Chad Smith spent his formative years exploring the farms and woodlands of rural Indiana imparting an unshakeable love for outdoor light. The focus of Smith’s work is the changing light and mood found only in the outdoors. He can be found painting in the field year-round. Smith prefers a direct yet studied approach to plein air painting that melds the benefit of observation with sound artistic principles. It has been said that his work is “Not just ‘a scene’ but a real statement about something, yet not forced or melodramatic.”

Smith is represented nationally participating in plein air painting events from the East Coast to the West. In 2011 he spent a month painting and teaching in Ireland. Originally from the Midwest, Smith currently resides in Durham, North Carolina with his wife Erin and chocolate lab Sargent.

Artist Statement

“As an “on the spot” painter, I find great satisfaction in capturing the immediacy of the moment. I liken this to Jazz improvisation. The more practiced and skilled one is the more clarity and meaning one brings to the “performance”. 

My process is simple, search a location set up my easel and paint. Working outdoors allows any number of variables from weather to interested onlookers. Sometimes it is a wonder I get any work done, which makes the successes that much sweeter.

 I paint subjects that resonate both personally and visually. It is when the viewer gets a similar visceral response to the work I know I have touched on something important. More than anything else my work is autobiographical in nature and each piece is a summation of my experience as a human being and artist to that point.”