b. 1970 Lebanon, IN

Chad Smith grew up in rural Indiana developing an unshakeable appreciation for the outdoors. Inspired by the specificity of light and weather conditions found outdoors, the artist devotes himself to the pursuit of painting en plein air. It has been said the artist’s work is “Not just ‘a scene,’ but a real statement about something, yet not forced or melodramatic.”

Smith participates in plein air events across the country winning Best of Show honors in the Finger Lakes Plein Air Festival, Upstate Invitational and various other awards. Chad has enjoyed multiple solo and group exhibitions and holds a BA in drawing and painting and MFA in painting from the Academy of Art University. His training also includes two years of classical academic atelier work along with various workshops. The artist also invests time giving back through teaching workshops and private students. Smith is currently represented in Naples Florida, Hillsborough North Carolina, Saratoga and Old Forge New York.

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.