This month we’re featuring Irina Smith for the Capitol Hill Art League’s Mind of the Artist feature. Read her story and check out her artwork below. Follow Irina on Instagram at @Iri.Smitch or find her at https://irismitch.com/
From early childhood I remember myself with pencils and paints in my hands. The magic of self-expression and the desire to create something beautiful made me respect and appreciate the imagination of any creative person. I watched all types of artists. I ignored the morning cartoons to watch the ballet. I begged my mom to take me to art clubs. Later, there were two universities and two degrees, one in developmental psychology and the other in pedagogy. Then, I worked in the industry. Finally, I got an Academic Art Diploma and specialized in Watercolor.
Today I work in different directions and techniques such as oil, acrylic, watercolour, ink, pencil, sanguine and more. But my main love remains Her Majesty, Watercolors. With them I feel I can capture most of the magic.
What inspires me? I cannot answer this question with certainty. Sometimes it’s people, nature, smells, sensations, feelings or experiences. Most importantly, I never stop learning. I am a very happy and lucky person. Due to my husband’s work, approximately every four years, we change country and even continent. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to live a small piece of life in another country, soak up its culture and get to know other people. Of course this is reflected in my work.
Today I am glad to be a participant in many international symposia, solo and group exhibitions in different parts of the world. My works are in private collections from Europe, Africa and America.
These three paintings were realized in Tunisia and they are a reflexion of women’s life there. Family, Youth and Marriage, three stages of a woman’s life. In the first painting shows family life, through the open doors one can glimpse the abundance of love and protection. Paradise. Second is youth, again the doors open and a maiden, symbolized by the white peacock, stands on a pedestal alone, almost worshipped for her beauty and youth. She is untouchable and precious. Lastly, is the most awaited event in a woman’s life, marriage. Here the doors open for her, welcoming her to her new home. Behind those gilded doors she finds a finely decorated cage… It is for the onlooker to decide what this final symbol means.