Today’s featured artist is Jeffrey Smith, a painter and art teacher from Minnesota.
Jeffrey’s paintings encompass several genres, including portraits, still life paintings, and landscapes. I found all of his paintings fascinating—especially for their colors, which were soft yet strong.
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(I know, I know, I usually avoid that type of vague, “artsy” statement, but in this case I think “soft yet strong” actually applies.)
Take this painting for example.
Despite the intensity of those blue stripes in the background, I don’t feel like they’re overpowering the main subject. Jeffrey successfully softened them by blurring their edges and avoiding any rigid, straight lines.
Each touch of orange is a gorgeous complement to the blue as well, and even in small amounts ends up balancing the entire color scheme.
Here’s one of Jeffrey’s landscape paintings entitled The Marsh, Bloomington. It, too, shows an intelligent use of color.
With landscapes it’s easy to overwhelm viewers with too much green or to lose that important balance of light and dark. By adding rich, reddish-browns into the shadows of his trees (as well as a few spots of purple!) Jeffrey gives us respite from the vibrant foliage AND a good mix of value.
But of all the paintings on Jeffrey Smith’s website, this last one is my favorite.
At first I thought it was just the amazing, pearlescent vase that captivated me, but after a minute or so I realized there was more to it than that.
Take a look at the sunflowers and then follow their stems downward. Notice the transition of color, from the flowers (orange and yellow) to the stems (yellowish-green, green, then greenish-turquoise) to the vase (turquoise and then dark blue) and finally to the light blue of the tablecloth.
Not only does that give this oil painting a beautiful flow from top to bottom, but it also shows the power of using adjacent colors in your compositions.
Go check out the rest of Jeffrey Smith’s paintings at his website—if you liked these, you won’t be disappointed. You can also stay up-to-date on Jeffrey’s latest work at his painting blog, jeffreysmithart.wordpress.com.
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