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: