Gary Smith Friday Night Guest – May 6, 2022

Gary Smith Friday Night Guest – May 6, 2022

(Submitted by Taline Kavoukian)

GARY SMITH is a Toronto artist, now based in Newfoundland. Over the course of his art career, he has painted over 2000 portraits, has served as an art coach, teacher and Chairman of the Artist Network, and is also a muralist. His work has been exhibited internationally, and he was named one of the Canada Top 150 Artists in 2017.

Gary did a presentation about Abstract Art for the Don Valley Art Club on May 6. He began with examples of members’ art, submitted by Ava Goodman, Gwynneth Heaton, Myra Evans and Sheryl Shapiro. Some of the reasons for doing abstract were discussed and some salient themes emerged: freedom from representational work and the pressure to be accurate; freedom to be more imaginative, intuitive, expressive and gestural; the fun and excitement of allowing serendipity and the painting to lead the artist and the sheer enjoyment of painting!

Gary shared with us a few examples of his own work beginning with his more representational work and showing the trajectory to abstraction. Gary believes that all paintings are abstract to some degree. He shared a few tips on abstraction, such as his view that outlines often hurt a painting.

Gary then shared his insights on the history of abstract art, and the early abstract artists, beginning with Hilma af Klint, Wassily Kandinsky, and Francis Picaboia. He introduced a short list of abstract artists leading to the present, such as Jackson Pollock, Malevich, Piet Mondrian, Mark Rothko, Wassily Vasarely, Cy Twombly and Gerhard Richter. Texture can play a large role in abstract art. Gary shared a reference that he highly recommends, photo 3.

Gary concluded his presentation with the view that artists need not worry about their paintings: they should just paint honestly and as they wish, the rest will follow!

For more on Gary Smith, please see: