Figures Stream Alongside Swirling Streams of Shade in Samantha Keely Smith’s Vibrant Summary Landscapes

  • Apr 19.

“Calling Out Throughout the Distance” (2023), oil on canvas, 60 x 68 inches. All photos © Samantha Keely Smith, shared with permission

In vibrant oil work evocative of roiling oceans or atmospheric vistas, Samantha Keely Smith depends on assured, swift strokes to information the composition. Hovering between abstraction and depictions of landscapes (beforehand), tonal contrasts and complementary colours emphasize dramatic actions suggestive of crashing waves or storms. “All of my work explores the concept that the road between our acutely aware and unconscious (experiences) is usually blurry and that sometimes we’re ready the straddle either side directly,” she tells Colossal.

Smith’s latest work has advanced right into a looser, extra freeform model that has taught her the worth of experimentation or going with the stream. “Most significantly, I’ve given myself permission to fully fail sometimes and never really feel dangerous about it,” she says. “I’ll generally pull a canvas off the stretcher and throw it away. Previously, I might combat to the bitter finish to attempt to save one thing that simply wasn’t working, which was finally a waste of my effort and time.”


“And Now I See You” (2023), oil on canvas, 60 x 68 inches

Together with the extra relaxed and assured method, Smith now incorporates figures in her works. As an extension of her ongoing sequence Imagined Landscapes, she explores themes referring to presence and the unconscious within the type of our bodies floating alongside a present that seem partially submerged. “Like a radio station coming out and in of tune, they exist as a lot in our actuality as they do in that ‘different’ world,” she says, sharing that the addition of figures her items tapped into her personal and family members’ well being challenges.

Smith examines the emotional and psychological toll of caring for her dad and mom, who each suffered from extended sicknesses. Now 54, she explores the fuzzy state between consciousness and “going beneath,” reflecting on being hospitalized for 4 months with a life-threatening sickness at age 21. The painful expertise instilled an appreciation for the fragility of life and the immense capability people should really feel hope. “The existential and the non-public are intertwined in my work,” she says. “I consider that by means of artwork, we have now the chance to intensify our commonalities and to deliver folks collectively by sharing these private experiences which might be, on the similar time, common experiences.”

Discover extra of Smith’s work on her web site, and comply with updates on Instagram.


“The Hovering Form” (2022), oil on canvas, 60 x 78 inches

“Right here I Lay Me Down” (2023), oil on canvas, 60 x 68 inches

“I’ll Rise” (2022), oil on canvas, 64 x 78 inches

“Mild Into Darkness” (2022), oil on canvas, 60 x 78 inches

“Illuminate (Ourselves)” (2022), oil on canvas, 56 x 72 inches

“One thing Extra” (2021), oil on canvas, 60 x 68 inches

“A Blink Away” (2021), oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches

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