Black & White Art Show

Black & White Art Show

Retrospective for David L. Smith

As we evolved to appreciate and understand each other 2020 my Love is black or white. The shades of gray, the plastic edge may define us but is does not separate us. Art rule # 1 says “For an edge to pops three dimensionally black is next to white. The interlude between darkness and light are the tools we use to define reality. Truly the big picture is we care about each other, as friends and family, aside from our differences, true friendship and camaraderie means that we are “grown up” enough to listen, express, love, and create freely as Artists. We are in it for the long haul. The loss of one of us is deeply felt, I grieve, yet I create because I feel this loss, Art fills my soul with joy and allows me to exist in a Toppy Turvey world. It is with sadness and joy that I share “Living on the Edge” with a few friends, family, and fellow Artists.

A memory for me personally as I struggle to find justification for my plastic edge and broken reassembled work. I was just allowing myself to admit I did mosaics and began to utilize and repair with found and altered objects. These ideas began to creep into my sculpture and my collage efforts I had not yet landed on the photo still-life’s and paper collages of today.

During all this soul searching, David said, “You know I never really liked Mosaics,” a letdown? “No.”

Mutual respect as he continued to devise pristine wooden substrate that allowed me to hang my ceramic slab art as wonderful broken paintings. David allowed me to reach my full potential, as artist, wife, and mother for 37 years. With David I developed a consistent work ethic.

Thank you, my love, you are missed.

– Colette A. Shumate Smith


“You Can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go out to them sometimes.” Winnie the Pooh

“It never hurts to keep looking for sunshine.” Eeyore

“The most wonderful thing about Tigger’s is, I’m the only one.” Tigger

“If you live to be a hundred, I hope I live to be a hundred minus one day, so that I will never have to live a day without you.” Winnie the Pooh.


Quote from Winnie the Pooh
(Lois, David’s mom, made Stuffed Animals for Concord Toy shop)
For the Launch of the Nine Acre Woods Private Campground retreat and Artist website.

The Show

David L. Smith
written by his wife Colette

David passed before his work was truly viewed and cherished.

His family and friends understood David and his sense of humor. He was free to create and work on his art. He ran a furniture refinishing shop and studio, rebuilt our home, and raised two children. David was a good father and loved his family very much. I wish he were here to see his ideas and his beliefs come to life with this show. David work was sought after in the Boston area, articles written in local paper about him as he was up and coming. After graduating from Boston University in 1987 his work appeared in Design Book Four put out by Fine woodworking. His furniture was shown at the Society of Arts and Crafts a few times. He was a successful student of Alphonce Mattia, and people commissioned his furniture many times over the years. The best in the local area between central Massachusetts and Boston. His customers were loyal and to this day utilize the shop and wood working studio in Leominster. Hugh Norton a furniture specialist and repair expert from Gentle Giant Moving company antique division continued Renaissance Restoration Inc. To this day Hugh lives up to David’s standards and expertise. One can still bring broken parts in a box to this establishment and claim that it was an ere loom and could you please put it back together for my grandchildren. The expertise and creative talent of Renaissance Restoration can and will. 45 Granite street Leominster, MA third floor rear. David ran a tight ship. We were together 37 years, married for 32.  He is missed, loved, and remembered by his work and his humor.

We put this show together with his work in mind. Black and white portrait is where he lived. I offer a few choices works and portraits here for sale. He studied and developed his own painting technique. He worked in his own style and followed his own path, I was an onlooker, a sounding board, the other half so to speak. David was a shy, soul that had a steadfast work ethic. He was a perfectionist; we had a wonderful life together. Mondrian and I were quite the team when we met David. Tucker his son carries on David’s skills, as Mondrian has his sensitivity and unique verbal perspective. I am awed by them as we all grieve for his passing, I expect to do an inclusive retrospective around April of 2021. I have included some work that the family wishes to keep for the moment as NFS and a few that we believe we could reproduce again as needed. Maybe not by his slight of hand in wood but on canvas from the graphic image. They are beautiful works that would delight any home. Here in Black and White.

We are all “Living on the Edge.”


Colette Aline Shumate-Smith

Represented by Gallery Sitka

I am an Artist; I always have been an Artist it is what I know best. Art and thoughts of creating something fill my time and space. Art is what I think about. I always had a pair of scissors, or play dough, or an image I was obsessing to draw or learn. I learned to draw and paint because I wanted to render what I saw. My mother was a fine artist illustrator I thought that was what Art was. I struggled to learn to see, render and paint correctly. That was never going to happen I learned when I applied to the painting department at Boston University. They sent my work to the Ceramic studio. Good thing I had included my ceramics in my portfolio of 50 works of art.

