We had the good fortune of connecting with Kerrie Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kerrie, what inspires you?
I’m inspired by Californian light, mountains and ocean which is so intense and bright. I’m originally from England where the light is much softer and grey. My work is a reflection that describes the complex counterbalance of asymmetries found in the dynamic forces of nature. I explore both balance/imbalance and examine ‘Patterns’ in our environment, subtle variations of complementary hues and warm and cool rhythms of light create an equivalence on all sides of the canvas. I work in layers of color, sometimes precisely blocking color first, then building, patterning and layering again. This gives me a feeling that I’m not just recording nature but actually feeling its rhythms and changing seasons. I’m very influenced by my walks and direct relationship with my environment in California. My bold and colorful paintings explore this through tensions between radially symmetrical compositions of geometric parts and dynamic color as light. The order of symmetry and geometry is strongly counterbalanced by oppositional color patterns and layering of lively painterly color shape.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As an Artist I believe it’s very important to be an advocate for other artists. Surround yourself with artists that you respect and can learn from. I’m a firm believer in mentors and have been truly fortunate to find great women that I continue to respect and learn from. My first mentor was Pamela Howard MBE. She was my professor at Central Saint Martins London. She also gave me my first job as her theater design assistant. I began my creative journey as a Theater Designer in England and Europe and then moved to NYC where I worked as a designer in film and television. Deep down I knew that one day I would return to my passion for painting, but had to wait a few years for that and raise my 2 sons and earn a living along the way!
Anyone considering being an Artist should have other streams of income. I have always had at least 3 jobs on the go and even now I keep very busy. I’m in my studio just about every day so always have a painting in development. I’m also in Zoom classes and organizing art installations and projects in my community. I’m the President of the Arts Council for the Westmont Ridley Tree Museum of Art and belong to LAAA Gallery 825 Los Angeles and SCWCA, SB Studio Artists, SBAbstract Art Collective and Art Salon Santa Barbara.
With a busy schedule I love to continue my series of Light Patterns/Equipoise/Vapours and V’s . Fortunately I use acrylic paint for my paintings which dries quickly and enables me to work in layers. My current paintings explore patterns, color, and organic floating shapes that are interwoven with a geometric underlay. My artwork records imaginary patterns in the environmental intersection between urban-industrial and natural worlds. These bold and colorful paintings explore boundaries and crossover through tensions between symmetric compositions of geometric parts and dynamic color and light. My Studio practice allows me the time to completely focus on my work and I couldn’t imagine my life without my art.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When I’m in LA, I love to visit Huntington Gardens San Marino. Every time I visit I come away feeling inspired. The Griffith Observatory for a sunset picnic and a beautiful view of LA clear to the ocean. Eaton waterfalls and the hike through the canyon, Alta Deena, take a picnic and plenty of water. York Blvd and Highland Park for cool eateries and bars. Descanso Gardens in the spring, tulips and Cherry blossoms abound. Little Tokyo for Ramen and Sushi bars followed by a visit to Hauser Wirth Gallery and museum followed with a glass of beer. Takami roof top restaurant and bar Ste 2100 811 Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles great views and ambiance.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to Shoutout to the Southern California Womens Caucus for Art and Shoebox PR/Kristine Schomaker for support/encouragement/
Linkedin: Kerrie Smith
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