Displayed here are artworks fresh from the studio and going back many years. As a new work is completed, it's added (see new work via the filter: New Artworks). To search all of the artworks by content, select a filter by Genre or  by Year,  from the present back to before 2014 and further. 

Displayed here are the most recent exhibitions, projects and group shows with the paintings displayed in their exhibition grouping.

This section chronicles my connection with the Pestfree movement in New Zealand. The text and images trace my journey in the development of the Battleline series from it's instigation until today and the works that have been inspired by it.

As well as my daily painting practice I have set aside time over the last few years to spend in developing new ideas, creating new directions for future paintings or following an idea just because it intrigued. They are shown in order of the year they were created. 

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A chronology of past group and solo exhibitions dating back to 2014

For me, to be a creator is to be continually awakening.. to assess and reassess everything I thought I knew in a given moment.. it’s not a secure or comfortable place, it's a raw connection to dawning comprehension mixed with a feeling of wild discovery

My process, in written form, from the concept charcoal and acrylic drawings  and how I develop it further to realise the composition, the contents possible interpretations (which can stimulate further ideas) and how the painting might be tackled. The W.I.P section then displays the proceeds of this procedure.

Works In Progress are posted here as they develop, come back to see new stages as they are uploaded to the site. Included are final artworks as well as concept studies and colour sketches as the ideas are developed.

Here you will find everything you need to know about the workings of our prints, from where you can pick one up near you, how to get it delivered for free from our studio to your door, or any questions you might have - we have answers!

Welcome to our shop. You can sort the images into categories to make them easier to view by their content, title or orientation. Purchase open, premium and limited edition reproductions and send them anywhere in the world - from our studio right to your doorstep.

Here you will find everything you need to know about our prints - The options, prices, and sizes, you can also see how the image sizes compare with one another - All laid out in simple images - because people are visual beings - we know we are!

Not sure what to purchase for that someone in your life; paper, matboard, frame, canvas premium, limited edition.. too many choices!? Give them a gift card and let them do all the hard work and they will get exactly what they want! 

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Kia ora, from our place in the world, to wherever you call home, drop us a line - and let's chat! For all questions regarding stocking of Barry Ross Smith prints, individual print purchases, sales, freight and/or print issues, please contact: Leanne on 021 102 1054 email: sales@barryrosssmith.co.nz 

In the Art Collectors section you will have access to the original paintings as they develop.  Be able to watch them progress, comment and purchase the original paintings as well as the studies and drawings that lead up to the completed artwork. 

This is my Instagram feed. Here I post images, sketches, works in progress, painting ideas, studies as they progress from concept into finished artworks and prints. There are also a few videos from behind the scenes and I plan to add more in the future...

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Exhibition History

2021

  • TENT - Foenander Gallery (group exhibition)

2020

  • Island Nation - Foenander Gallery  (solo show)

  • Semicolon - Unlimited Potential Real Estate, Herne Bay  & Foenander Gallery (group exhibition)

2019

  • Pocket Edition - NorthArt Gallery  (group exhibition)

  • For the Birds - Foenander Gallery  (solo show)

  • Drawings and Works on Paper - NorthArt Gallery  (group exhibition)

  • Small Works Salon - NKB Gallery  (group exhibition)

2018

  • Lands End - NKB Gallery  (solo show)

  • Pocket Edition - NorthArt Gallery  (group exhibition)

  • Animals - NorthArt Gallery  (group exhibition)

  • Rock, Paper, Scissors - NKB Gallery  (group exhibition)

  • Paper  - NorthArt Gallery  (group exhibition)

2017

  • Archipelago - NKB Gallery  (solo show)

  • Estranged - Depot Artspace.  (group exhibition)

  • MAGS Fine Art Show - Mount Albert Grammar School  (fundraising exhibition)

  • Pocket Edition - NorthArt Gallery  (group exhibition)

  • Drawings - NorthArt Gallery  (group exhibition)

  • Artist's Self Portraits - NorthArt Gallery  (group exhibition)

  • 40th RSM Plunket Art Show - Aigantighe Art Gallery Gallery  (charity exhibition)

