Hello there. I’m Jeffrey Smith.

I’m a professional artist who loves helping people live a more creative life.

A picture of the acrylic paint self-portrait of Minneapolis artist Jeffrey Smith
Self-portrait 2017, acrylic on canvas

Jeffrey Smith | watercolor self portrait
Self-portrait 2016, gouache and watercolor on paper
A picture of a oil painting of Minneapoiis artis Jeffrey Smith
Self-portrait 2020, oil on prepared paper

I paint with the intention to create something beautiful and change how you feel about the world around you. Walking into your living room or home office and seeing a painting that you love has the potential to create a change. You slow down and, even if just for a moment, find yourself transported to a world of beauty and color.

In my work, color and visual texture are used to draw the viewer in. A painting should grab your attention from a distance and seduce you into coming in to look closer.

I invite you to explore my portfolio and see what I have been working on.

Going into a well thought out and organized studio and surrounding yourself with tools and art supplies has the power to make you feel inspired — even if that studio is just one corner of your dining room. I write about how to create a space that works and how to make your studio the best it can be, no matter the size!

Learning from the best

I am a graduate of The Atelier Studio Program of Fine Art in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The program focuses on the fundamentals of drawing, painting, and learning to see.

My time was divided between hours of figure drawing & painting each morning and individualized projects in the afternoon. You start with charcoal and a white plaster cast learning to see values and shapes. After that, still-life and portrait projects introduce working with color and learning to compose pictures.

After completing The Atelier’s four-year program, I was invited to come back and teach. I was honored to be a part of The Atelier’s faculty for eight years.

Jeffrey Smith | The Atelier Minneapolis, 2002
My Father and I at The Atelier | 2002
First year cast drawing
First year cast painting

Where it all began

I was fortunate to grow up in a house where making art and being creative was a common thing. As a kid, when my mother would introduce me to an adult, she would always say, “Jeffrey draws morning, noon, and night.”

Early memories are filled with me sitting on the kitchen floor with my beagle Casey, and drawing for hours on end. I still remember the huge Folgers Coffee can full of crayons.  I used to dig through that can looking for just the right color to add to my fresh sheet of paper. Often, the goal was to make drawings that used every crayon in that coffee can — I always loved color!

Gouache paints in a plastic paint box

The artist’s life

Things are much easier when you’re a kid. Before the world has taught you any differently, you can declare yourself an artist with just a love of color, a stack of paper, and the giant set of Crayola Crayons are all you need to fuel your creativity and declare yourself an artist.

I’ve had periods as an adult, where life got in the way and art-making wasn’t a priority. As a result, I ended up taking several years off from creating altogether. I’ve worked my way back into a regular painting habit and found clarity about the type of work that I want to create. I have a renewed love of making and a heart full of gratitude for the creative process as I’ve returned to art.

I’m still obsessing over colors and materials. I have moved up from the coffee can filled with crayons and typing paper. These days, I’m getting my hands dirty with oil & acrylic paints, watercolors & gouache, and pastels & pencils. I still love digging through my supplies searching for just the right color.

Whatever reason brought you to my corner of the world, thanks for stopping by.

Connect with me

I love hearing from people, so please get in touch with me.
Have a question or some feedback? Have an idea for how we might collaborate or work together?