About Artist Richard Smith, BFA
Born in Cranbrook, British Columbia, Richard spent the first 17 years of his life as a military child living in such diverse locations as France, Quebec and Northern Alberta. As a child, he had a natural talent for art and loved drawing, painting and just making things with his hands.
When the family finally settled on Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada, Richard finished high school and then attended Malaspina College in Nanaimo. Among many classes he explored, it was sculpture that interested him most. Richard then transferred to the University of Victoria, where he became a Fine Arts student, majored in sculpture, and worked primarily in steel. In 1976, he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
After several years carving out a television production career and entertaining a spate of odd jobs in advertising, Richard returned to Vancouver Island and to working for a long-time friend at Renaissance Studios where he was part of a team who worked on several acclaimed cement and ceramic sculpture installations for the commercial, business and private sectors.
Creating art after a long day at work was never Richard's ideal. Subsequently, his began his own art business in the late 1990s. His painting is influenced by two painters from the past, the American Edward Hopper and the Italian, Giorgio de Chirico. Both used architecture to make a statement about the world they lived in. He is also influenced by post-impressionists, particularly Cezanne, to understand how artists made the transition from work that was pure realism into work that was more about the painter than the subject. Many of his works are in the collections of art lovers across North America. And he continues to work with oil on canvas and panel.
After several years creating figurative and abstract bronzes fired in his own foundry, Richard returned to his first love; steel. His large outdoor pieces are made for both public art displays and for adorning many gardens and scenic landscapes.
When he’s not creating art by sketching endless ideas in numerous sketch books (some dating back to 1972), sculpting or painting, Richard can be found poring over art history books, art magazines, reading science fiction pocketbooks and enjoying quality time spent with his wife Kathy, who is a full-time writer.