Colin Smith taught high school art, theatre, and English for 20 years. His work has been exhibited in galleries throughout NB and is included in public and private collections. For 11 years, his drawings and cartoons were featured weekly in the Salon section of the Telegraph Journal. He works out of his studio in the River Art Centre in downtown Florenceville-Bristol.
“I have always drawn. Several years ago, I decided my drawings did not look solid enough on the paper. So, I started carving, to figure out how to give my drawings a sense of weight. And it worked. It showed me some stuff about drawing, by making me look at it differently, and I grew to really enjoy carving.”
I work small. The shape of the wood generally determines what’s carved. Some of my whittlings look like residue from my distant ancestors. Some of them look a bit more modern. They are worked with knives, chisels, and axes, in a very unsophisticated way. I have found that every cut changes my idea of the project. I may start out with an idea, but the wood itself, by breaking and revealing its shapes and curls , keeps editing and suggesting. I never know how the little carvings will turn out, and that’s why I do them.
The Boat sculpture is the result of Jamie Buxton’s misbegotten attempt to pull me into the twentieth century. He showed me how to use rotary carvers, and The Boat is the result. It is a tribute to schools and to Carleton North High School, the building I spent the last twenty years in. It is an affectionate good bye to what I still think is the greatest, and most important, job in the world.” Colin Smith