Matt Smith – NWR Artist
2018 Winner NWR Best of Show Award and 2018 NWR Merit Award for “SHUKSAN”
Matt Smith was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1960. At an early age he moved to Arizona.
He later moved to Europe where he lived two years in France and one in Switzerland. In subsequent years Smith painted in Germany, Austria and Italy. Smith has lived most of his life in Arizona, where he has a deep attachment and respect for the Sonoran Desert.
Smith graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting. He spent a vast amount of time studying the traditional styles of such landscapes masters as Maynard Dixon, William Herbert Dunton and Edgar Payne.
Most of the time, Smith can be found painting en plein air from southern Arizona to the Canadian Rockies. He also paints the California coast to the mountains of Colorado. “I appreciate traditional landscape painting and I am inspired by the pristine landscapes of the American West. I enjoy working in areas where one can travel for miles without seeing the influence of man. When I paint, I feel I’ve hit the mark when I’ve captured a balance between mood, look and feel. You know you’ve succeeded when viewers sense the desert heat or the chill of a mountain snowfall.”
Smith currently lives in Arizona with his wife, Tracy, who is also a painter.
2010 Merit Award – “Western Rendezvous of Art”
2009 Merit Award & Best of Show – “Western Rendezvous of Art”
2006 Merit Award – “Western Rendezvous of Art”
2005 Merit Award – “Western Rendezvous of Art”
2000 Robert Lougheed Award – “Prix de West”
2000 Merit Award & Best of Show – “Western Rendezvous of Art”
1999 Best of Show – “Tucson Plein Air Paint-Off”
1997 Red Smith Award – “Western Visions” – National Wildlife Art Museum
1997 Best of Show – “Emerging City” – San Jose, CA
2010 June – Southwest Art – “Catching the Light”
2010 January – Western Art Collector – “Southwest Light”
2009 December – Southwest Art – “Success Stories”
2009 July – Art of the West – “A Feeling of Time and Place”
2007 November – Art of the West – “Twenty One”
2002 January – American Artist – “Making the Landscape Your Own”
2001 April – International Artist – “Ask a Master”
2000 September – Art of the West – “My Passion is Nature”
1999 May – Arizona Corridors – “Arizona Artists”
1998 February – Southwest Art – “Desert Vistas”
1993 December – Art Talk – “Artists Worth Watching”
1992 March – Art of the West – “Pushing the Limits”
“Even though the Palo Verdes bloom every spring here in the Sonoran Desert, there are certain years where they really seem to show off. That was certainly the case this year. Many of the trees I saw looked as though they would implode from the weight of all the blossoms. This particular Palo Verde, in one of my favorite canyons, was one of those trees.
Matt Smith about "Palo Verde in Bloom"