Sallie K. Smith
Sallie K. Smith says she was a reluctant painter – never wanting to follow in the footsteps of her mother, father or other members of the family. But as art does – it will pull you deep within and resurrect you humbly, channeling you into a creative instrument. Sallie projects all of those poetic elements in her paintings, from the emerald foliage; to sharp blue clarity of skies; to autumn’s thousands of color variations. All inspiring.
Her appreciation for her beloved Rocky Mountains is clearly depicted in the gentle yet vibrant images she is inspired to paint. Sallie says, “Nature to me, is so perfect in every detail; it gives me peace and at the same time, is exhilarating. “I’m trying to capture that ethereal sensibility in my work, knowing that these moments of solitude are often fleeting.”
Sallie’s passion to record the Rocky Mountain National Park on canvas compels her to hike the terrain studying all aspects of the land. She is an expert on the wildlife, flora and fauna. She uses that knowledge in every work she paints.
Sallie K. Smith is in the company of some of the finest painters in America, joining Saks Galleries Cherry Creek in 2009. Though Sallie K. Smith paints many subjects, her focus has been primarily Rocky Mountain National Park. Its pure and fresh landscape inspires her to create gentle yet vibrant images.
Sallie K. Smith says: "Nature is so perfect in every detail: it gives me peace and, at the same time, is exhilarating."
Creativity came naturally to Sallie K. Smith who grew up in Ohio under the influence of her talented mother, and was further nurtured by yearly vacations to the Western states to visit an aunt who also painted. Ultimately, however, after watching both important women in her life struggle with the business side of art, Smith directed her own youthful talent toward other creative pursuits.
In her teens, Smith's family moved to Denver where she eventually met and married her husband Jim. With her artistic goals diverted by family life, it wasn't until after her daughter left for college that Smith was able to consider the career path she shunned in her youth. With the encouragement of her husband, she took a year long workshop—a soup-to-nuts approach to painting—with Jake Gaedtke at the Longmont Art Center, Longmont, Colorado.
Success came quickly, when, in 2005, after just one year of painting fulltime, galleriest Mary Williams spotted several of Smith's paintings at a photographer's studio. So taken by the work, Williams invited Smith to show in her Boulder gallery. Over several years she took workshops from notable plein air painters, George Strickland, Matt Smith and Gail Przewodek, and was accepted into Jay Moore's highly competitive professional studies, six-month mentorship program. Then in 2009 Sallie was offered representation by the prestigious Saks Galleries in Denver. In the company of some of the finest painters in America and with the careful support and guidance of Catherine and Mikkel Saks, Sallie's work has matured.
Though Smith paints other subjects, she prefers landscapes, and enjoys letting the work speak for her. The gentle yet vibrant images she depicts are inspired by her favorite vistas and her focus is exclusively Colorado. "Nature, to me, is so perfect in every detail; it gives me peace and, at the same time, is exhilarating. I am trying to capture that ethereal sensibility in my work, knowing that these moments of solitude are often fleeting. It is my hope that people can glimpse into my scenic travels and likewise be carried away with the work."
As she continues to paint and show her work, Smith says that she is thrilled with the response from patrons and recognizes the truly amazing non-verbal connection that happens through art. She said, "Paintings speak to people for a variety of reasons. I have such a sense of gratification knowing that my art exudes a gentle spirit and joy whether I'm present or not."