Barbara Lee Smith

Barbara Lee Smith uses intricate stitching techniques and various washes of pigment to create elegant textile landscapes. Her works "are often created in a series, in response to inspiration related to a particular place or experience."

Artist Statement

From the moist grip of morning here in my home on Raft Island, Washington, to the sharp edge of the sun in the desert, I feel the weather. I sense its presence on my skin, smell the sea air or the dry heat; listen to the wind in the trees and grasses. I imagine myself wading in the marshes, walking toward the horizon, capturing the light and color I see. I aim to suggest a moment of time rather than describing an entire scene.

Each work is made of many parts and processes. First I make a painting, and then I collage over the painting with many bits of the same painted fabric. As I work I recall the myriad elements that compose the landscape, and I recall being in the place and how it felt. Once the work satisfies me, I turn it over so that the plain white surface of the backing is facing up, at which point I begin to stitch what appears to be a topographical map. This stitched drawing literally and figuratively holds the work together, suggesting the movement of land, sea or sky. Time and memory: these elements both inform the work as well compose its making.

See below images for more information on each piece.


Selected Images