Though he sought training later in life, Ernest Smith was essentially self taught. This gives all his work the power of the outsider artist, which never deserted him, in spite of his technical skill. Whether his work is classifiable as folk art or fine art is a very fine point indeed: his importance as a California painter is acknowledged. His landscapes, like those of other American originals (one thinks of Charles Pinkham Ryder), are always to some degree visionary as well as realistic, they simply can’t help it. There is a lot to look at in this picture, and also a lot to sense and feel, the invisible becoming visible.
Unframed 40″ x 32″.
Landscape painter. Born in Brimfield, MA on Nov. 30, 1866. Smith was educated at the Hitchcock Academy and then worked in law and business for several years before settling in Los Angeles in 1894. He was also an accomplished musician and played French horn in the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra. Without the benefit of art training, he began painting in 1903 in watercolor, but soon switched to oil. In 1911 he left for Europe and studied in various art centers until after WWI. Returning to Los Angeles, he made many painting excursions into the Sierra and the deserts of southern California. A bachelor, Smith died in Los Angeles on April 26, 1951. Member: Calif. Art Club; Laguna Beach AA. Exh: Blanchard Bldg (LA), 1909; Del Monte Art Gallery, 1909-12; Calif. Art Club, 1914-29; SFAA, 1916; Calif. State Fair, 1925 (prize), 1930; LA Co. Fair (Pomona), 1925; LACMA, 1932 (solo). In: LACMA. SCA AAA 1917-33; WWAA 1936-53; G&S.