Artist in Residence – Aidan Lee Smith

Aidan Lee Smith is an artist based in Margaret River. Only a few years ago, he gave away a promising career as a lawyer to pursue his love of painting. His first exhibition in Margaret River was a sell-out. He now sells his paintings all over the world.

Aidan has completed a two-week residency here at Santa Maria College, working with Years 7-12 Visual Arts students. Aidan’s style is called ‘spontaneous realism’ and he has challenged the girls to paint in this style…not overthinking everything, taking risks, and painting with bright hues to create emotional impact. His motto has been ‘don’t think, just do’ and the girls have really responded to this approach, creating some truly stunning works.

He spent last Sunday working with Year 12 students all day for one of their two planned Art Encounter days. The Year 12s completed a mixed media portrait using acrylics, oils and fabrics. The results were stunning! Year 7s have been working with florals, Year 8s with their pets and the other year groups doing ‘selfies’, family members and self-portraits.

Aidan has really been a breath of fresh air in the Visual Arts Department the last two weeks, and has inspired both staff and students to create with more spontaneity, and to let go of the idea of perfection in an artwork!

The College has purchased one of his works for their permanent art collection. This can be viewed in the main reception area. Interested in Aidan’s work visit his website or follow him on Instagram.

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