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 Larry Lynn Smitherman  (1940 - )

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Lived/Active: Texas      Known for: female figure and portrait, illustrator

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Ad Code: 4
"Tex-Mex”  Medium Acrylic
"Tex-Mex” Medium Acrylic
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following, submitted January 2005, is from the artist.

Born in West Texas on a small ranch, Larry Smitherman learned at an early age to judge people not by how they looked or dressed, but by the inner qualities that shaped their personalities. During high school he realized that his life would be shaped by his art. He enrolled in the Art Instruction Schools (a correspondence school) and learned of the demands of becoming a professional artist.

Searching for a more structured art education, Smitherman enrolled in the Colorado Institute of Art in Denver, Colorado under the direction of John Jellico. He graduated after four years of study in commercial and illustrative arts. During this time he had the opportunity to study under Charlie Dye, co-founder of the Cowboy Artists Association of America.

It was these relationships that led him to begin his career as both a commercial and western artist. For ten years he pursued his career as a western illustrative artist with his work being featured on the covers of True West, Frontier Times, Old West, The West and The Cattleman magazines and calendars, greeting cards and notes. He provided poster design for Lamar Briggs, Romaire Bearden and Earl Linderman; publication design for Four Winds and the original Southwestern Art magazines; catalog designs; book design for the Dallas Museum of Art, Houston Museum of Fine Art, Texas Monthly Press, Jenkins Publishing, Jenkins Garrett Press and Presidial Press.

Despite success and standing in both the western art and commercial art worlds, Smitherman felt an unyielding need to return to his first artistic expressions of figurative imagery. In 1987 he turned all of his time and energy to painting people.

Smitherman currently lives in Austin, Texas with his wife of 43 years, Marlene. They have one daughter, Kalyn. He now works entirely with acrylic on paper using simple lines and pure colors to draw the viewer into the emotions and personality of each person he paints.

Smitherman is also known for his work as a portrait artist. He believes that a portrait must be more than a well drafted likeness of the individual. Establishing a rapport with the subject is critical and finding that inner essence of personality and transferring it to the portrait is the most important part of his artistic approach. Often, the finished work evokes not only the inner qualities of the individual, but reflects the relationship between the subject and Larry himself giving a dynamic to the finished work that cannot be found in photographic portraiture.

Smitherman believes that it is important to give back to the community that has supported his work for decades. He continues to use his work, whenever possible, to support local charities and will always see his art as an expressive conduit of his inner self and that of his subjects.

Museum of Fine Art, Odessa, Texas, 2001; 2002
Art Institute of Colorado, Denver, Colorado, 1995; 2002; 2003; 2004
Art Festival of Amarillo, Amarillo, Texas, 1993
Stamford Art Foundation, Stamford, Texas, 2000; 2001

The Imagery of Larry Smitherman, Execucom Corporation; Austin, Texas; 1989
The Figurative Art of Larry Smitherman, benefiting the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Austin, Texas, 1993
Wishing You Peace, benefiting SafePlace; The University of Texas at Austin; Austin,Texas, 1998
Visual Impressions of Smitherman; Victoria Bank and Trust; Austin, Texas; 1997
Visual Imagery of Larry Smitherman; Texas Commerce Bank; Austin, Texas; 1997
Figurative Impressions of Smitherman; Austin City Council; Austin, Texas; 1996
The Figurative Art of Smitherman; Austin Society, The University of Texas at Austin; Austin, Texas; 2002; 2003
The Figurative Art of Smitherman; The University of Texas at Austin Longhorn Club; Austin, Texas; 2004
The Figurative Art of Smitherman, benefiting Make A Wish Foundation; sponsored by the CN Group; Austin, Texas; 2004

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