Spotlight: Patterns in Nature

Artist Statement

My current endeavor is to capture our changing planet. Consequently, my artwork examines patterns in our environment—urban and industrial as well as natural. I’m interested in the changing intersection between place in city or nature. As an artist, I feel a responsibility to address these changes and the environmental impacts they have had in the California fire-driven
eroding mountains, deserts, and coastlines.

My latest series is titled Equipoise/Vapours. In these paintings, I make reference to a world that is constantly changing via incredible leaps of technology and unbelievable strains upon the environment. This has caused me to ask, “How we can arrive at a place where balance has been found between technology and nature?”

At what point do we begin to realize that we are not moving through a passive landscape? In both of these painting series, I imagine portraits of the organisms capable of lasting thousands of years, shining a light on our planet’s resilience in the face of human intervention. My work is a reflection that describes the complex counterbalance of asymmetries found in the dynamic forces of nature and a more sustainable way to relate to the Earth.

“Vapours” works on aluminum that filter perception through the lens of nature, and lived experience. Smith’s observations to recreate the transcendence of quiet moments—the play of light witnessed on hikes in the Icelandic mountains that celebrate the sublime in the quotidian. The ephemeral as seen through the bubbling Vaporous forms of the circular light and color in the ineffable Icelandic landscape. Wrapped Shapes bounded by curves that describe the continuous transitions of light and color.

“Light Patterns” series reference this dynamic relationship primarily through the juxtaposition of dense color layers within an abstract geometric compositional structure. The color layers composed of meticulously organized dots form cloud like patterns of light, which flow through and across the geometric boundaries of the surface. This series creates an idiomatic language that Smith created to communicate the ephemeral interplay of light and the tangible structure of the physical world. Richly textured patterns of color simultaneously define and erode the geometric boundaries within the paintings.

Kerrie Smith is a Los Angeles-Santa Barbara based artist who returned to painting in 2015 and has been working and currently exhibiting her artwork in Southern California. Originally from England, she earned a BA with honors in theater and 3-D design and has worked as a theater designer in England, France, Holland, and the United States collaborating with directors/designers Richard Eyre, Pamela Howard OBE, Ralph Koltai OBE, Ken Russell, John Tillinger, and John Wells. Smith moved to California in the 1990s and raised her family in Santa Barbara.

In 2001, she founded a non-profit organization named Art Walk for Kids/Adults with outreach programs for artists with disabilities. She also created an art curriculum approved by the Santa Barbara County Art Commission for at-risk kids and the Hope District Schools. Her programs received Congressional Awards from Assembly Woman Lois Capps and Congresswoman Hannah Beth Jackson. She is a member of the Westmont Arts Council, Santa Barbara Abstract Arts Collective, Los Angeles Art Association, National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Southern California Women’s Caucus for Art. Visit her sites for more:,