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Meet Bard Artist: Louise Smith

New York

Louise Smith is a painter who works with large, abstract mixed media. Several of her works have been reviewed by The Washington Post.

 

Name: Louise Smith

Age: 27

Hometown: Williamstown, MA

Where you at now: Hudson, NY

Graduation Year: 2013

 

Inspiration:

There is something seductive about the disorderly behavior of cityscapes. The colors depicted range from transparent to translucent, creating strong oppositions, linear elements, and a sense of freedom and spontaneity. There are tangibles to be found if you look closely but I want to emphasize that the city is about all of the senses. Color has the ability to evoke energy, fragment planes, and fracture light. Sounds and smells affect the image. The stability of architecture gives the painting structure, but these geometric shapes also interact with the more freewheeling forms that naturally occur in city settings.

 

The sureness of touch and understanding of a place is important to me, as well as doing the necessary research to understand what has come before me.

 

As Sydell undertakes the renovation of the George Washington Hotel, the building has readjusted to today’s modernist context and will inspire the boldness of artists and travelers from all over the world. In a way, I am interested in doing what the restorers are taking on: maintaining what makes the building a historic icon, while working to bring a new source of energy and originality.

 

If you could only draw/paint in a single shade, what would it be?

Prussian Blue

 

If you could only eat either sweet or savory the rest of your life, which would you choose and why?

Savory. I have a thing for anything salty. Chips, french fries, and spicy foods!

 

What is your preferred medium? Why?

Oil paint. It is lush and mucky and can be pushed around and manipulated after days of sitting.

 

What is your creative process like?

Messy experiments.

 

What was your first job?

Prepping canvases for painter, Stephen Hannock, over the course of three summers in high school.

 

If you could live in any city in the world, what would it be? 

Mexico City

 

Watercolors or paints? Pens or pencils? 

It depends on the day. Paints and pencils most days.

 

Friends or Seinfeld?

Seinfeld

 

Favorite museum in the U.S.? 

The Met.

 

Favorite packaged snack? 

Goldfish crackers

 

Best restaurant you’ve visited in the past year? 

Fish and Game in Hudson, NY. Parachute in Chicago, IL.

 

What’s your guilty pleasure late-night meal?

Annie’s mac and cheese

 

Favorite store/boutique in New York? 

Pearl River Mart

 

Favorite landmark in New York? 

The Chrysler Building

 

What’d you eat for breakfast this morning?

A banana and scrambled eggs with spinach

 

If you could only eat either sweet or savory the rest of your life, which would you choose and why?

Savory. I have a thing for anything salty. Chips, french-fries, and spicy foods!

 

Favorite activity other than art? 

Reading, running, walking in the woods, listening to music. Spending time with friends and family. I love all of these activities but wouldn’t say that they are separate from my art practice.

 

Are you a morning or night person?

I love working in the mornings although I have a terrible time getting out of bed. I guess it just depends on the day/night.

 

Best ice cream flavor? 

Mint chocolate chip (with rainbow sprinkles)

 

Most inspiring moment as an artist? 

I have had many. Modeling for my adviser and professor from Bard, Joe Santore, was fascinating and a real honor. It was eye opening to be on the other side, watching Joe move slowly to manipulate the paint and accurately depict the chaos of a scene that I was just a piece of. He tells great stories too!

 

Which objects, people, and places do you most find inspiration in? 

bridges, construction sites, volcanoes, ancient artifacts, Amelia Earhart, outer space, the ocean, Samuel Beckett, rocks, caves, my family…

 

What experience (or experiences) have most defined you as an artist, and shaped your style? 

Living with a determined and brilliant metal sculptor. Growing up with creative parents who have always taught me to work hard. One of my grandmothers is an oil painter, who used to sketch on family vacations. My other grandmother has worked at the MET for 30+ years. We used to go on Mondays when the museum was shut down to the public. I remember whispering because the place was so quiet, sketching in my notebook, and feeling like this is the best place on earth.

 

Do you have an art world pet peeve?

The need to know somebody’s uncle’s ex-wife’s nephew’s girlfriend’s roommate’s mom in order to GET IN.

 

Who is your favorite living artist right now?

Kerry James Marshall, Cecily Brown, Rebecca Warren

 

What other projects are you working on besides the Freehand?

I have been adjusting and moving into a new studio space in Hudson, small with lots of light, and helping to construct a sauna with my partner on our piece of land.