The art of painting has always fascinated me. With a few materials—canvas, paint and brushes— the artist can create beauty out of an everyday life experience. When I take photographs for my paintings, I know there is more to the scene than a photograph can capture. Mood, focus and rhythm need to be added.
I feel humble before nature. Its beauty gives me a glimpse of the sublime. I want my viewers to look into my paintings and see what I have loved about a farmstead, a mountain, an ocean. It has taken me some time to learn how to translate a scene into a painting. When this successfully happens, I know that the awe and joy I experienced is shared. A good painting speaks to everyone’s desire for connection and meaning in life.
Much of my art was inspired by the more than 1,000-acre cattle ranch my husband Jim and I owned near Ola, Idaho. The ranch house, barn, aspens and high country are among scenes that I’ve captured on canvas.
I live and work in Eagle, Idaho. Largely self-taught, I have received instruction and support from Will Nelson, Venture Coy and Geoff Krueger.
My paintings are found in private collections in Washington, Idaho, Massachusetts and New York.
Mary Vanek Smith