Allison Leigh Smith
In the last several years, I have become deeply involved in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. I volunteer time to animal sanctuaries mostly around the state of Arizona where I spend half my year, but I am also fortunate to be connected with animal groups all over the North American continent who share their animals and stories so that we can reach more people.
As a result, I no longer differentiate between my vocation and avocation. The work I do for animals, although difficult, intimidating, and humble, is the most emotional and meaningful of my life. My paintings are an extension of my dedication and love.
It is my goal to convey each animal’s personality by painting them in a way that connects them to the viewer, as I have felt connected. I think painting a wild animal in their natural habitat has been done, and has been done masterfully. Originality is important to me, so I combine a multitude of techniques at which I excel to the process of creating a piece. You will find evidence of the years I spent in textile design. Some paintings combine photography and digital manipulation either in the final product or hidden within the journey to completion. Often I combine written words, remnants of graffiti, or my grandfather’s art of calligraphy – all to add a human connection to my subject. My ultimate goal is to share a very personal interpretation of the soul, beauty, and the vulnerability of the animals I have met and love.