About the Artist

Robert Wren Smith has been drawing and painting most of his life. He has studied with nationally known artists and attended Cincinnati Art Academy, Marietta College, and West Virginia University at Parkersburg. His work has been shown throughout the state. Smith has won many awards including Best of Show at the West Virginia Oil and Gas Festival, first place award at the Regional Exhibit of the West Virginia Watercolor Society for 1995, and purchase award at the Peoples Bank Annual Exhibit in Marietta, Ohio.

Smith is a member of Ohio Valley Artists and Charter member of the West Virginia Watercolor Society. He is a retired packaging engineer from Corning, Inc. and resides in Vienna, WV. He currently teaches drawing classes at the Parkersburg Art Center where he is a member.

Artist’s Statement

“When I first started painting with watercolor at a workshop in Maine in 1978 I endured the frustrations many beginning watercolorists have in controlling the media. However, I continued to paint with watercolor since I enjoyed the beauty and spontaneity of this wonderful media. I also liked working outside and watercolor is great for this since it dries quickly and travels well. I’m glad I continued with this media. Even with the difficulty of mastery it has gone with me on trips to the West Virginia Highlands, Maine and the South Carolina beaches.

“My first love was drawing when I was growing up and I continue to draw and sketch at every opportunity with stacks of sketchbooks filling my studio. Drawing is basic to understanding how things look. Whether it is a quick gesture or a carefully studied rendering, as far as subject matter, I like a variety.

“My latest interest has been the character studies of people with interesting faces. It’s not the Hollywood version of beauty but the look of beauty of character in faces you see everyday. I look for lighting that enhances or presents a dramatic effect regardless of subject. I think my work improved when I began to understand the real beauty of light and color.