Johan Smith was born in Zimbabwe in 1961. While studying agriculture at the University of Stellenbosch, he took Ceramics part time. After moving to Bethlehem, Johan set up his own studio, but the tedious production process and limited colour spectrum of ceramics frustrated the artist. This led to experiments in water-colours, etchings and pastels. It was, however, the vitality, boldness and versatility of oils that finally took the place of ceramics.
After completing his M Sc Agric, Johan realized that a choice between art and agriculture was imperative. In June 1995 Johan quit his job as agricultural researcher to practice art professionally. Today his work is enjoyed by art lovers both locally and internationally.
Johan, being self-taught, has developed a very unique style. Thin application of the paint gives a translucent air brush effect which contrasts well with thick palette knife work. His landscapes are always stripped of detail and pretension, resulting in an uncomplicated, graphic interpretation.
Johan is married to Stienie and has three children. He lives in the Eastern Free State from where he photograph and paint the wonderful landscape and skies.
“I do not paint to make statements; I paint because I have a God-given talent which brings joy and meaning to my life and hopefully to those with whom I share it”.