In the Studio #48

Its been a very long time since I’ve felt up to a blog post but the momentous occasion of finishing a large body of work seemed an appropriate time to dust off this platform once again to speak a little about this journey. Approximately one year ago I finished a large body of paintings you may remember influenced by an African American aviator – John C. Robinson – who I greatly admired over the years for his perseverance, skill and patriotism. That body of paintings called “Pilot, (Or How Do You Stop a Flying Dreadnought)” was a body of 8 large paintings taking some 4 years to ultimately complete. Here are those eight works:

After I finished this series of paintings I was understandably exhausted and set about creating a new series that took me far away from my well heeled hermetic universe back in time to a point in my art career when I thought I might be a very different type of an artist. I decided to devote to remainder of 2018 to doing landscape paintings and other themes from the natural world. I began this journey by creating a 9 part series of chem trail paintings called “Bethpage Air“, before settling into creating 5 large landscapes based on scenes from the Lehigh Valley in Eastern Pennsylvania.

Each of these 5 works came with there own separate journeys. I took along friends who helped me scout out sites and delved deep into my own crazy layered style of painting to pull out a technique that felt true to my brand of art makings while remaining fundamentally representational in the end. The sites of these 5 works, Limeport, Emmaus, Allentown, Laurys Station and Bath were all sites that were in each cardinal direction with the Allentown painting of South Mountain serving as the center of the compass. Additionally, each painting represented a different time of the day ranging from early morning as in the Limeport scene, to near midnight in the final Bath work.

This journey back into landscape represented for me a proof of sorts that I could indeed still create monumental landscape works (each painting in the series is 38 x 48 inches), and evidence that I could conceive and execute an ambitious series. My career is full of such testimony, however 2018 and 2019 have and will be trying times for me and having confirmation around my studio that I can do big things and do them well is an invaluable ego boost; especially when circumstances show you that one needs to look within to hold ones head up high.

Here are the 5 paintings of the “Four Seasons” series:

anthony smith jr. winter in limeport, 38 x 48 inches, acrylic, 2018. jpg

Winter in Limeport

anthony smith jr, spring in emmaus, 38 x 48 inches, acrylic, 2018.jpg

Spring in Emmaus

anthony smith jr, summer sky over south mountain, 38 x 48 inches, acrylic, 2018. jpg

Summer Sky above South Mountain

img_1999

Summer in Laurys Station

img_2137

Fall in Gravers Hill


I’ve been listening to classical music lately to carry me over the threshold to finish that last painting in my landscape series, particularly Franz Liszt. I especially like the “Totentanz” and the “Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Major”. Here are some YouTube videos of these performances.

 

Okay I think I need to spend sometime doing some abstract works to shake off the cobwebs of that side of my artistic brain, but as spring looms I think I will do some flower paintings again and maybe even another large landscape. Until then do be well, and pray that I can be well too.

 

 

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