|In the words of Mike Smith, "I was born
in 1942 in Oregon. My childhood was spent growing up in Vancouver, Washington and the
Puget Sound area where a favorite grandfather lived. I graduated from the University of
Portland with a degree in English Literature.
I began drawing and sculpture at the age of 2, in 1944. I was in several student shows until age 10 when I discovered baseball. I didn't draw anything again until age 25. I began painting seriously that year and worked for the next five years in abstract forms, almost minimal art. It started to become a real dead end for me. I have since tried to abandon any 'school' of painting and have tried to maintain an autobiographical approach. My subjects are mostly found in my backyard or around the county I live in.
Over the years, I have had more than 50 one man shows. One of the most interesting was a double show in Leipzig, Germany - in a gallery at the American Consulate. The media I use include watercolor, bronze (cast and fabricated), oil, ceramic, wood, and several printmaking techniques.
People always want to know the meaning of my work and where I get my ideas. I like to think my work is simply about the people and places I love, about creating a world around them that I realize can never exist.
It is impossible to discuss what I'm up to. Images, unlike the written word, do not dictate to you. We are visual beings and each image is a dialogue. This is what I see and, I guess, after twenty-five years of painting almost every day, it has become my world."