Artist Interview: Jim Smither

Posted by Jenni Kirby - June 24 2020

Each one on Jim Smither’s passions informs the other. Whether it’s architecture, design, or painting, each fascination manifests itself in the other to create an interesting life mix. His formal education has yielded degrees in landscape architecture and urban and regional planning. He started painting for himself in1993 after studying how to make watercolor illustrations of landscape and architectural projects in graduate school. “I really enjoyed illustrating so I thought this would be a fun project to do for myself,” he says. “So I began to paint just for painting sake.”

Featured Image: Sundown - Charleston, South Carolina, Acrylic, 24x18, $1400

The travel bug bit him when he lived and studied in Venice for six months. “That trip really solidified my love of Europe,” he says. That love is reflected in the subject matter of his paintings which often depict scenes of Paris, Tuscany or some other European destination. “I am geographer at heart,” he says. “When I look for a painting it is about a place. Usually iconic. I use people for scale and then try to use some sort of atmosphere like rain, a sunset, sunrise or nighttime.”


The Heart of Tuscany, Acrylic, 20x24, $1400

Smither originally painted with watercolors, painting with a limited pallet of colors.  He says,“I started to paint with acrylic about 5 years ago. It’s been a challenge to learn to paint atmosphere with acrylic.”After painting for a while in acrylic, he has started to experiment with oil. “My motto is to continue to grow and learn. I don’t try to play it safe,” he says.