Odin Smith, SHALLOW RIVERS, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 48 inches (26 x 50 inches framed), $4,100
When Odin Smith paints water — as she does often — it’s usually some aspect of the coastline along her native Cape Cod. With “Shallow Rivers,” however, the scene is in Woodstock, New Hampshire, an idyllic spot right off the main street in the center of town where two rivers flow together. “It was an emerald green,” she says. “It’s very transparent water; you can see right down to the bottom. It looks like three feet but it could be 12 feet.”
Odin based “Shallow Rivers” on a photo she took of her children playing on the rocks during a early fall vacation in the White Mountains, but the children “didn’t make the cut,” she says. That’s only typical, though. She seldom includes figures in her landscapes because they usually don’t contribute to the peaceful mood she’s after.
While the market for New Hampshire landscapes is not particularly strong on Cape Cod, Odin couldn’t resist painting the scene for her own enjoyment. “We don’t have a lot of rocky environments on the Cape,” she says. “Any time you move away from what you’re familiar with, it’s challenging.”
As a longtime art instructor, Odin knows from experience that — when it comes to painting — “there’s no one way to get the job done.” Her own approach changes from painting to painting, but is never what you might call methodical. “I like to jump in and make changes as I go,” she says. “I’ve already done a lot of planning in my head before I execute it. I like to jump in while I’m really feeling inspired.” View more paintings by Odin Smith