Michael D Smith  
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Michael grew up in a household where art and music were a part of life. Being raised in a creative environment inspired him to create his own art and music. His earliest major art influence was Hot Rod Magazine cartoonist “Big daddy” Ed Roth. As a teenager he would create his own versions of the cartoonist work. It was Ed Roth’s bizarre art that inspired Michael’s endless interest in abstract and surreal art. 

His formal art education was limited to high school and community college. He learned freehand illustration and perspective drawing as a drafting major. He used freehand illustration for fabrication drawings in his job for about 25 years. In 2004 he started using Photoshop to create award winning abstract/surreal manipulated photography. In 2008 he started painting with acrylics. He received his first acrylic painting award at the 2012 California state fair.

He avoids many of the contemporary art rules and processes because he feels they diminish his creative energy and artistic freedom. He views his lack of formal training and study as a double edged sword that helps and hinders. He endeavors to create art that will capture the viewer’s attention and compel them to resolve or understand what they see. He tries not to get caught up in trying to create art for a market or copy a style. He paints what appeals to him and hopes it appeals to others.

He feels that a picture isn’t done until he can put a name on it that will resonate with most people. His secret to creating unique and exceptional artwork lies in mastering the basics, not mastering the styles of others. His goal is to create art that will contain timeless messages or insights that are common to man in general and can be realized worldwide.


  Artist Statement

I create unique, interesting and stimulating art because of a creative compulsion I seem to have been born with. I have always felt compelled to create and make original objects.

When I decided to take my art seriously I started out manipulating photography. I used the knowledge gained from that process to expand my capabilities and develop a painting process with acrylics. My paintings contain the same exceptional color combinations and vibrancy as my manipulated photography. I progressed to acrylic painting to develop the skill to paint whatever I could imagine.

I evolved into my current style with a loose direction in mind. To reach that goal I spent a few years mixing colors, working with shading, contrast and painting realism studies to achieve depth, shape and realism to my imaginary objects.

 I am currently creating Surreal/Abstract pictures that project a message. I have reached a painting goal where I can paint whatever I can think of. In a sense I am just starting to produce the art that I envisioned 4 years ago.

I create images that are unusual and relevant. They will stand the test of time and increase in value. My pictures sometimes vary greatly from one to the next without conforming to a distinct type of style, but it is easy to see they are the work the same artist and somehow connected