Artist Statement

Kathi Smith

My work reflects places in which I find myself lost in the act of looking. Complicated spaces with an abundance of information intrigue me, and I consider it my task as an artist to find order within them. I look for narratives within the landscape. I find them in backyards, abandoned spaces and in ordinary items left behind for on-lookers to question. I also often find familiarities in spaces that remind me of my home, and sometimes a particular color or light in the landscape evokes childhood memories of past places I visited. I am currently interested in the role of landscapes in developing a sense of one’s self and, when conjured through sensations, how powerful the visual memory of a place can be.

Recently, I have been painting landscapes relevant to my personal history: memories of my family's homestead in Nova Scotia, my hometown in Western Maine, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and Maine’s Great Cranberry Island. Additionally, I have created bodies of work on location at artist residencies in Maine, Connecticut, Virginia, Vermont, and most recently Brittany, France. Each residency has promoted further exploration of my sense of place within varying landscapes and has caused me to think of how particular spaces have influenced my life experience.

Most of my paintings are made from direct observation, while others are built entirely from my memory. Some are a blend of both real and remembered worlds. Each painting serves as a record of my encounter with a place close to me, as well as a direct reflection of my sense of a particular landscape and moment.