Curve Appeal

Shelley Smith

Oil on Infrastructure Linen

I’m magnetically drawn to subjects for their history, irony, isolation and/or beauty, reminding me of who we are, where we’ve been and where we may be going. Most often these are sights people see every day but fail to truly “see.” It may be a repurposed building, an abandoned site, a nostalgic movie theater, a classic car or an isolated landscape. The old, historic and repurposed subjects trigger my imagination. I wonder what they were like in their heyday, what they are like right now, and what will they look like in the future.

I believe there must be something unique about my paintings beyond that of a photograph – if my painting is just like the photograph, then what’s the point of a painting? Depending on what grabs me when I first spot the subject, I typically work to emphasize light and shadow, as well as distance and depth – again with the use of color and detail – or lack of it.

In the end, I hope my work evokes emotions in the viewer – a sense of the history, irony, isolation or beauty – that snagged my imagination in the first place.

Each painting begins with subject matter photographs and composition design. Once the composition and size are determined, the image is hand-drawn in pencil, employing a grid to maintain proportions. Painting commences in layers, using a limited palette and the traditional fat over lean technique.

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