When I ask an artist of Will Smith's obvious talent and skill, where do you get your inspiration from and what do you want the viewer to get from your work?, I am usually greeted with a moment's silence.
This is partially because it's a difficult question and warrant's a pause for thought but mainly because the artist wants to support their art and believes that their response has to be complete, absolute and highly complex in order to be measured with any worth. Consequently, it is often a rather pompous, polished and intensely pretentious answer I receive. Which only serves to confuse, rather than clarify and enlighten.
When I asked Will Smith what inspires him to paint, he replied with a refreshingly real answer. He described how his collector's two year old child had reacted to seeing one of his first beach paintings and what that meant to both him and his work.
"He took off his clothes and stepped into the picture"
For Will Smith, this response confirmed that, "painting should have a physical
effect on the participant, not invoking a memory or nostalgia, but a communication of senses and emotions that are unique to its inspiration. The beach offers the figurative painter humanity at its most innocent and exposed, and offers the landscape artist the interfaces of earth, sea and sky in their most active states, reflecting, merging and dissolving."
Will Smith's paintings stimulate and enrich our senses, positively encouraging us, the viewer, to immerse ourselves within each depicted scene. The myriad of interaction and human relations can't help but arouse our curiosity and create a wonderful sense of energy and activity within the whole.