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 Tucker Smith  (1940 - )

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Lived/Active: Wyoming      Known for: wildlife in landscape painting

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Ad Code: 2
Tucker Smith
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
From a spacious studio on almost 300 acres of land about 50 miles southeast of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Tucker Smith paints views of the surrounding landscape and wildlife. His easel belonged to long-time Montana artist Edgar Paxson and came to him through Shorty Shope, a member of the Cowboy Artists of America.

He and his wife, Jean, moved to Wyoming in 1993.

"Art of the West", July 1999

Biography from Trailside Galleries:
Raised on a small farm outside of St. Paul, Minnesota, Tucker Smith was just 12 years old when his family relocated to Western Wyoming. As a child, his artistic skill was already evident, although his family viewed art simply as an avocation. Smith went on to graduate from the University of Wyoming, with a Science Degree in Math and a minor in art. He spent the following eight years as a computer programmer and systems analyst for the State of Montana, painting on a part time basis. He eventually realized that art was his true passion in life and he became a full time professional artist at the age of 31.

Today, Tucker Smith is nationally renowned for his balanced, subtle paintings inspired by the wildlife and mountain atmosphere that has been such an integral part of his life. His home and studio on the Hoback Rim in Western Wyoming offer direct access to his favorite subjects; vast landscapes, sprawling cattle ranches, and the back country with its abundant wildlife and natural, unspoiled beauty. Tucker notes, “I just recently returned with some friends from a week long horse pack trip into the Wind River Mountains where we painted, photographed and explored. I believe it is necessary to experience nature first hand in order to be able to convey it to someone else through a painting”. He adds, “When doing an animal painting, my first consideration is the setting. It is the particular environment that made the animal. The relationship between the two is of great interest to me”.

Tucker Smith’s paintings are in the permanent collection of the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. His many awards include the 1990 Prix De West Purchase award and the 1996 Robert Lougheed Award. In 1999, he won the Thomas Moran Gold Medal at the Masters of the American West Exhibition at the Autry Museum, and the Autry Purchase Award in 2000.

Biography from Altermann Galleries & Auctioneers VI:
Realist painter in oil and watercolor of scenes near his home, born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1940 and living in Clancy, near Helena, Montana. “I am not personally interested,” he points out, “in telling a story or illustrating history. I would rather convey mood while portraying reality. I want to paint the actual rather than the ideal and I try to avoid sentimentality and nostalgia. I believe in subtlety.”

“When I was 12, my family moved from our Minnesota farm to the mountains of Wyoming. While I always had an interest in art, I graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1963 with a degree in math and spent eight years as a computer programmer and systems analyst. If anyone had told me then that I would soon be doing this, I would have laughed. My art education was in abstract art, but I was basically always a realistic artist. After my schooling, I got back to realism.

“I choose subjects that are timeless, the things I see today—landscape, wildlife, rocks. I do outdoor sketches, but I am a studio painter. If I had lived in the East, my paintings would be different. I live in the West, so my painting reflect the West—but I hate to be categorized. People in the West like realistic art because they think of Westerners as realistic people. They are straightforward, honest, and unpretentious, so the art has to reflect these things. In the East, the audience goes with the critic, but I don’t think Westerners give a darn about critics. They go with what they like.” A founding member of the Northwest Rendezvous Group, Smith was featured in Art West, January 1980, and Rocky Mountain Magazine, December 1981.

Resource: Contemporary Western Artists, by Peggy and Harold Samuels 1982, Judd’s Inc., Washington, D.C.

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