Thomas W. Smith
About The Artist:
Thomas “T. W.” Smith
Born Detroit, Michigan 1951
Current studio and home in West Branch, Michigan
I guess I’m not your average artist! Or, to some degree, maybe I am. Most artists survive in today’s world with a “day job”. I am very lucky to have a “day career”. It never started out that way, it seldom does. But my day career affords me a unique opportunity to live and work in northern Michigan. So as to not let one career overwhelm the other, I see to it that I paint everyday, at least 3 hours a day. Over the years I have acquired a sort of balance between the two. It remains a tenuous balance. There is always one thing or another that demands attention. One must be conscious of this and always find time to paint to achieve this balance.
So, does a person with an engineering career invalidate that person from being considered an artist? Not necessarily. The technical discipline taught and practiced in engineering gives one an appreciation for good design, good technical layout and an eye for detail. Correspondingly, an art education and background gives one a sense color and composition as well as the quality created by great workmanship and a desire to constantly be challenging yourself to do better. If properly handled, disparate forces such as art and engineering can become complementary, one giving insight to the other.
At an early age, I was identified in the public school system as having special artistic skills. I was put into a gifted students’ special art class while still in grade school. In high school I took both Automotive Technology and Art classes to appease my love of cars and painting. This followed with a traditional college education in engineering and later changing majors to Art and Design.
My love for cars have never followed the ordinary path. While others in high school were attracted to the muscle cars of the era, I was driving a 1938 Oldsmobile touring sedan, unrestored of course! I continue this fascination with mid-century styling with a twist. The cars I depict are generally found in junk yards or behind a garage in somewhat distressed condition. They are common vehicles of their time elevated to the subject of fine art. I hope you enjoy my unique vision of “used cars” on my website, along with my urban landscapes. All my paintings are traditional oil on canvas and most are available for purchase.