2016

  • Water & Oil - NKB Gallery  (solo show)

  • A Day on the Farm - Waiheke Island Gallery (group exhibition)

  • Choc-a-bloc - Auckland Gallery  (group exhibition)

  • Member's Show - NorthArt Gallery  (group exhibition)

  • Landscape Without Birds - 100 Days Project​

2015

  • Life.Still - 100 Days Project

  • Mairangi Arts Centre - 1st Prize for Painting (Art Award)

  • Kiwiana Christmas - Waiheke Art Gallery (group exhibition)

  • Tangled Up In Blue - NKB Gallery (group exhibition)

  • Autumn Collection -  Parnell Gallery (group exhibition)

2014

  • 300 x 300 x 300 - 300 x 300 x 300 (group exhibition)

  • Art Of Courage - Longview Gallery  (charity exhibition)

  • The Figure in art - Uxbridge Creative Centre (group exhibition)

  • 10 Years -   The Artist's Room  (group exhibition)

  • Adam Portrait Award -   New Zealand Portrait Gallery  (finalist - people's choice)

  • Molly Morpeth Canaday Art Award -   Whakatāne Exhibition Centre  (finalist)

  • RDNZ -   Percy Thomson Gallery  (group exhibition)

selfportrait with inspiration artists as paint by numbers

About

the Artist as Model

Paintings where the likeness of the artwork was myself. This is often due to a lack of an available model, but with these particular works the 'self' in the portrait is an attempt to capture a little character study of myself with the content and context. To express my inner self as well as my outward appearance. 

Private Property

91 x 91 cm, oil on board, 2007, sold

Part of my exploration into my masculine identity is to illustrate the constructed barriers of my self-protection. This self-portrait both invites and repels; the door is open but it is I that decides who may pass.

Worn

91 x 91 cm, oil on board, 2007, sold

Another painting explorating my masculine identity.

Man of Steel

oil on steel with laser-cut corten, 2007, sold

This work was created by drawing an outline shape and having it laser-cut from steel and (the coat) corten steel.  The figure is prepared steel painted with oils and the corten coat was roughy sanded and splashed with water to begin the oxidization process, Containers are made from corten,  which was developed to eliminate the need for painting as the steel surface  oxidizes, halting the rusting process below. The tarnished look pictured was created at the conception of the work, it will have rusted much more by now.  A theme of my early work was the exterior dressings of masculinity of the New Zealand male (The title is ironic).

I have collected this small piece of text and am no longer sure as to where I came across it, or if perhaps I wrote it myself. I tend to write small phrases down on scraps of paper, sketches or my iPad, something interesting heard or read. I usually try to ascribe the author at the moment of composition - but in this case I didn’t and the genesis of this text is lost.. nevertheless the words are a good response as to why painting is inspirational for me:

 

“…the idea behind a particular painting is not visible in the painting, in the same way an idea is not visible to the eye. The eye can see what the picture represents, but what it represents are the things that result from the process of thinking. Ideas are mental”

 

If this was lifted from a book; thanks be to the author. I have always felt that painting is a conceptual process; beginning with an idea long before the brush and paint are applied to canvas. My work is surreal, whimsical and full of  fiction -  because my mind is. I attempt to convey empirical experience, not by a visual relationship to the real world, but by attempting to create perceptual signals within a painting that convey my idea of our relationship to ourselves to each other and to the world, and these begin in the subconscious and the mind.

 

My head needs to be kept busy, to be constantly distracted… if it isn’t - thoughts start churning upon themselves, creating and destroying my thinking process until I find it almost difficult to tell fact from fiction. I have, at times, had to utilise a personal truism to deal with this... “Only deal with what is real”. This simple phrase has helped me to focus on what’s important rather than get caught up by the imaginary or by a distraction. Another mechanism to scratch this itch is to paint. Painting draws inspiration from that restless part of my mind and allows me the freedom to create and destroy on a canvas - so that I don’t do it to the rest of my life!

