March Meet the Maker: Days 22-31 blog cover
About Artist

March Meet the Maker (Part 4)

Today we’re finishing up the last part of the March Meet the Maker series.  Are there any questions or things you’ve been wondering more about that I didn’t talk about in the series?

If you’ve missed any of the previous weeks, you can catch up here:
Part 1
Part 2
-Part 3

Hands On

River of Process painting in front of reference sculpture in Ludovico Sculpture Garden Seneca Falls NY

I take a hands on approach to all aspects of my art business.  For my art process, I take the reference photographs that inspires the work.  I also do most of my own matting and framing to finish out the piece.  And of course right now I have my hands on all parts of the business side too – marketing, admin, accounting, graphics, website maintenance, customer service, etc. (I dream of the day where I can “hand off” some of those tasks). 


Orchid with Teal by Laura Jaen Smith. Acrylic painting of white orchid with teal blue background

I wasn’t always an artist – or at least I didn’t always consider art as my main vocational focus.  I went to college for psychology/sociology and paralegal.  Some of my other jobs I have had include: working in a college bookstore, a couple of different flower shops, a records specialist for law enforcement, retail, a coding process coordinator for a medical system, a book editor, and a research assistant (not necessarily in that order).

Wrapped & Packaged

I never think to get one of those pretty pictures you see before sending out packages.  Getting the artwork from my studio to your home safely is my number one focus in my packaging.  Drawings are mailed in a sealed package with a hard backing board to prevent bending.  Paintings are sent in an appropriately sized box with plenty of packaging to keep them safe.  I try to reuse and repurpose packing materials as much as possible to cut down on waste. 

Starting Point

Photo reference of unnamed waterfall in Buttermilk Falls State Park by Laura Jaen Smith
Unnamed Falls by Laura Jaen Smith. Square acrylic landscape painting of waterfall in Buttermilk Falls State Park Ithaca NY from 50 New York Waterfalls Series

Every piece of art starts with an idea or a spark of inspiration.  I’m constantly taking photos that may some day turn into paintings.  When the time comes to start something new – the first step is to take the idea and review reference photos that might fit the theme, narrowing them down until I have the one I’ll use.  (More about the painting pictured.)


I’m not sure that I could pick a favorite piece of art – I spend so much time with each of them that they all end up special to me.  As far as a favorite medium – acrylic is the one I use the most, I really like ink pens too.  I generally have a hard time picking one favorite anything – be it music, food, movie – anything.  Purple is my favorite color though. 


Corona Self-Portraits by Laura Jaen Smith. Gouache self-portrait paintings.

I wasn’t quite sure what to do with this prompt so I made a reel of my Corona Self-Portrait paintings that I created this past summer.  They are each concentrated gouache on canvas and chronicle a moment in my life towards the beginning of the pandemic. 


Most people are familiar with my serene acrylic landscapes (especially my waterfalls), but I have a pretty large range in my artistic abilities.  I can do architectural paintings, ink drawings of various subjects, painted birdhouses, and I’ve even been known to draw/paint animals and people from time to time.  

Check out the gallery to see more of my work.

Seneca Mill Falls by Laura Jaen Smith. Acrylic landscape painting of waterfall along Keuka Outlet Trail Penn Yan. 50 NY Waterfalls Project.
Mary's Cottage by Laura Jaen Smith. Painting of Mary Ann Cord's cottage at Mark Twain's Quarry Farm.
Through the Trees by Laura Jaen Smith. Black and white ink drawing of trees with Taughannock Creek in the background.
Purple Orchid birdhouse by Laura Jaen Smith. Wooden birdhouse painted white orchids around the exterior with purple blue background.
Ostrich by Laura Jaen Smith. Black and white ink drawing of ostrich in field.
Corona Self-Portrait: Love by Laura Jaen Smith. Gouache self portrait of woman in grey sweatshirt with LOVE in black letters across it, Brown partial pigtails. Red background.

I also have a range of products that I offer from original art, cards and gifts in my shop ( to printed merchandise through my redbubble shop, to downloadable coloring pages on my website.  Is there something you’d like to see offered?

Looking Forward

Looking forward I have lots of ideas, plans and dreams.  Currently I’m working on the 100 Day Project.  I’m about a quarter of the way through the paintings and am excited about the different themes that I’ll be exploring throughout the rest of the series!  After that I have a couple other ideas in the planning stage (and the saving up money for supplies/resources stage). 

Photo of Laura Jaen Smith. Headshot in teal dress before solo exhibition

Do you have a question or want to know more about a topic?  Let me know!  I’m starting a list for an upcoming Q&A.

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