On the canvases of Samantha Kelly Smith, vibrant blues and yellows clash. These theoretical artworks look like blustery seas and tempestuous skies, at times possessed by mysterious figures who sink into the pathways of the brush strokes. Instead of portraying the spots we see, Smith is depicting our inside scene — where awareness and obviousness meet.
Imagined Landscapes is the title of this ongoing series, which focuses on personal and universal feelings of existence. Smith’s motivation for the way her oil-delivered figures comes from her four-month hospitalization at 21 years old. She fluctuated between being awake and “going under” during this time, similar to how these bodies appear to be swallowed by the unending color current. The artworks address the scene of the mind — where the cognizant and oblivious meet,” Smith tells My Advanced Met. ” They investigate that fluctuating state of consciousness that lies at the intersection of dreams and reality.
In the artworks that highlight no human bodies, we are rather drenched in Smith’s expressive utilization of variety. From seething dusks to red hot skylines, there are numerous ways of survey these fluctuated pieces. These atmospheric portrayals appear to capture a whirlwind of emotion rather than evoking a specific location. Smith continues, “The paintings also address the fundamental unpredictability of reality and our own sense of finiteness in the vastness of time and nature.” In my work, the personal and the existential, as well as the exterior and the interior, are intertwined. By sharing deeply personal experiences that are also universal experiences, I see my paintings as an opportunity to draw attention to our similarities.
To view additional paintings by Smith, scroll down and make sure to follow her on Instagram to keep up with her newest projects and upcoming exhibitions.