 

Strong influences in my life have been Rosalie Smith, who was the first to really encourage me when I began dabbling with my paints at a young age, Charlie Rose, Ron Elliott and Mark Tamagni who each gave me more to think about than what I could see with my own eyes and Leanne, my wife, a constant muse and commenter upon my work as it manifests in my head as well as the studio. Without her support, conversation and questioning,  I could not have sustained my practice and my misguided thoughts would have won out long ago.

Pieces of me

18 x 18 cm x 100, mixed media on 100 individual boards, 2013

Part of my 100 Days Project.

Have a look at the full process of the project here and use the slider to construct and/or deconstruct each days progress.

The Masters Apprentice

70 x 70cm, oil and enamel on board

A self portrait paying homage to the artists that instructed me with their practice, and the masterpiece creations they produced. The concept is that of a paint by numbers with the numbers being substituted with the name of an artist that I admire. The title describes the process of learning from studying the works of contemporary artists as well as the great artists of history.

the Studio

Creating new ideas is intuitive, it means not knowing what you're looking for -  but knowing when you see it

New work usually begins with a few sessions in the studio surrounded by my books, an iPad and a charcoal, pencil or brush in hand. Often days go by sketching, researching concepts, procrastinating, daydreaming and drinking black coffee.

I collect these musings in black arts books which hold the inkling of concepts to be developed into new paintings.. they are drawn in a rough shorthand stick-figure manner - a doctors scroll decipherable only to myself, but each holds the nucleus of the new painting and ideas can often combine and manifest, over several pages, into a another concept on a new page.

I feel a pervasive emotion surrounding some locations and/or imagery. It's like a nostalgic resonance, like a lingering remembered connection (yet often of unknown places),  rich with fresh potential. This is my creative arena - by inhabiting these spaces and imagery when they present themselves and playing/thinking/feeling within them. Ideas materialize, almost pre-conceived, full and rich. My aim is to capture some of these chimera and examine them within a painted space..

Methodology

Once I have pages of rough preliminary ideas some get developed as larger charcoal and acrylic sketches and drawings to progress the seed a little further. These are useful in order to realize the composition, the contents possible interpretations (which can stimulate further ideas) and how the finished painting might be tackled.

 

This phase is usually accompanied by a few days of ‘mind painting’ where various strategies to accomplish the final work are run thru mentally. While out driving, walking or before fully waking - I imagine beginning the painting and the application of paint layers to try different scenarios to better serve the concept, or expand upon it, to incorporate other elements. Like cooking a meal, once you are familiar with your ingredients you can conceptualize the final outcome, and I have been painting long enough now that this stage can be crucial to starting in the right direction with a work. By exhausting other alternative paint application ideas in my mind first I can decide upon the right recipe to proceed with.

 

A painting in the studio can take weeks to many months to complete - starting from building up the initial expressive transparent layers to the more opaque and thoughtful final strokes. As you’re painting, you’re holding the spirit of  the idea in your head, attempting to render that cerebral concept in the slippery materiality of pigment.

It is the intensity of painting that with each stroke you make on the canvas you obscure the stroke below. The equilibrium  between concealing and/or revealing brushstrokes creates an anxiety between what is presented and what is hidden from view - a  painting is an intricate accumulation of these small decisions. From the complete expressive freedom of a blank canvas right up until the final stroke of an artwork, all choices you make coalesce to reveal something about yourself, your character and your mind.

The painting process is resolving the unresolved until no further aspects stand out as in need of attention. The mindful chaos becomes ordered and resolved but often, it is in the rendering of a mind’s idea that something of its purity is lost - you can never surpass nor even match the quality of the mind's eye.

Sea Monster - Mixed Media on paper

Below is my palette that I have been using for the last couple of years. It's a large porcelain tile that I scrape clean each day or two after the each painting session. The colour is useful as a ground for my oil paints and the surface is very smooth and hard for ease of mixing and cleaning. This is positioned upon a rolling table that holds brushes, mineral turpentine etc. I prefer to stand while painting so this table is easy to roll into position to keep it close. Music is very important to me to achieve the ‘zone’ where painting comes slightly easier, hours can pass like minutes and I’m completely lost in the process.