• Smith - Cultivation
  • Smith - Timelessness
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  • Smith - A Long Way Off
  • Doug Smith
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Doug Smith

The power of nostalgia coupled with the essence of the American landscape creates the two poles of Doug Smith’s captivating imagery. Early inspiration and a love of natural shapes originate from childhood visits to the Midwest where the young artist glimpsed fleeting patches of geometric land from the backseat of a car or train window. After his first trip by plane, he was mesmerized by the textures and patterns of the crops as they split the world into blocks from above. This fascination becomes articulated through the artist’s combination of realistic and miniature paintings of barns and farms within an abstract impression of the landscapes imprinted on his soul; environments begging for connection within the viewer on visual, intellectual and emotional levels. “Man, despite his sophistication and his many accomplishments, owes his existence to a six inch layer of top soil and the fact that it rains”. (Anonymous)

 

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Biography

Born and raised in San Francisco, Doug Smith was fortunate to have talented, creative parents who recognized his own talent from an early age and encouraged him to pursue his art. His mother, herself an accomplished impressionist painter, exposed him to the wealth of San Francisco’s art exhibitions as a youngster, introducing him to the masters in their regular visits to the city’s outstanding museums. By age nine he had sold his first oil painting.

Smith received his first formal artistic instruction at San Francisco City College as a fine art major. He then furthered his education at San Francisco Academy of Art University. At 19 he participated in his first group exhibition in the city’s Artist Cooperative Gallery.

After service in the U.S. Army, Smith returned to San Francisco and joined a firm as a graphic designer. The company relocated to Southern California and he continued his training at the Art Center College of Design and the California Art Institute.

Throughout his long and successful career in graphic design and art direction, Smith continued to paint and allowed his artistic “voice” to evolve. In 2000, he made the transition to focusing full-time on his passion for painting.

His signature body of work has garnered enthusiasm and interest from private collectors worldwide as well as museums including the Rockwell Museum in New York and the Booth Western Art Museum in Atlanta for their permanent collections.

Doug’s strong composition, bold technique, textures and vibrant colors evoke the traditions of Richard Diebenkorn and Wayne Thiebaud of the early Bay Area Figurative School.

 

Artist Statement

I have always been fascinated with the patterns in nature. As a youngster, I often traveled through western America in the family car. My gaze would be fixed at the window, taking in the rural landscapes – delighted by the striking differences of scene with each passing second, and yet mesmerized by the soothing sameness, sometimes for hours at a time. The countless impressions became vivid and lasting memories. As I became an adult and traveled by plane (always in a window seat), I still studied the textures and patterns of the earth. Now I could see in a glance the very landscapes the ten-year-old boy used to contemplate from the car. For centuries, over hundreds of thousands of square miles, farmers have created these wonderful land mosaics. There are fields, orchards, pastures and ranches – punctuated by homes and outbuildings, and accented by roads and nature’s erosion, gullies, rock formations, waterways and coastlines – all strikingly different from one another and together composing a harmonious whole.

It is natural to connect the dots between the childhood memories and the aerial views. Together they have inspired this current body of work. My images reflect America’s fertile farmlands: especially California’s vast San Joaquin Valley.

Along with this inspiration from the land, I find that my long experience as a graphic designer invests my work with strong organization, color, balance and texture. Painting with acrylic on canvas, I interject an expressionistic montage with a small dash of realism. I try to convey in my art a sense of vast distance and space as well as of place; to evoke a mood of timelessness, and a feeling of nostalgia.

Some of my paintings depict specific locales, but most are composites of American agrarian images held dearly and indelibly in my memory.

When I created this current body of work, I found this interesting anonymous quote: “Man, despite his sophistication and his many accomplishments, owes his existence to a six inch layer of top soil and the fact that it rains.”

 

Exhibitions

2015 Ærena Galleries, Yountville, St Helena & Healdsburg, CA
2014 Solo Exhibition, Desert Caballeros Western Museum, Wickenburg, AZ
  Group Exhibition, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2013 Solo Exhibition, Hohmann Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA
2012 Group Exhibition, United States Embassy, Spaso House, Moscow, Russia
  Two Person Exhibition, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, St Helena, CA
  Invitational Exhibition, “Artists for a New Century” Bennington Center, Bennington, VT
  Solo Exhibition, Watts Fine Art, Zionsville, IN
  Winter Group Show, Visions West Galleries, Denver, CO
2011 Collectors Legacy Exhibition, Rockwell Museum of Western Art
  Art of the New West Exhibition, Watts Fine Art, Zionsville, IN
  Group Landscape Show, Watts Fine Art, Zionsville, IN
  Solo Exhibition, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, St Helena, CA
  Solo Exhibition, Alpha Omega Winery, Rutherford, CA
2010 Two person Exhibition, Left Coast Galleries, Studio City, CA
  Art of the New West Exhibition, Watts Fine Art, Zionsville, IN
  Group Landscape Show, Watts Fine Art, Zionsville, IN
  Solo Exhibition, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, St Helena, CA
  Solo Exhibition, Alpha Omega Winery, Rutherford, CA
2009 Solo Exhibition, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  Two Person Exhibition, Blue Gallery, Kansas City, MO
2008 LACMA Wet Paint Exhibition, Beverly Hills, CA
  Group Exhibition, Melissa Morgan Fine Art Gallery, Palm Desert, CA
  Group Exhibition, Left Coast Galleries, Studio City, CA
2007 21st Century Regionalists, Invitational Art of the New West, Booth Western Art Museum, Atlanta
  Group Exhibition, Modern Masters Fine Art Gallery, Palm Desert, CA
2006 LACMA Wet Paint Exhibition, Beverly Hills, CA
  Boston International Fine Art Show, Wynne Falconer Gallery, Boston
  LACMA Four Person Exhibition, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
2005 Group Exhibition, Patricia Rovzar Gallery, Kirkland, WA
  Solo Exhibition, McLean Gallery, Malibu, CA

 

Museum Collections

Booth Western Art Museum, Cartersville, GA
Rockwell Museum, Corning, NY

Publications

2014 Western Art Collector, November, Solo Exhibition, Desert Caballeros Western Museum
  Western Art & Architecture Magazine, October Issue
2012 American Art Collector, March, Watts Fine Art Solo Exhibition
  Western Art and Architecture Magazine, August Issue
  American Art Collector, March Issue, Watts Fine Art Exhibition
2011 Western Art Collector, October, Collectors Legacy Exhibition, Rockwell Museum of    Western Art
  Western Art Collector, September, Art of the New West, Watts Fine Art
  Marin Magazine Cover, February Issue
2010 Western Art Collector, September, Art of the New West, Watts Fine Art
  American Art Collector, July, Rockwell Museum of Western Art Exhibition
  American Art Collector, June, Rockwell Museum of Western Art Exhibition
2009 American Art Collector, July, Artist Focus
2008 Southwest Art, January, Best of the West - Art of the New West Booth Western Art Museum
  Western Art Collector, January - Booth Western Art Museum Exhibition
2005 Southwest Art, February, Best of the West