James Brett Smith Art GalleryView James Brett Smith Gallery
Represented by The Collection Shop Updated on Wednesday, January 16, 2019
If there was ever an artist who captured today's sporting experience with yesterday's sense of adventure, it is Brett Smith. Born on March 19, 1958 in New Orleans, Louisiana, Smith is now considered to be among the best in his field. In his early years, Smith was introduced to the sporting life by his grandfather who exposed him to the gentlemen's sport of quail hunting in the Longleaf Pine country of east Texas. Later he discovered a calling for sitting in cold wet marshes and swamps hunting ducks. This became his true passion and a great source of inspiration for his later works. His early introduction to sporting art came from his father who worked professionally as an illustrator and moonlighted as a fine artist contributing paintings for covers of the early outdoor and western magazines. In college as a fine art major, Smith realized that the contemporary art curriculum would not equip him with the background needed to pursue the area that interested him most-commercial illustration. Sportsmen nationwide collect his work because it is not only visually exciting but also authentic and brings to bear his intimate knowledge of his sporting experience. He is one of the few artists who brings an ageless nostalgia to his subjects. By looking back to the early illustrators such as Howard Pyle and N. C. Wyeth for inspiration, he manages to distance himself from his contemporaries. As he puts it, "What is important in these outdoor paintings is mood, a feeling of how things were and still can be. The idea is to convey the natural ruggedness of the sport without missing the subtle nuances that make the experience personal". Brett Smith now employs the timeless art of etching to create the luster of an ageless sporting scene. Although it is a painstaking process, it can produce an antiquated appearance that cannot be duplicated in any other medium when successful. With over 150 images to date he knows enough to realize that you never "master" this process but only learn more with each experience.