Artist
Teresa Smith Friday Harbor, Washington

Teresa Smith captures the soul of the Canadian landscape in her contemplative oil paintings. Teresa gathers impressions of the land around her remote island home on horseback rides accompanied by her Irish wolfhound. Her works capture the light coming through the trees, a richness of color, and the interconnectedness of nature. Her subjects emerge through lyrical brushwork, sometimes with light streaming as if through a stained glass window. Her major influences are Georgia O’Keeffe, Emily Carr, and the Canadian Group of Seven, the latter of whom pioneered a distinctive style defined by a direct connection with nature. In addition to painting, Teresa is a master gardener, and she grows food year-round in her garden and volunteers in the community to educate and diagnose plant problems. She works from her studio on the top floor of a barn overlooking the pond and trees, where deer walk by and ducks swim. According to Teresa, "much of today’s art is based on concept. That is, the artist has an idea, then uses their art to educate and inform. I do contemplative painting, which is different. For me, it is allowing the painting to unfold in a contemplative or meditative way."

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    About The Artist

    Teresa Smith captures the soul of the Canadian landscape in her contemplative oil paintings. Teresa gathers impressions of the land around her remote island home on horseback rides accompanied by her Irish wolfhound. Her works capture the light coming through the trees, a richness of color, and the interconnectedness of nature. Her subjects emerge through lyrical brushwork, sometimes with light streaming as if through a stained glass window. Her major influences are Georgia O’Keeffe, Emily Carr, and the Canadian Group of Seven, the latter of whom pioneered a distinctive style defined by a direct connection with nature. In addition to painting, Teresa is a master gardener, and she grows food year-round in her garden and volunteers in the community to educate and diagnose plant problems. She works from her studio on the top floor of a barn overlooking the pond and trees, where deer walk by and ducks swim. According to Teresa, "much of today’s art is based on concept. That is, the artist has an idea, then uses their art to educate and inform. I do contemplative painting, which is different. For me, it is allowing the painting to unfold in a contemplative or meditative way."

    Artist Statement

    I live on an island. I ride my horse through the forest. It is here that I find inspiration. Slowing down gives me time to pause and consider. I notice colors and shapes, smells and sounds. The moldy scent of leaves gone by reminds me of an eight-year-old walking home from school in a small town in Quebec. After a big rain, droplets of water spill from wet foliage. As the sun streams in through the cathedral of monster cedars, a mist rises in a thin veil as if illuminating an alternate world. It looks like it is snowing colored glitter. Finches chirp and hustle in the undergrowth and eagles chortle in the distance. Damp brings out the richest of color, like stones, luminous under water. A cedar tree appears green, but when I look closely, I see alizarin, gold, blue and thousands of shades of green. Where the sun strikes foliage, the light glistens white. The deepest shadows are as dark as raven. In my studio I recall shapes, colors, lines and form. I remember the smells and sounds. I memorialize the place with paint, beginning with thin layers of warm hues then mutating into thick painterly brush marks. The paintings take weeks to finish with each layer stamping the recollection of that day’s walk and unfolding in a contemplative manner.

    I received my first set of oils when I was 12, and painted in oils for several years before moving to watercolors. I taught classes and took many instructions over the years. Then in 2009, I started back with oils and decided to finish my art degree at Naropa University. It is a contemplative university and was perfect for me. I had art mentors at that time as well. They took me deeper into the contemplative art making. Much of today’s art is based on concept. That is, the artist has an idea, then uses their art to educate and inform. I do contemplative painting which is different. For me, it is allowing the painting to unfold in a contemplative or meditative way. I have studied the work of Emily Carr and The Canadian Group of Seven extensively; their reaching for and painting the spirit in nature; a love of ecology and wilderness. I continue to read and learn from the masters and push my work to the next level.

    Artist Background

    Naropa University
    Bachelor of Arts, 2013

    Hear What Collectors Say About Teresa's Work

    Teresa Smith 9/9/2019 | 5:35 PM

    Hello Kathy, thanks so much for your comment. I appreciate that. And by the way, I lived in Colorado for 13 years. Love the high country. As long as there are lakes and trees I am happy.

    commentsFir
    K Campbell 9/8/2019 | 1:12 PM

    Hi Teresa, I just purchased your "Lake in the Woods" because while it is a lake in Canada, the painting captures so much of what I love about Colorado. You evoke for me the emotions I feel when in the high country. I had a hard time choosing among so many of your wonderful works. Kathy C.

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