I have had a lifelong relationship with writing, drawing, and writing as drawing. My father, Sid Smith, was a painter, classically trained draughtsman and calligrapher, so an appreciation for beautiful writing and art was instilled in me from an early age. Growing up in N.Y.C. in the heyday of abstract expressionism certainly had a powerful influence on me as well.
After earning a B.F.A. from Pratt Institute in 1971, mark-making, calligraphy, zen brushwork, scribbling and writing began appearing as regular features in my work. Music, and in particular the rigor of jazz improvisation, has been a guiding force in my working methods, discipline and creative spirit. As an artist-in-residence at KALA Institute in 2003-2004, I was able to integrate printmaking as a means of expanding the possibilities of both painting and drawing. In 2005 I began a three year study of graphology with Janice Klein and mentorship a with Roger Rubin that had a profound influence on my understanding of human personality, behavior and the way it expresses in writing.
Years ago, discovering the art of Antoni Tapies and Cy Twombly was revelatory, inspiring and somewhat daunting in that they had so thoroughly mined the territory of contemporary mark-making. That said, I have been committed to finding my own way with it and have persisted in exploring different media, concepts and expanding my visual vocabulary over the last five decades.
“writing and drawing
as writing strips us naked
drawing strips us bare”