« Back

Vermillion Haze

Artwork Inquiry

Matt Smith


Artist Bio

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Matt Smith (Matthew) became a well-known plein-air painter of landscapes and also a highly respected teacher, most especially at the Scottsdale Artists School in Scottsdale, Arizona. He has also done figurative and still life painting, but his passion is landscape subjects.

In 1963, Smith and his family moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, where he became fascinated by the beauties of the desert landscape. Showing obvious early talent for painting, he was lucky in that he traveled at age thirteen with his parents to live in Toulouse, France for two years, and several years later, they went to Switzerland. With his family, he toured many museums, and later expressed feelings of good fortune because his parents were supportive of his art talents.

By the time he was in high school, he already had his work represented by a gallery in Scottsdale. In 1985, he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Arizona State University in Tempe. He also studied with Merrill Mahaffey at Phoenix College, an experience he credits as giving himself a strong grounding in his art career. His artist friends encouraged him to go outside and paint, which led to his love of plein-air painting. The resulting paintings were well received, and by 1990 when he was age 32, he had won the Eleanor Libby Award for painting at The Scottsdale Artists School.

He continues to be represented by a gallery in Scottsdale and has accumulated a prestigious list of exhibitions including the Prix de West, the Autry Museum's Masters of the American West Show, Plein-Air Painters of America, and the Northwest Rendezvous. In June, 2000, he received the Robert Lougheed Award at the Prix de West Show at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City for the best group of three or more paintings.

Smith travels frequently, spending about four months out of the year on the road, and his locations include Canada, the Northwest and Northeast, and Europe. He also feels strongly that studio time reinforces the outdoor time.

Biography courtesy of

The Shelton Smith Collection | By appointment only
P.O. Box 1180, Wimberley, TX 78676 | Mobile: 512.517.3827 |

© Copyright 2024 The Shelton Smith Collection. All rights reserved. Site designed by Avid Design