Everywhere I go I see light and shadows and design. Sunlight sparkling through the trees, shadows creating a striking design on everything. Dramatic and sometimes subtle color and values upon objects in small scenes, large buildings, sweeping seascapes all inspiring me.
"Well, that's what life is - this collection of extraordinarily ordinary moments. We just need to pay attention to them all. Wake up and pay attention to how beautiful it all is." -- said Alexander Payne. I love the simple and well-intended brush strokes and suggested forms that illustrate a gesture, or likeness that captures the soul of a person or place with simple shapes and values.
My recent "Summer at the Seashore" series integrates this style and approach as I attempt to capture the sea in its own glory, families, couples and individuals enjoying time at the beach, laughing and relaxing. Days at the seashore are cherished and important. Using a loose painterly style and strong sense of value my current works reveal my viewpoint of the importance of the Seashore for healing and recharging. I hope my paintings help viewers remember their days and the impact of the sea on their lives. Sometimes those moments of solitude and others with loved ones relaxing or in play.
Marie Cassatt, the first American and woman painter asked to join the Impressionists in France, is an artist who has influenced me. She was the first to paint women and children in natural settings showing their affectionate love in everyday settings instead of the fashionable society garments and settings of her era. The emotion of intimate scenes of everyday life weaves its way into my work.
Van Gogh and all the impressionists influence me, although my first art instructors likened my work to surrealist Rene Magritte. I, like most artists, began my artistry by creating very tight paintings trying to capture everything exactly as I see it, as John F. Carlson explains so well in his book, 'Carlson's Guide to Landscaping.' He said, "The beginner in painting begins by copying nature in all literalness, leaving nothing out and putting nothing in; he makes it look like the place or person or thing. By and by he will learn to omit the superfluous and to grasp the essentials and arrange them into a more powerful and significant whole. And it is wonderful to know that these "essentials" will be essential to HIM (HER) ONLY (and herein lies the secret of originality). Another man will choose another group of essentials out of the same fount of inspiration".
Such is my journey. Lately I am finding my way using large flat brushes for much of each painting. I am currently under the excellent tutelage of Phil Starke and Gabor Svagrik through their unique online artist community Easel Insight. I am learning so much. I study the work of many fb artists and have purchased some videos. I am constantly studying and am looking forward to someday traveling and learning from the wonderful array of contemporary impressionist artist I share and interact with online.
I am so very thankful to have the support of so many friends and others who like my work enough to consider hanging and living with one of my paintings in their home. Their support allows me to continue in this journey to learn and grow as a person and artist.
Original Paintings at the Seashore
Jules Smith ARCHIVED works