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About Carollyne Smithson

Photo of Carollyne Smithson, Artist

Hello, I’m a Contemporary Landscape Artist living in Sydney, Australia, creating artworks with the intent of transforming the perceived stillness and beauty found within the natural world, to benefit others (and myself).

This is a brief story of how I came to this place in time as an artist.

Years spent learning to see the world as colour and light

I spent five years studying as an oil painter with a brilliant teacher, Betty Morgan, who herself studied under Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo and later became his assistant teacher. Betty taught me that the world is made of colour and light and the subject should be viewed as a whole, whether a portrait, figure, still life or landscape. Australian landscapes were what I loved doing and the palette knife was my favourite tool (a surprise for those who see me using tiny brushes today). As I developed my skills over time, Betty rarely felt a need to give me guidance. Her place became my studio and I thrived there.

Realising my dream to live as an artist

Under Betty’s tutorship, the medium was only ever oil paints – and a limited palette of paints to create colour with at that. Watercolour art was another world to us. But in 2020 the world changed and so did my life. The universe said it was the right time for me to be a full-time artist, a dream I’d held onto since high school. I began using watercolours, white gouache, acrylic inks and black calligraphy ink – and from the very first painting, I loved using them.

Connecting with the peace and beauty of the natural environment

When our minds are busy it’s easy to walk by trees without really noticing them. One day I was literally stopped by the magnificence of a Eucalypt tree trunk by the footpath. It was like a pair of smooth, voluptuous legs coming out of the ground. I instantly felt the peace and beauty of its presence and knew trees would be an important focus for my art.

Since then, I’ve found that when I’m truly in the moment – connected to the natural environment – the landscape becomes incredibly sharp. I’m disconnected from my own busy mind and that of the collective human consciousness. It can last a short while or a moment, turning on and off, the same as when I paint. And when I’m not out in nature or painting, I find the prints that hang on my walls bring joy – and when needed, act as portals to help quieten my mind and be present in the moment.

Magic happens as my art takes shape

There is a pure creative energy that channels through me when I paint that comes from both within and beyond me. It synergises with my painting skills, my intrinsic connection with the natural environment and my willingness to let the experiment of creation happen, like life. What takes shape always amazes me, as if the landscape comes alive on paper. It’s such a joy to experience.

Beyond my own joyful experiences, I truly hope that many others will benefit from my artwork and feel the beauty and stillness of the natural environment before them.