- Daniel Smith's paintings of wildlife, be it bear, moose, bison, crow or even otter, capture the complete essence of a species in a single moment, a brief pause in an otherwise very physical existence. Likewise viewing these paintings leaves us stilled, like hikers or mountaineers who round a bend and come unexpectedly upon the beauty and fierce intelligence of the animals who share our earth.North American cougars are now largely extinct in the Northeast United States but are still prevalent in parts of the West, notably Wyoming which has the largest North American population. A solitary, stalk-and-ambush predator, cougar favor deer, elk, bighorn sheep and the occasional domestic cattle.Fleeting Sun is unusual for Daniel Smith in that the sunlight is hitting his subject perpendicularly, highlighting the silky, tawny coat against the cool shadows of gathering dusk in the cliffs behind.
- The Artist
- Daniel Smith, one of America's foremost nature artists, enjoys wide acclaim for his spectacular depictions of landscapes and wildlife.
Smith lives in the mountains of Montana where artistic inspiration surrounds him. He has been painting full time for over twenty years and has had more than 100 of his paintings reproduced as limited edition prints. He began his career designing conservation stamps. He has designed more than thirty stamps including the 1988-89 Federal Duck Stamp and was selected as Ducks Unlimited International Artist of the Year for the second time in 2002. In 2003 he received three prestigious awards from the Society of Animal Artists. These included an Award of Excellence, The Leonard J. Meiselman Award for a Realistic Painting Executed in an Academic Manner, and The Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum Purchase Award.
The detail and scientific accuracy of Smith's art caught the eyes of organizations such as the National Geographic Society, who commissioned him to paint five color plates for The Field Guide to the Birds of North America, and the prestigious "Birds in Art" exhibition sponsored by the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. In 1996 he was inducted into the U.S. ART Hall of Fame due to his great popularity among print collectors.
Smith travels frequently to research his subjects in their natural habitat, believing that there is no substitute for personal experience in the field. He says of his work, "I want people to experience the peace, the tranquillity of the wilderness, of being the only one out there, communing with nature." An ardent supporter of wildlife conservation, he feels indebted to the natural world that has provided him with the sole inspiration for his award-winning career.