, Kansas, Missouri. Matt Smith is known for landscape-desert-mountain painting, teaching.
Matt Read Smith
Biography from the Archives of askART
Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Matt Smith (Matthew) became a well-known plein-air
painter of landscapes and also a highly respected teacher, most
especially at the Scottsdale Artists School in Scottsdale, Arizona. He
has also done figurative and still life painting, but his passion is
Biography from Trailside Galleries
In 1963, Smith and his family moved to
Scottsdale, Arizona, where he became fascinated by the beauties of the
desert landscape. Showing obvious early talent for painting, he was
lucky in that he traveled at age thirteen with his parents to live in
Toulouse, France for two years, and several years later, they went to
Switzerland. With his family, he toured many museums, and later
expressed feelings of good fortune because his parents were supportive
of his art talents.
By the time he was in high school, he
already had his work represented by a gallery in Scottsdale. In 1985,
he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Arizona State University
in Tempe. He also studied with Merrill Mahaffey at Phoenix College, an
experience he credits as giving himself a strong grounding in his art
His artist friends encouraged him to go outside and
paint, which led to his love of plein-air painting. The resulting
paintings were well received, and by 1990 when he was age 32, he had
won the Eleanor Libby Award for painting at The Scottsdale Artists
He continues to be represented by a gallery in
Scottsdale and has accumulated a prestigious list of exhibitions
including the Prix de West, the Autry Museum's Masters of the American
West Show, Plein-Air Painters of America, and the Northwest
Rendezvous. In June, 2000, he received the Robert Lougheed Award
at the Prix de West Show at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in
Oklahoma City for the best group of three or more paintings.
travels frequently, spending about four months out of the year on the
road, and his locations include Canada, the Northwest and Northeast,
and Europe. He also feels strongly that studio time reinforces the
Nancy Gillespie, "My Passion is Nature", Art of the West, November 2000
Matt Smith's early influences included living as a child in France and Switzerland and painting in Germany, Austria, and Italy. But it is Arizona, where he has lived most of his adult life that has given him a deep attachment to ad respect for the Sonoran Desert.Smith graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in painting. Somewhat disappointed with the school's abstract-oriented art program, he spent significant personal time studying the classic traditional styles of such landscape masters as Maynard Dixon, William Herbert Dunton, and Edgar Payne.
Biography from Altermann Galleries & Auctioneers VI
He also studied and worked with acclaimed contemporary painters such as Michael Lynch, James Reynolds, and Clyde Aspevig.Most of the time, Smith can be found painting plein air from southern Arizona to the Canadian Rockies or from the California coast to the mountains of Colorado. He says, "I like the tradition behind classic landscape painting, and I'm particularly inspired by pristine locations. I like to work in areas where one can travel for miles without seeing the influence of man. When I paint, I believe I've hit the mark when I've captured a balance between mood, look and feel. You know you've succeeded when viewers sense the desert heat, or the chill of a mountain snowfall, or the mist hanging over a lake. No one can improve on nature's landscapes."A profile on Smith in Southwest Art noted, "From his studio window, Smith looks out on a patch of desert, a giant saguaro cactus, and huge boulders. But the landscape often draws him out of his studio. 'What I feel outdoors in important to me', he says. 'My paintings are more than just a re-creation of a particular view. I try to imbue them with the feel of the wind, the sounds of wildlife, and the smell of the fresh air,' The result is painting that depicts not only a scene, but also time and mood, an accomplishment rarely achieved in a studio working from photographs," Smith says.In return for all the guidance given to him in earlier years by the contemporary landscape masters, Smith devotes several weeks each year to teaching.
He conducts seminars in Taos, Jackson Hole, and other locations, and often leads a Scottsdale Artists School to his favorite secluded desert sites to paint."After learning so much from artists I deeply admire, I feel a responsibility to pass what I've learned on to others. I hope in some way this contributes to keeping traditions alive. Also, teaching helps me convey my personal ideas and values about art."
Matt Smith was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and moved with his family
when he was very young to Scottsdale, Arizona. During his grade-school
years, the family lived for two years in Toulouse, France, and when he
was in high school they spent a year in Geneva, Switzerland. His
travels in these and various other countries, including Italy, Germany,
Austria, and Spain, exposed him to the work of many of the great
masters. This stimulated his interest in art and was a contributing
factor in what was to become his life-long commitment to painting.
Biography from Whistle Pik Galleries
1985, Smith graduated from Arizona State University with a BFA in
painting. As part of his ongoing studies, he frequently visits museums
around the country and has assembled an extensive library of art books.
spends four to six month a year traveling. This connection to actual
subjects enables him to paint landscapes from direct observation during
all seasons, which reinforces both his plein-air and studio work.
has received prestigious recognition for his work, including the Robert
M. Lougheed Memorial Award at the Prix de West Invitational Art
Exhibition and Sale, the Colonel Richard H. "Red" Smith Artists' Choice
Award from the National Museum of Wildlife Art, and both Best of Show
and Artistic Merit awards at the Western Rendezvous of Art. Each of
these awards resulted from voting by artists participating in the
shows. In 2009 he received Ben Stahl Artists' Choice Award and a Merit
Award for View Over Ediza at the Western Rendezvous of Art Show in
He has had one-man shows in Arizona, Colorado,
New Mexico, Texas, and Wyoming, and has participated in numerous major
shows. His work has been featured in many publications, including
American Artist, Art of the West, Art-Talk, International Artist, and
Smith lives in and maintains his studio in Scottsdale, Arizona. He teaches several workshops every year.
Masters of the West Show, Autry National Center, Los Angeles, CA
Matthew Read Smith was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1960 and graduated from Arizona State University in 1985 with a BFA in painting. Still living in Arizona, Smith paints primarily on location and feels his best works come directly from life.
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Smith's work has been featured in many national shows. He is a member of Plein Air Painters of America. Smith recently received the Robert Lougheed Award at the Prix de West Invitational and the Ben Stahl Merit Award at the Northwest Rendezvous Group. He has exhibited in the Albuquerque Museum of Art, N.M.; the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Okla.; and the National Wildlife Art Museum in Jackson, Wyo.
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