These paintings pay tribute to the beauty of the ordinary in daily Italian life. Through the notoriously challenging medium of watercolor, Jed skillfully breathes life into seemingly mundane scenes, elevating them to the realm of art.
The series is a celebration of simplicity, deftly capturing the essence of everyday moments with a keen eye for detail and a profound understanding of the medium’s intricacies. His technique of glazing, a methodical layering of translucent washes of color, adds depth and vibrance to his subjects and a net effect that draws viewers into the scenes.
Take “A Study in Blue,” the Gold Medalist in the Georgia Watercolor Society’s 2000 National Juried exhibition. This watercolor portrays a woman engaged in a mundane task, hanging the daily laundry. Yet the scene becomes so much more than ordinary. Through his use of glazing, Jed transforms such seemingly ordinary scenes of Italian life into an extraordinary artistic experience, where subtle nuances of light and shadow work together to convey emotion and depth.
In “Sister Has Wheels,” Smith captures a sun-drenched moment as a nun pedals by a church on her bike. The play of light, the weathered ochre wall behind her, and the worn stone pavement imbue the scene with a warmth and a sense for the viewer of “being there” in this unique moment.
Overall, Jed Smith’s Italian Life series showcases the beauty that can be found in the unassuming moments of daily existence. His adept handling of the watercolor medium in these paintings demonstrates why he holds the esteemed title of Signature Member of the National Watercolor Society.