Gary Ernest Smith
(1942 - present)
A Mormon artist and resident of Utah from 1968, Gary Ernest Smith creates wide-view, tonalist landscapes, many of them of cultivated farmland, based on his religious commitment to create work that is uplifting to the human spirit. However, he does not regard himself as a painter for the sake of doctrine but more as one who uses universal symbols to suggest that all of life comes from Mother Earth.
Smith is especially interested in landscapes that are out of the ordinary. His painting focus on rural America stems from his background of growing up in rural Oregon. He regards himself as a Western artist because he focuses on issues of the West, but he is not directed to cowboy and Indian subject matter.
Smith works primarily in oil with palette knives because he believes they best maintain the clarity of the color, and most of his canvases are huge and panoramic.
He is a graduate of Brigham Young University and was much influenced by his art professor Dale Fletcher who taught his students to paint the kingdom of God by expressing order through dynamic symmetry.