Friday, December 30, 2011

Winter Creek II

Winter Creek II, 6" x 6" oil on panel
©2011 sfsmith
please email me if you are interested in purchasing

I can't believe it is the end of the year - I have been away from this blog for awhile but wanted to post this little painting as it seems fitting for the Winter Season that is upon us. 2011 has been a good year, and I am looking forward to wonderful experiences in 2012 - for all of you as well!

Highlights for me were definitely getting into the NOAPS, the AIS and the American Women Artists shows - and winning an Award of Excellence from Scott Christensen at the American Impressionist Show. Another thrill was receiving an email from a past United States Poet Laureate telling me how much he enjoyed one of my paintings. Also the release of my book Ancient Wisdom Emerging Artist (available on Amazon and Kindle - I know, blatant plug)

Thank you all for dropping in from time to time. And for leaving comments :)

Here's to a Happy - and Creative - New Year!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lodgepole Pines

Lodgepole Pines, 12" x 16", oil, © 2011 sfsmith

Lodgepole Pines are also known as Tamarack Pines or Sierra Lodgepole Pines. In our forests they are generally tall, thin, and fire adapted - which means that they need fire to regenerate. This makes them a mixed blessing - they grow in dense stands, and thin out naturally, leaving a lot of dry wood on the ground, while their tall crowns allow fire to move quickly from tree to tree. But they also regenerate quickly in the burn area, providing habitat and preventing soil erosion. The Lodgepole Pine is named for the common use by Native Americans in the construction of their lodges. Strong, naturally straight and light weight, many tribes traveled long distances to the mountainous areas where they could obtain the wood.

What draws me to this type of subject has always been the conceptual space that exists between and around the objects in the landscape. I often define this space - and the energies that exist there - by the way the light moves through and around the natural features, such as the tree trunks.

I know that I am painting spaces that I want to explore, to discover something that is hovering just beyond my reach that I sense, but can't see. In that regard my paintings are often contemplative. I hope that if you relate to them, you will return again and again to discover something new.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Re-Exploration of the Ancient Walls Series

Ancient Walls Italian Series: Firenze III
20" x 20", oil, marble dust, gesso, paint detritus on panel

I recently discovered a source for marble dust and dry pigments, called Natural Pigments.

I was actually searching for something else, but came upon the marble dust and remembered an old series that I had abandoned, in part because I could not develop the texture of the surface the way I saw it in my imagination.

I began to re-experiment with adding marble dust to both the gesso and the oil paint. The result produced layers of paint, some transparent, some straight from the tube, some thickened with marble dust

Aegean Series: Aquarius II
14" x 11" oil, marble dust, iridescent pigment, paint detritus, gesso

You can see more at my website Sue Smith Fine Art. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Studio Sale on eBay


"Alder Trees and Water, 16"x20", oil on linen on panel ©2010
not framed

flat rate shipping $15

"Ranch Mares", 8" x 16", oil on linen on panel, © 2011
not framed

Starting bid $40
flat rate shipping $15

"Near Mitchell", 12" x 16", oil on linen on panel
not framed, ©2010

starting bid $40
flat rate shipping $15

Friday, July 29, 2011

AIS and AWA Acceptance

Two more OMG - er, exciting - moments to share with you all:

Chokecherry Farm, oil on linen, 12" x 18" ©2011
Accepted into the 2011 American Impressionist Society Show
to be held at Mountainsong Galleries in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
October 21 through November 15, 2011


"Summer Storm Coming", oil on linen, 12" x 18" ©2011
Accepted into the 2011 American Women Artists National Show
October 14 through November 3, 2011
Huff Harrington Fine Art, Atlanta, GA

New Work in my Etsy Store

"Down", oil on linen panel, 11" x 14"
©2011 sfsmith

I have recently reopened my Etsy Store
Paintings From the Oregon Outback by Smithart

This painting is offered for sale as well as a few plein air studies and larger work. I will be adding items over the next few weeks so I hope you stop by and see what's available.

Here is an excerpt from my profile information:

I am constantly evolving and pushing my work to the highest artistic standards in order to offer you, my clients, the best possible original fine art at an affordable value. Let your walls reflect your personality, or the environment you find most energizing. Art is fabulous for doing that - whether you're looking for color and design elements or a sublime distraction from the pressures of your hectic life - art can help you create the environment you want in your home or office.

My goal with this Etsy shop is to create one-of-a-kind small paintings that make fine art accessible and affordable. If all goes well, I will experiment with larger framed pieces. All work is finished with a UV protective varnish and (at this time) ready to frame - you have complete control over framing design and costs. Future plans include offering frames on the site but we're doing baby steps here. Anyway, I hope you stop by, click like or favorite and maybe fall in love with something special.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

In The Deep Woods

In The Deep Woods, 24" x 24" oil on 2.5 deep canvas
©2011 Sue Favinger Smith

My goal with the last few paintings has been to paint more abstractly and concentrate on the quality of the marks and textures. I love working on these deep 2.5 inch canvases, because they allow me to "finish" the deep edge with a technique that uses bronze leaf applied in small pieces. I then rub on a thin coating of burnt umber, wiping off the excess so the texture of the applied leaf is preserved. This is then finished with a coating of galkyd. It creates a beautiful contemporary complement to the painting, allowing it to be finished without requiring a frame.

