Featured Artist Stephen John Smith

Artist Stephen John Smith uses handpainted digital imagery to create worlds of fantasy and whimsy. Please visit his website to see more of his art.

 

Fairy Thoughts

“Fairy Thoughts” Hand Painted Digital, Various Sizes

 

Although I’m a studio artist and create all my art within the nurturing comfort of familiar walls, Mother Nature remains pivotal to my inspiration.

 

Between Dreams

“Between Dreams” Hand Painted Digital, Various Sizes

 

Born and raised in a large Australian city, one would think that such a chaotic urban environment would have markedly influenced my artistic growth. Clearly not. With my head almost constantly in the clouds, the strength of my inner fantasy world just wouldn’t allow the reality of noisy streets much influence. And one mustn’t forget my constant fascination with both nature and the multitudes of mysteries that underpin all life. City life never had a chance. As my inner explorations matured, I realized I’d stumbled on a limitless wellspring of creative inspiration.

 

Blossom Dance

“Blossom Dance” Hand Painted Digital, Various Sizes

 

Now, serendipitously, I live and create in a small village nestled within the borders of New York’s breathtaking Adirondack State Park.

 

Clear Skies

“Clear Skies” Hand Painted Digital, Various Sizes

 

Drawing, tinkering, and endless daydreaming filled my childhood to the brim. Sadly, my blue-collar upbringing offered little in the way of support for my inclinations. In retrospect, I can’t help viewing those years as a cultural wasteland. But I survived and, luckily, fate had a few tricks up its sleeve. While still in my teens, college life swept me up and, as a full-time painting student, I embarked on a thoroughly transformative journey into fine art.

 

Flowers and Candy

“Flowers and Candy” Hand Painted Digital, Various Sizes

 

During my time at art school, I experimented with a multitude of techniques, styles, and approaches, searching as all art students do for the path leading to my unique calling. By final year, my canvases were beginning to reflect my childhood leanings; fantasy, whimsy, and otherworldliness. There was also a growing sense of warm belonging whenever I pondered these subjects.

 

On Vacation

“On Vacation” Hand Painted Digital, Various Sizes

 

Without any conscious decision, I had found my path.

 

Interlude

“Interlude” Hand Painted Digital, Various Sizes

 

For decades I painted in oils, egg tempera, and acrylics. In 2004, however, I discovered the digital art world. After some tentative experimentation, I devoted the next seven years to transferring my traditional painting skills to the new digital medium.

 

River Guardian

“River Guardian” Hand Painted Digital, Various Sizes

 

Although I’ve now packed away all my traditional painting tools, I still paint as I did before. Within this new creative arena I continue to fashion each painting using traditional oil and egg tempera painting skills. I build up form and texture by laying down an uncountable number of tiny semi-transparent brush strokes, one on top of the other. I also use this network of strokes to weave color into the image. Many intermediate transparent glazes also add to the image’s color richness.

 

Serenity

“Serenity” Hand Painted Digital, Various Sizes

 

Any one painting can take weeks to complete, and several digital drawings and studies often precede it.

 

Winter's Vigil

“Winter’s Vigil” Hand Painted Digital, Various Sizes

 

I make my digital paintings available as museum-quality art prints that I produce myself. A few years ago I made a sizable investment and bought a high-end, wide-format Giclée printer. As the quality of the art prints produced by this printer are simply breathtaking, I’ve never regretted the decision. Printing is now an integral part of my creative expression.

 

Stephen John Smith invites you to follow him on Facebook and Pinterest and Google Plus.

 

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Comments

  1. Lovely work, Stephen! I especially like “Clear Skies.” BTW, your website is fantastic. I think it’s the best artist’s website I’ve seen. Is it a custom design or are you working off a template/theme?

    • Thank you for your very kind words, Karen.

      The website is a custom design that I built from scratch using the self-hosted version of WordPress and the Genesis framework. The shop section is built with a different piece of web software that I tweaked enormously so it would fit seamlessly into the main site. Who said artists can’t be quasi geeks?

      Thanks again for your comment.

  2. I admire your enterprising coding. I’ve made a lot of HTML and CSS tweaks to both my PhotoShelter site and WordPress blog. I’ll be doing a major overhaul soon, which likely will involve moving to another platform, like OpenCart. It seems likely that I’ll be doing a lot more coding (or at least design) for that, since I find the few available templates for artists to be lacking in both pizazz and useful features. Here’s hoping I don’t get way over my head!

  3. Good luck with the overhaul…that’s never a fun process. Ah, but the giddy possibilities that are now open to you!

    Here are some resources that I relied on heavily while building my site: (I haven’t included links because I don’t wish to overstep myself on this blog, but Googling the name will get you there).

    “StudioPress”: Lots of excellent WP themes, all powered by the “Genesis Framework”. I can’t imagine using WordPress without Genesis…very clean code which is super SEO friendly. I started with a Genesis theme, pulled it completely apart, then rebuilt it to my needs.

    “Project Seven Software” makes a range of Dreamweaver plugins that allow you to produce all sorts of extraordinary JavaScript widgets, menus, sliders, galleries and more. Not cheap but worth it.

    “Fooplugins” makes “FooBox”, an incredible WP light box.

    “Envato Market”, specifically “CodeCanyon”, are purveyors of a seemingly endless collection of JavaScript programs that will make any website sing. Very reasonable prices. My Gallery pages are powered by “Essential Grid”, one such WP plugin I acquired there.

    “BulletProof Security Pro” is a WordPress security plugin on steroids. I’d never go public without it.

    “Stackoverflow” is a coding geek forum where all sorts of questions are asked and answered. I’ve found the solution to many a Javascript problem there.

    “W3schools” is the go-to site for anything related to web development.

    Have fun overhauling!

  4. Dilatasyon says:

    I make my digital paintings available as museum-quality art prints that I produce myself. A few years ago I made a sizable investment and bought a high-end, wide-format Giclée printer.

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