Samantha Keely Smith



Samantha Keely Smith’s paintings explore the dual worlds in which we exist: our inner lives and the changing world around us. The paintings represent the landscape of the psyche, the place where the conscious and unconscious meet, where outside forces and our own human nature collide as we grapple with our place in an ever-changing and reactive environment. While painting, Samantha intersperses traditional brushwork with pouring and staining, and uses solvents and scraping to break up the oil-painted surfaces. She makes use of accidental moments in this process to further explore ideas of control vs. chaos.


“The paintings represent the landscape of the psyche – the place where the conscious and unconscious meet. In her work Samantha addresses the delusions of order and control that human beings cling to as we navigate the fundamental unpredictability of reality and sense our own finiteness in the immensity of time and nature.


The existential and the personal—the exterior and the interior—are intertwined in Samantha’s paintings. Throughout all her work there is an appreciation for the fragility of life and at the same time our boundless capacity to feel hope. She sees her work as an opportunity to call attention to our commonalities by sharing deeply personal experiences that are, at the same time, universal experiences.

Samantha’s painting process reflects the constant push and pull between order and chaos. By using solvents and scraping to break up the still wet paint, she opens up the possibility of accidental forms and marks. She responds to those results, putting a little of her own order back into the chaos. This process continues over several layers, resulting in images that hover between figuration and abstraction.” – Samantha Keely Smith