Brett James Smith was born on
March 19, 1958 in New Orleans, Louisiana. His early introduction
to sporting art came from his father who worked professionally
as an illustrator and moonlighted as a fine artist contributing
paintings for covers of the early outdoor and western magazines.
In college as a fine art major, Brett realized that the contemporary
art curriculum would not equip him with the background needed
to pursue the area that interested him most--commercial illustration.
He left school and began a career on his own as a commercial
illustrator. After a few years, he decided to try his hand
at "easel" paintings for the fine art market. As
subjects he chose familiar landscapes and acquaintances made
from years of hunting and fishing across the country.
Brett's work appeals to sportsmen
nationwide because it is visually exciting and also authentic,
exhibiting the intimate knowledge of his sporting experiences.
Brett states, "What is important is to convey the natural
ruggedness of the sport without missing the subtle nuances
that make the experience personal."
Brett prefers to paint in transparent
watercolors or oils, the subject generally dictating the medium
used. He usually prefers oils for more complex scenes, watercolors
when more spontaneous results are desired. Working in three
dimensions, he recently completed his first bronze sculpture
of a fly fisherman.
Brett employs the art of etching,
nearly a lost art in today's "Kodacolor" world.
Although a painstaking process, it can produce an antiquated
appearance that cannot be duplicated in any other medium.
With over 150 images to date he knows enough to realize that
you never "master" this process but only learn more
with each experience.
Brett's paintings hang in some
of the most prestigious collections throughout the country.
He has contributed to several books and his work has been
featured in publications as Double Gun Journal, Ducks Unlimited
magazine, Gray's Sporting Journal, Shooting Sportsman, and
Sporting Classics. Brett also has been recognized for his
work with such organizations as GCCA, Atlantic Salmon Federation,
Ruffed Grouse Society, Ducks Unlimited and others.