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Paintings are Documents

"Paintings are documents." ~ David Hockney
David stated that paintings are documents. I would have to agree that the drawings, paintings, and photographs that we take are documents. These documents will, most likely, say a lot of things about our life at that time.
In my work, this is very evident. In the Autumn of 2007, I started to have some questions and issues about money. This went into my subconscious and the manifestation of this is my "Currency" series. The money made it into my art as background to my paintings.
"Currency #1"  Pastel on Masonite 24x20" 2007
When I was a student at Southampton College, I had an English teacher and she liked my poetry. She said that the more that I write, the more my work will have the full spectrum of emotions and life experiences. I never forgot that word of advice. She was perfectly correct. The more that I wrote the broader spectrum was in the poetry.
This is true with painting, drawing or photography. The…
Recent posts
Why I Can No Longer Just Paint for Fun?
I always thought how noble it was for the artist to paint only for the enjoyment and the purity of self expression. To be an artist was something that was above self promotion and commercialism. I had this lofty opinion more on the subconscious level my whole artistic career. Then I had a conversation...
This weekend I was at an event sponsored at the High School of Art and Design, where I am an alumni. It was a draw a thon. It was an all day event to raise money for the students. Artists of all ages and levels drew and painted from the model for a fee. I met several people from the present and the past. It was a lot of fun. I met a fellow artist friend and he told me an artist who had passed away recently. This artist was a very accomplished painter whom worked his whole life. His technique was beautiful and his content was extremely soulful. He had shown me some of his paintings and they were like Rembrandt's portraits with beautiful colo…

If Rembrandt had a blog...

Here I am in the wee hours of the morning, on my Samsung Galaxy tablet, typing my blog post about my art and my inspirations. With the advent of  technology and the Internet, I can reach more people in a single morning than Rembrandt could have reached in years.

As an artist today, my sphere of influence is far greater and more autonomous than ever before in the history of art. In one YouTube video on my own YouTube channel, I have almost 60,000 views. This video is a speed painting of a pastel I painted of a young woman. This is why, as an artist, it is imperative that I adopt technology.  It is part of the artist's job to get the work where you, my audience can see it. It is my task to increase the scope and breath of my work and its influence. Exposure can not happen with the old methods of gallery openings and occasional  articles in periodicles.  Those old world ways are definitely not practical anymore.

It is not enough for the artist to create and be free of marketing conc…
Timothy John-Luke Smith, PSA "Prosephone in Autumn #2"  Pastel on wood panel 11x14"
Seeing the World Through the Four Seasons
About a year ago I started to work on the "Prosephone" series. I was initially inspired by Dante Gabriel Rossetti's version of Prosephone. I am painting the myth of Prosephone as an allegory of  the stages of life and relationships. My paintings and drawings of Prosephone and her situation are even more specific to the four seasons and how Prosephone is effected by this yearly cycle. This is both a very personal and  a universal theme. 
We are all effected by stages of life both on a small and a large scale. Whenever I see the work of other artists depicting subjects in different seasons, I can't help but to think of the seasons of our lives.
For me, Prosephone represents the cycle of trials, struggles, hopes, perseverance and happy times in all our lives. In my life, this has been very much like that of the four seasons. Now th…

Thinking Outside The Box in Pastel

The importance of thinking "outside the box" with pastel.
Currently on my easel is a small portrait that I am working on in pastel.  It measures 11x14", on wood panel treated with my marble dust and gesso mixture. The portrait is close to life size ( one side note, when painting the portrait it is always best to scale the artwork life size or smaller when at all possible.
As I am painting this portrait I come across some instances when the medium of pastel does need a little help from other mediums, to get the clarity and vision in the contrasts between the light and the dark. I am unable to get the intensity that I am striving for to key in the values. If the dark is not dark enough, even by one value on the value scale, it will effect all the other values in the portrait.
My dilemma is, how do I get this rich color dark value with pastel, while not overloading the surface with excess pigment. The only answer is the airbrush. I approach the painting with the airbrush appl…

Paint as Though You are an Old Master today?

"Prosephone in Summer" (Detail) work in progress 48x36" Acrylic on Wood Panel

This is the Christmas Season and I am always loving this time of year. Even if things are not perfect or are sometimes sad, I love the holiday season more than all others. How can one not love Christmas lights and Christmas trees? How could one not love the amber glow of the Menorahs?

Lately it has been a time of introspection with my art. Do you ever have one of those months? Do you get in those moods when you wonder if anyone is paying attention to your career? Do you ever have that scary notion of, what will happen to all of your art in the future? Will it be in museums, important collections, or will it end up against a wall at a garage sale for 2 dollars?

The truth is that I would paint even if the world thought it to be terrible. The process gives me peace. It always has, even when I was just 3 years old drawing with a red pen on envelopes on the kitchen table. I am not saying that I do…