To achieve a more abstract approach I've had to really push myself to "erase" many aspects of the representational underpainting. This process can involve a lot of squinting, scraping back, scrubbing on, and wiping with a paper towel. There are times I realize I must "erase" my favorite passages to improve the overall effect - which is best done quickly, ruthlessly and without second thoughts. Just do it, then step back and breath a sigh of relief when you see that the painting is closer to the desired end result.

These more abstract paintings do have layers of color that are not picked up by the camera. My goal is to create a painting that first captures your imagination from a distance, then slowly draws you closer in as you visually explore the subtle colors, textures and suggestions hidden in the painted surface. I feel my work is slowly coming back toward the abstract expressionist foundations of my education, but while I will always enjoy non-representational work I think that my own path has led me toward a blending of an abstract contemporary approach to a representational exploration of the landscape.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Creek, Early Snow - Accepted into NOAPs "Best of America" Exhibit

Creek, Early Snow 16 x 20, oil on linen

I am very pleased to announce that the above painting, Creek, Early Snow, was accepted into the 2011 National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society's "Best of America" national juried exhibit, to be held at Dunnegan Gallery of Art in Bolivar, Mo. Opening is Sunday, September 11, 2011. Exhibit continues through October 28, 2011.

Out of over 600 paintings, 82 were selected for this exhibition. I am honored to have my painting, Creek, Early Snow, included.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mutton Mountains

Mutton Mountains, 16 x 20, oil on linen

So much of the American landscape is seen through the windows of the automobile. How many hours have you spent throughout your life driving through areas on the way to somewhere else, and wondered what might exist there, who might have lived there in the past, what might be waiting for you if you just stopped the car and explored?

I've started a new landscape series that explores these ideas, as I try to capture views that could easily be seen through the passenger-side window - in fact, they all were. I used to call these "drive by" photographs, but that term has such a negative connotation now. But just ask my kids about the story they retell at every family gathering, about the vacation photos that show "car going into the tunnel", "car in the tunnel", and "car leaving tunnel.'

It's one of those things a parent never lives down.

An additional note about the email subscriptions to this blog: after several very frustrating hours trying to fix a faulty RSS feed and continuing to get what I consider "spam" mailings from feedburner, I've stopped the email delivery of this blog. I am not computer savvy enough - nor am I willing to waste much time - trying to fix this when there are other ways to read and see what is written here. Please accept my apologies if this causes inconvenience but time is precious and there are so many other things worth doing than copy and pasting codes that won't work.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Rain Curtain - Oregon High Desert

"Rain Curtain - Oregon High Desert"
18 x 24, oil on canvas

I am very happy with this painting. I originally painted a study very similar to this that was in a 10 by 20 inch format - thinking that the long horizontal "double square" would be the best for this stormy panoramic scene. But I discovered I really wanted to see more of the dramatic sky and how it plays off the light on the ground, so I painted this new version on an 18 x 24 inch canvas.

I also changed the color harmonies from the study and felt good about my understanding of values to create drama and volume, particularly in the sky. ( I have been working on this - understanding values, as I have a tendency to be hesitant about pushing the really dark areas). I also did a lot of scumbling and glazing and using a Q-tip to soften some edges, which worked really well.

After the painting was finished I noticed the suggestion of animals grazing and thought it was really cool they were there since I hadn't painted them in. It just adds another layer of interest and mystery due to happenstance and a brush that must have a mind of it's own.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

WAOWing The Lone Star State

Women Artists of the West
"WAOWing the Lone Star State"
A National Juried Exhibition

Sue Favinger Smith, Associate Member, WAOW

I am very happy to announce that my painting, Meditation, will be included in this show.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Desert Wild

"Desert Wild" original oil on canvas, 9" x 12"


As nearly everyone near a television, it is difficult to ignore the heart wrenching images coming out of Japan. And like many of us, I started looking for a way to help. That's why I was excited to see that eBay was offering a way to donate a percentage of the purchase price to the Tsunami Relief Fund on selected items offered for bid. I hope you will consider clicking the link and looking at the auction site. I hope to add additional paintings in the near future. Thanks so much.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


This is a location that I have painted often - Rimrock Springs. The history dates back to early homesteaders, who settled in this valley because of the natural springs. The remains of the old cabin are still on the far shore but the area is now a wildlife refuge so public access is limited.

Each time I paint this location I find something unique, and I believe that each painting gets better in part because I am so familiar with certain elements that I'm able to focus on a single emotional statement. At least that's my hope.

"Solitude" oil on canvas, 16 x 16