Kay was born in Spokane, WA, raised in Coeur d’ Alene, ID, near lost of cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents until age 12 when she moved to Salmon, ID. After graduation from high school, she attended and graduated from Kinman Business University. She married Ed Smith and spent the next two years living in Germany with him in the Air Force. While living near Frankfurt in Moerfelden, they travelled to Paris, France, where they toured the Louvre. That had quite an impact on both of them. Seeing the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, the Eiffel Tower and travelling on the Champs Elysees were breathtaking experiences. After the service they moved to Moscow, ID, where Ed finished school on the GI Bill. Two years after that in Southern California and then back to Idaho with three children to raise. They also began an insurance and real estate business. The children all attended school in Salmon then graduated from college. While the children were young, she began art instruction with Barbara Peets, a New York artist who had moved to Salmon. An easel appeared on the kitchen counter, and she painted in the evening after work. It was a great escape from the everyday routines. Two years later Peets discontinued the classes due to her demanding schedule as a full time artists.
Kay taught 6th grade art for 10 years at salmon Jr. High and continued to enroll in workshops and classes, studying in several mediums. Her work has been judged in local shows and the Lemhi County Fair. She is past member of the Idaho Watercolor Society and is presently represented by the Purple Easel Gallery in Salmon, Idaho.
I felt an enlightenment when studying with my first professional art instructor Barbara Peets. Everything took on a much different look, and colors with their variations and perspective created a very different world visually. I think that concentrating on art forced me to slow down enough to appreciate really seeing the smallest leaves to the cloud formations and constant changes in the atmosphere. Color seemed to explode around me. Interpreting color in paint, pastels, glass and fiber puts me in another field that is hard to explain. I enjoy drawing the vine charcoal and with my brushes. As a lifetime student of Art, I am drawn to impressionism and enjoy studying art history. I have an extensive art library that helps me in my independent style of learning. Ed and I collect art from local artists with several of western artist Bill Neal’s paintings. I have taken workshops from the following:
Barbara Peets, Salmon, ID – oils
Julie Murrie, in the Tetons – oils
Phyllis Dorn of California & Williams Lake-watercolor
Marilyn Hoff Hanson, Idaho Falls, ID – Acrylic, Marble Dust
Carol Gilbert-Wagner, Sacramento, CA – watercolor
Gary Carter, West Yellowstone, MT – oils; western theme
Sue Ferauer- oil & watercolor, landscapes
Dwight Williams- water media, mat cutting
Nadine Chaffee- watercolor
Nolan Olson- water-soluble oils
“Country Church” Oil painting by Kay Smith
“Field of Gold” Oil painting by Kay Smith