Two Sunflowers | bring the summer fun inside


Two Sunflowers, oil painting, Jeffrey Smith

Long months of Minnesota winter, means lots of time working in the studio. For the summer months, I take my studio on the road. Armed with my pochade box, I head out to experience painting in nature. The glory days of summer… Now I’m not saying that I’m ready for another Minnesota winter, but even …
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Sunflowers and Silver Pitcher | plein air still life


Sunflowers and Silver Pitcher| plein air still life, by Jeffrey Smith

We have had a cold, rainy spring here in Minnesota.  You have to take advantage of the sun where you can find it! This painting was done on a day that started out with dreary grey skies and falling rain. All morning long, I heard from the weather guy on the radio that it was …
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End of a Session


Andy, 18x24, by Jeffrey Smith

My Thursday night portrait class has come to an end for another session.  I’ll be taking the summer off to paint plein air, and will return in the fall. The end of a class brings up many emotions. I’m proud of the hard work that my students put in. I’m happy for the results that …
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Sunflower sprouts | Grow your own spring


Sunflower Sprouts

Minnesota has had an incredibly cold spring. Super cold. As in–we had snow flurries in the last week of April. Given the chilly weather, I think I’m not alone in dreaming for warmer days.  Plein air painting out in the sun. Not bundling up. Leaves on the trees. Sunflower, sunflower Then, of course, there are the sunflowers. …
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Top Lit Pear


Pear and Silver, Lit From Above, oil painting, Jeffrey Smith

Light from above is just plain cool! When I was a student at The Atelier, I was fascinated with the effect that light from the skylight in the main drawing room had on the form of whatever we were drawing. Nuances were much more pronounced. You could really see the fullness of a curve.  Things …
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Alla Prima Pear


Dual Lit Pear, 6x8, oil on panel, by Jeffrey Smith

Let there be light More alla prima work this week, but this time I did something a little bit different. The above painting was done using 2 different light sources. One, a standard 100-watt incandescent bulb. The other, a 60-watt incandescent with a subtle blue theater-light filter. I attached the standard unfiltered lamp to the …
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Landscape painting with pastels | Riverside Pastel


Riverside, pastel on paper, 18x24", Jeffrey Smith

I flip through a lot of art magazines. I look at magazines geared towards collectors and magazines geared towards other artists.  I always find it fascinating to read about how a painter begins their work. There are the lucky few.  The idea just seems to fall out of them.  Sure–maybe they do some preparatory work that didn’t make …
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Recycling a plein air painting and a vacation


Jeffrey Smith | pastel | Lake Superior Rocks

So the rain finally stopped. Excited, I bundled up in damn near every article of clothing that I had brought with me. Slinging my bag of painting gear over my shoulder, I made my way down to the lake shore. I surveyed the scene. The blue sky and late afternoon sunshine were peaking through holes …
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