New York City based artist Samantha Keely Smith is back with all new work. Samantha’s work has been on my radar for a few years now and I did a post on her gorgeous work about two years ago. I reached out to Samantha and asked her a few questions about her influences and what her creative process involves.
In 2012 your work progressed into painting abstract, oceanic waves and creating a sense of heavy movement. What inspired this?
All of my images come from dreams, but my dreams are influenced by the emotions I experience and the things I learn/hear about in my day to day life. I’ve been concerned with the effects of global warming and the melting ice caps for some time, and that showed up in my dreams as the images I produced in 2012/2013. I’m still influenced by these concerns, only now my images have expanded beyond “oceanic.”
Without revealing too much, what is a typical process from start to finish for one of your paintings and how long does that take?
It’s a case of narrowing down the images from the dreams and trying to focus on one in particular. The images in the paintings are what I call “inner worlds” because really they are the result of attempting to translate an internal existence driven by emotion/instinct into something that makes some sense of the reality we live in. Because these dream images are fleeting I spend a long time chasing them during the process of the painting. Unfortunately this also means there is no real way to plan them out. So they can often take a couple of months to complete, with many changes (sometimes drastic) taking places over the course of that time. I work in thin layers, often somewhat translucent. I find that accidents/mistakes are an important part of my process too. I’m also in love with color and oil paint in general so my interest in the process of painting is part of the end result.
What musician/band has been the most influential for your visual cues?
There isn’t one musician, but many. Music in general is an important part of my daily studio practice. The kind of music I listen to while painting is dictated by the painting itself. I can’t say that music influences my visual choices, but it does feed the intensity of the work.
Are there any other practices/mediums in the broad world of art that you would like to try?
I can’t imagine having the time to do anything else since I paint every day, but in another life I’d like to experiment with film/video and installation art.
If you could pack up and move to work on your craft anywhere, where would you move to?
I’m not sure because I love the energy of NYC. My only problem with living here is financial. Being an artist in New York is very hard, mainly because of the high cost of living and how expensive artist’s work spaces are. I think I’d like to live somewhere near the ocean if I could. But only part time. I feed off the creative energy of the city and I’d miss that.
For more of Samantha’s breathtaking work, visit her website:
Samantha Keely Smith
Oil painter Danny Heller is back and has created a new, breathtaking series titled “City Modernism”. I’ve been following Danny for almost seven years now and as he keeps tacking on the years of experience, one can see the subtle growth and maturity in his works. I cannot praise Danny’s work enough. I never really understood what people meant when they talked about finding art that hits your soul in a way that you must own it until I saw Danny’s work for the first time. His work is really something to see in person. Speaking of which…
Danny will be presenting his new works at the George Billis gallery here in Los Angeles this weekend. If you live in the Los Angeles area, drop by the opening reception and check his work out, meet Danny and I’ll be there as well on Saturday. Details for Danny’s “City Modernism” are listed below:
Opening Reception: Saturday October 19, 5-8 pm
October 19 – November 26
George Billis Gallery
2716 La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Paintings such as Samantha Keely Smith’s make me want to throw my camera away and pick up a paint brush again. I miss the quiet, tranquil nights or afternoons where it felt like it was just me and my canvas and the world around me dissolved entirely. I love inspiration like Samantha’s paintings.
According to her website, she uses oil on canvas along with shellac, varnish and enamel. I’d imagine, given the size of these paintings, that they command every ounce of your attention. They are simply powerful. Her new work is jaw dropping and I can’t imagine what they look like and how they would make me feel viewing them in person. If any one feels like buying me the first one, I would forever be your friend.
I could sit here and explain how I feel about Samantha’s work but I would rather let her paintings speak to you. Take a look at her website to see the rest of her work and her artist statement. I would be first in line to purchase a print if she offered them.
Samantha Keely Smith.
Rarely does an artist’s work speak to me on such a profound level that I must own, at least try to, as many originals as I can. In this case, Danny Heller brings that sensation to me. I can’t explain how Danny’s work speaks to me. Danny’s work floods me with nostalgic memories of very specific moments in my life that have happened. They weren’t epic moments of anything crazy. Just life. There’s a calm, simple, serenity to his work that reassures me that the choices I’ve made living in Southern California couldn’t have been better. The above examples are mostly studies of Palm Springs, CA but it’s his LA Visions series that first won me over.
Danny Heller is an oil painter (yes, painter) who was born and raised in Southern California and it clearly shows in his work. Check out his impressive portfolio or drop by a gallery and have your mind blown at the near hyper realism of his paintings in person. If you’ve lived in the San Fernando Valley, you’ll probably have experienced a day like one of Danny’s paintings. http://dannyhellerart.com
Mike Bayne creates striking realist paintings that celebrate the mundane. Can’t help but be reminded of William Eggelston’s work, which while photographic, maintains a sort of painterly style.
More at Mike Bayne Portfolio
Found a few nice examples of gas company brochures/maps on Kaizen Verdant’s Flickr. Reminds me of one of my favorite’s, the Shell Nature Lovers’ Atlas (second one down).
See Related: Oil Company Ephemera
Just a small collection of oil company maps I’ve found around the web; I wasn’t aware of this fascinating sub-genre of design. This is the sort of throw-away stuff that for some reason is the coolest thing to find in the garage drawer it’s been sitting in for 30 years. I think that Hawaii one is actually just a Casino Versus Japan 12″ cover. That German one is ridiculous; leave it to them to design a map that they give out free at the gas station that betters the collective output of United State graphic designers for the entire calendar year in which it was produced. Way to go guys.
Shell Nature Lovers’ Atlas
Shell Deutschland Map
Mobil Travel Map
Shell Hawaii Map