|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|The following information, submitted October 2006, is from Jean and Paul Deutsch of Pompano Beach, Florida.|
We first met Ed Szmyd in June 1969. He designed and had a home
built in Davie, Florida. Its style and structure were not like
anything ever seen for Florida. On June 9th, 1969, Ed's 36th
birthday, we purchased the house. As we opened the front door the
first sight was a bouquet of flowers from Ed, and then and there a
life-long friendship began.
Ed in early 1950 had moved to the state of Florida. He rented a
room from an older couple who became his extended family and whom he
called Mom and Pop. His brother Donny, when he was about 20 years
old, moved to Florida and also lived in the home of 'Mom and Pop', and
they remained his extended family until their death. At this
time, Ed was working as a commercial artist. His paintings were
selling on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale for $1000, on the way
up to $2000.
After selling his home he moved to Hollywood, Florida into a
condominium, shortly after this he longed for his flower gardens.
He purchased a home in Dania, Florida, where he built his Orchid House,
growing hundreds of orchids along with all his other favorite
flowers. He knew the number of leaves and petals each variety had.
My husband, Paul, asked Ed to paint a rough wintry seascape. Ed
said it would take him two years of study for that. A short time
later we received a post card from Maine---he was studying the North
Atlantic Coast line and would soon have the seascape paintings.
In the 1970s and the 1980s, the prices for his paintings were going up.
The worst of times was sweeping through our Country---crime and wild
changes in peoples' life styles of which Ed wanted no part. He
had other ideas in mind. There was only one place for an artist
of his talent and inclination to work, and that was his favorite place,
the Blue Ridge Mountains, which he had visited many times. His
last painting before leaving Florida was The Dogwood of the Blue Ridge, and it was transported to Blowing Rock where it was finished, purchased, and then moved back to Florida where it is today.
On our first trip to Blowing Rock, we stayed at Ed's home. He
liked company and liked to cook. His meals were wholesome and
made from scratch and served sometimes in the kitchen and sometimes
elegantly in his formal dining room with as many as fifty candles
burning, surrounding the whole room. Because of the remodeling
going on, Ed insisted Paul and I sleep in his bedroom that was
finished. This large bedroom had a very large border around the
entire room with Bible quotes that Ed told me brought him great
comfort to read before falling asleep. Indirectly he tells us a
great deal about himself. We were invited into this setting, to
enter the world of the painter, and we did so---automatically. It
posed the basic question of mans' relation to nature and its Creator.
A paragraph from one of Ed's letters: "Blowing Rock had a heavy
snow Christmas Eve and I could not get out of the drive. I spent
the holiday alone with my dog 'BO'; I did not mind at all. It was
a Magnificent Solitude."
In April 1986, Ed wrote that Mom was coming to Blowing Rock for his
birthday. He was excited about her visit, but it turned out she
was not well and had a bad heart. He spent all his time taking
her to doctors, hospitals, and specialists, but he took care of
her. Again this tells us a great deal about him.
During the 1990s, Ed's intuition led him to work with smaller canvases
so that more people could afford his paintings. For this, he
turned to Still Life, another great success story.
He lived and worked all his life. His world was one of
persistence and determination; even in the face of difficulties he
showed considerable reserve at all times. He was as passionate
about music as he was about paintings. He painted every day while
listening to classical music (very loud); he had the best surround
sound system possible. He showed a fearless tendency by the way
he climbed up and down mountain slopes searching for a particular kind
of vista. His intuitive mind, his ideas and thoughts were well in
advance of the age in which he lived.
While he is gone--we have his letters and paintings to feel his presence.
We miss him.
Jean and Paul Deutsch
Edward Szmyd, born June 9, 1933 in Trafford, Pennsylvania, a son of Antoni and Blanche Frydrych Szmyd died at Blowing Rock, North Carolina in 2004. He was a graduate of the Art Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and a self-employed artist.
Midwest Art Magazine of November/December 1987 features an article on Edward Szmyd including images and descriptions of several of his paintings. In an interview he called himself a dreamer and an idealist, whose paintings are "glorified with light".
Obituary, The Blowing Rock Newspaper
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