About

I am a painter, writer and photographer, living in Lansing, Michigan.

The renown British artist Howard Hodgkin said of his nonrepresentational paintings that, “They are representational pictures of emotional situations.” So are mine. I do not intend them as illustrations of specific stories. Nor are they aimed at achieving verisimilitude. They are allusions—suggested by their appearance and the names I give them—visual equivalents of instrumental music.

Somewhere I read that every painter is either a figurative or landscape painter. My affinity is with the landscape. And while my paintings are not representational they often suggest a kind of topography.

Much of my inspiration is derived from the land and cultures of my two favorite states, Michigan and New Mexico. I am also inspired by the incredible pictures being provided to us by the Hubble Space Telescope, the Curiosity Mars Rover, the Cassini Huygens mission to Saturn and the New Horizons mission to Pluto.

Some of the greatest influences on my thought and work includes: (Painters) James Adley, Agnes Martin, Richard Diebenkorn, Fritz Scholder, (Writers) Annie Dillard, Jim Harrison, Albert Camus, Carl Jung and Aldous Huxley, (Photographers) Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Henri Cartier Bresson, Sam Abell, Galen Rowell, Dorothea Lange, and Walker Evans.

Michael Maurer Smith

MA Studio Art, Michigan State University