Wendy Skinner Smith OAS

Wendy Skinner Smith Natural History Museum  detail of setting for family portrait oil on board
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Oxford West - City

The exhibition & studio are in my home, where there are drawings, illustrations, limited edition prints, & cards which span some 54 years. I have lived & worked in Oxford since 1971 & I had the privilege of being an art teacher of Art/Art History 30 years. I retired as Deputy Head of The Cherwell School in 1999. Since then, I have painted, illustrated travel books, & worked voluntarily for Oxford allotments. Painting, teaching, gardening & particularly growing my own food keep me creatively engaged.
I have long been fascinated by reflections & reality. An identifiable image is usually distorted through reflection & modified perspective. The paintings are in oil on board and whilst the compositions are highly structured the works are built up using textured glazes, often worked into whilst wet, alongside strong areas of modulated colour.
In the Manhattan work I was engaged by the ambiguity of reflections within an insistent order of grids, alongside a sublime blue verticality. The paintings explore the complexity & beauty of a transitory world where seemingly solid & monumental buildings reflect a moment in time. The effects of light & glass reconstruct a reality of air & space, on & in, through & back. The predominance of glass makes this a ‘blue’ city with ever changing, fractured images. There are some giclee prints from this Manhattan series in the exhibition. I have worked with Oxon-based printers, Senecio, since 2003 & the prints are produced to the highest standard.
My Oxford work has proved too many to be a refreshing view of this famous city. The colleges, bars & shops are juxtaposed in new combinations, always derived from observation but inconsistent with time & viewpoint. My recent paintings focus on the Natural History Museum. It has captivated me, my children & grandchildren & my present painting is a family portrait set among display cases, dinosaurs & the magnificent celebration of life, art & architecture. In all my paintings images are often inconsistent with a single time with sources being merged from different times of day.
My paintings are held in many private collections. Some of the Limited editions have sold out. I have exhibited at The University of Warwick, Oxford University’s Said Business School & in London at various Art Fairs including Battersea, Alexandra Palace, Chelsea, & the inaugural Oxford International Art Fair. I have exhibited with Oxford Art Society & Artweeks since 2003.


48 Helen Road
07752 033370
Facilities available: 
Open Studio

Opening Dates and Times

May 2024