Maria - Belen Smith - Featured Artist 'Founding ArterNet Art Member'

'True and Free' by a delightful emerging artist.

Maria - Belen Smith

‘Founding ArterNet Art Member’ - 'FAM'
'Art inspires my own reality, releases mysteries of my own imagination that liberates my soul and spirit that encourages freedom to create'

An ArterNet Art Feature Interview with Maria - Belen Smith:

Many of us will relate to Maria's words "I am living my dream now, with help from the people that love me the most, my family" 
Chilean born Maria Smith now settled in Australia, is a delightful, emerging artist who uses her art to transport her to a different realm that helps her create individual artwork.

ArterNet Art:  What or who were your early influences?

Maria: I love the early generals Picasso, Van Gogh and Gauguin.
They are my inspiration and my art is more like Van Gogh and Gauguin influenced.

ArterNet Art:  What was your route to becoming an artist? 

Maria: As a young woman I wanted to be a cartoonist, but my father never encouraged my passion and dream. So I became a hairstylist and was creative with hair instead, having been in this job for 37 years.
5 years ago I started to paint as a hobby for down time and just for the joy of it. 
Then in 2018 I enrolled in a mentoring programs online (Matt Tommy Creative to Thrive as a Christian artist) and with my husbands encouragement also and pushing me to sell my art; I held my first public exhibit 29th of February 2020 one month before Covid-19, it was very successful had 35+ attendance sold 3 pieces of Art and I got an invitation to become a member of a local gallery: Creative Hearts Gallery

ArterNet Art:  How has your life/upbringing influenced your work?

Maria: I migrated to Australia in 1978 from Chile. I would say that life it’s an influence on all that you do specially being an artist, your work responds to your different seasons and circumstances or situations. I find that this different factors or life can affect my art, it can be happy or it can be dark again this is the feelings that you connect with when you are creating.

ArterNet Art: What was it about the medium you've chosen that attracted you?

Maria: My preference Medium is acrylics (Matisse & Liquitex heavy body ). Acrylics are so easy to use, easy drying and you can have a piece of art work done in 8 to 10 hours start to finish, to me that’s impressive and productive. I have also dip my hand in watercolour and oils, but I am still learning to use this two mediums.

ArterNet Art:  Tell us about your process from conception to creation

Maria: For me I need to find that source in my feeling to put on canvas. I like to paint with my hands to work on background really feeling the connection. I always play instrumental music in my home studio. This helps me create then I use layers sometimes up to three layers depending on size here is one of my pieces start to finish piece.

Step 1

Step 2

Final.  Ashore 60 x 91cm

ArterNet Art:  Tell us a bit about your chosen techniques and how you use them

Maria: I don’t have a favourite technique, I use knife, sponge, hands, brushes I do not limit myself. I put nothing in a box from ideas to techniques. I try everything sometimes all in one painting. I love to mix mediums too. There's no limits on my creative book anything goes, sometime may have to rethink technique if outcome is undesirable, one thing it’s never wrong it can never be a mistake you simply start again; that’s my philosophy on technique.

ArterNet Art:  How was your imagination captured?

Maria:  I love the fact that our minds as creative artist see things differently to normal people. I feel, we feel and experience deeper connection and emotion when we are creating. When I use my creative side to create art it transports me to a different realm that helps me create individual artwork

ArterNet Art:  Where does your inspiration come from mainly?

Maria: My inspiration comes from the world around me nature, space, landmarks. Milestones in history anything really.

ArterNet Art:  Tell us about a piece of your work that holds particularly fond memories and why?

Maria: This little painting was my first one to be exhibited in the Creative Hearts Art Gallery, and within a few days it was sold to someone connected with it. How special, so I will always remember this piece. Its simplicity and delicate nature resonated with someone else’s heart. To me it felt I made it I am actually a new emerging artist that has waited patiently all her life to have this opportunity and here I am living my dream now with help from the people that love me the most my family.

ArterNet Art:  How has your work developed since you began and how do you see it evolving in the future?

Maria: I cannot begin to explain how far I have come from thinking I am not good enough to, yes, you are going places. The door opens here and there and I take advantage of these opportunities. My art is improving all the time. 
I have great artists around me at Creative Hearts art team that help, encourage and guide me in my journey as an artist. My mentor, she has been painting for 26 years she is amazing and there is always so much feedback on how to improve. I do pride myself in being teachable. I take all criticism constructively so that makes me grow as an artist in my opinion.

ArterNet Art:  What advice would you give to an aspiring new artist?

  • Surround yourself with great community of artists
  • Open to being guided in your journey
  • Always willing to accept criticism and not be upset by it
  • Stay teachable and humble as you want to continue to evolve and not allow ego to dictate your journey
  • Trust the process and be patient

ArterNet Art:  Is there anything in particular that inspires you to create art?

Maria: I feel completely free in that space of creativity. I just love it and I can't find words to articulate why I feel inspired creating but I do.

True & Free

I only had time to present one piece for this particular exhibit and it sold on the 24/12/2020 to a beautiful American lady. She said she wanted to buy it because this painting remind her of her Dad.

That’s why I paint - for connection.

ArterNet Art:  How has your arts business/career changed over the past 6 months?

Maria: My art business is just coming together. I am only new at all of this but now I am learning more about technology and how to use it to my advantage. It's been a long time coming, as I am still not that savvy with computers, apps, phones etc. 

But getting there slowly. Joining ArterNet Art - Online Art Gallery - is one of my first big move to expand, to sell my work online and have this opportunity to be part of a new online gallery is very exciting.
Sunrise - 
Deep Sea 

Spring was inspired by the fact that spring is full of new life . Spring is the season of new beginnings. Fresh buds bloom, animals awaken and the earth seems to come to life again.

ArterNet Art: Thank you Maria for such a heartfelt interview. We wish you all the best for your success and future with us. 
You can see more of Maria's work here:

ArterNet Art is in development Stage Two, which is only open for artists to register with us at present. 
Stage Three is where we'll be launching to the buying public. Subscribe to our News Bulletins to be kept in the loop.



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