My daughter somehow understood this.You know how you are Mom. Right?”

What does that mean. Exactly.

I am an emotional being I react to my environment. I spin my wheels, organizing a workspace, getting, and gathering materials I think I need.

A stamp, a letter a piece of paper. I am filling up my visual cortex to the brim until it explodes in some fashion. Then get out of the way. 30, 40, 100 works of Art come forth. These days I have learned to limit a series to 10 not 25.

A potter a painter a poet, a photographer a collector of images. These days I limit my response to 10. I am working on my inner Zen, my chi, hoping to simplify my life and times I work on about four shows a year. Alice, Earth Day, Harvest and now the Black and White series. That is a show a season every four months to be producing new work.    

I have learned to layer the image. Again, Mondrian asks “How can you know what you are doing with all the confusion?”

I start with an image I want from a photograph, or a pencil sketch. Then with a 4-inch brush I topcoat the gesso layer. This gives the final image power. In clay it would be porcelain slip that comes first than under glaze and two to three glaze firings. In Acrylic it is gesso, drywall compound, gesso, white or colored paint than progressively thinner and thinner media, and finally print ink then drying and sealing. The paint coating is developed in a series of days, steps or with layer of paper collage. Like the illustrator it is a surface worked up thru line, paint texture and color. But, with big powerful emotional brushes. The abstract forces of nature, the paint is added and washed away, blended, dry brushed, dusted over the texture. In oil it is dripped into medium over gesso and ink. The work is there in the beginning sometimes in a light and shadow layer. Or sculpted texture with a tool.

The plastic edge is what defines it the dark against light. My Artwork had this early on. I liked to work with color straight out of the tube and blend on the canvas as a fauvist would. Now I have learned to pick and choose a color pallet, to limit my choice, this way if I have to change or alter something I can go back to the same color without having to remix it.

I have always just worked at being myself. The Art is part of me. The extra images that are somehow trapped in the picture plain were always there. Just like telephone poles bring you up to the sky and direct your eye back down again. My mother would be annoyed with them a sign of imperfection, my father would say they are the beginning of a cross and what a blessing to see that beginning. The images within an image add to the texture and plastic edge of life. Who are we to say our lives are one way or another? Really, I am here to be who I am. I can glimpse into my work into my ideas into my time thru Art. Thinking about creating and knowing how to create and doing the work are the many stages I go through to bring a work of art into being. For an artist like me it is a fun journey, yet sometimes a difficult task. If it works that is wonderful if it does not, I have learned to paint over it. Black and White is not only a drawing, it is a new and challenging world between light and shadow, mist, and cloud. This show this idea has opened my eyes to the possibilities.


Suzanne Blanchard

I feel being a photographer I see the world a bit differently. I notice beauty in the simplest of things, I find landscapes, waterfalls and covered bridges irresistible. I seek to bring that beauty and that moment of awe into my photos to capture that beauty in a way that makes one feel that they are in that moment with me. I am fortunate to have grown up in New England which has provided me with an endless opportunity to explore history and nature through my lens.


Stephen James Ireland & Jennifer Ireland

Stephen James Ireland and Jennifer Ireland have been producing Art, Photography and children since the late 1980’s. Friends from Concord they are part of a group of friends that remained steadfast over the years. Attending weddings and funerals their family was truly that village you hear about in history books. As artist and friends, we grew together and developed along side each other. Beaver as Stephen is known was the prankster, he lived “On the Edge” doting hair extensions a yard long to my wedding. Everyone wondered what he would come up with next! Well, you can see a portrait of David his friend, the big brother. Here seen in black and white he stares you down, as if to say “It is about time you produced! We all know you are gifted!” “Well, that was easy!” Stephen would say. Art comes easy to him.

It also comes easy to his wife and children. They too got involved and entered some photography. We are all waiting for the kid’s drawings to show rather than tell. I (Colette Love this stage too). I have many pictures done as I worked. Truly a family affair. Here we see October at its finest with a review of a moth, and decorative shield, titled “Mistry of Love” and “Moth Two.” They are a pair of photos in a frame. And of course, there is “Trinity” an 8 by 10. Is it just a plant? Or do you see a face hidden in the shadow?

“Cloudy Night” a landscape and “Spirit Walker” the spider with a cross to bear is also a favorite.

Thank you, Jennifer, and Stephen, for your effort. I know the struggle, and the joy Art brings to your family.

Here we all play, see, and produce in Black and White to honor the beginning of the Holiday Season.

A formal beginning.  A well-deserved start on a family’s new choice of expression.

Watch the recorded interview