Monthly Archives: June 2016

A Perfect Storm

Yesterday I made an elaborate plan to meet the buyer of a second painting in a small park near her house in East Vancouver. I set the location because it’s near a store that sells coffee grinders. I suggested we make the transaction with many furtive glances and, that as she handed me the money, she was do to it in that way that dealers (not art) pass money that looks totally obvious. Like, who hands someone money while looking in the another direction? Only dealers (not art).

I headed off a bit early, to take a look at the coffee grinders first, but as I was walking towards the main street, I saw a woman walking towards me with black boots, blonde hair and heavy-framed glasses. She looked like someone I might know, but I am often fooled these days by certain types of people who look like the same types from 25 years ago. I’ll catch a glimpse of someone in their 20s and think I recognize them, until I realize that the person I thought it was would be in their 40s or 50s now.

I crossed the street and realized that it was the person I was going to meet. She said she’d been to the bank.
“Are we headed this way?” I said gesturing towards both the park and her house. We could have just done the deal then and there, on that street corner. I had the painting, she had the money. But we started walking.

In our email exchange, she’d mentioned my coming to her house for the transaction and I had thought about suggesting a cafe, but really, some of these meetings have taken more than 4 hours because we get talking and so, I’ve decided to meet in parks. To speed up transactions. The less I leave this room, the better. People coming here? No.

We got to the little park and I said, “Shall we go over to that bench and do our performance art piece as planned?”
She laughed. She’s an artist. “Why don’t you just come to the house?”
“It does seem like I’m destined to come to the house, doesn’t it?”
We continued up the street. I hadn’t anticipated that when I stepped inside I’d see my painting, the one she bought a couple of weeks ago, framed and hanging in a primo position in a room filled with art. It was a total thrill!

I was given a tour of the place – mostly of the art. Her pieces – sculptural, found object, textile, drawings and paintings – and art by many other people. It was everywhere!

We were upstairs in her studio, near a window facing the back yard, when I saw two people talking in the alley.
“You’ve got some action out there,” I said.
She looked out and said, “He lives in the basement. He used to be in Guns and Roses.”
What does a person say to that? Maybe I said – really?

When we came back downstairs, it was time for me to bring the painting out of my bag. She admired it and laid it flat on top of the piano.
“I’ll be watching out for more before you put the prices up,” she said.
“I’m not planning on putting the prices up,” I said. “It’s too predictable. I may do some larger ones on wood and see what else I can make happen, but I like painting at this size and making them available on FaceBook. As long as there’s interest in the $100 paintings, I’ll keep doing it this way.”
She said something about the situation being a perfect storm.
“A perfect storm? How so?” I asked.
The size, the price and the personalities you’re creating *  – was basically what she said.

So… maybe it’s good to go out and talk to people, to hear what they have to say. To see some art. To talk about art. Yes.

*$100 Paintings Currently Available

nh 27

“No Hat #27” (acrylic on paper, 11 x 14”) May 22, 2016. SOLD

nh 34“No Hat #34” (acrylic on paper, 11 x 14”) June 6, 2016.  SOLD


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Portrait Paintings video

Paintings from my ongoing $100 series strung together in a video with me talking (somewhat abstractly) about being the daughter of very emotional (volatile) painters. Featuring my thoughts on an early introduction to the concept of quality, the importance of art, and my indoctrination into believing that paintings are about human interactions (if not themselves essentially part of those same interactions).

I am best known as the singer in the underground rock duo Mecca Normal. I also write novels. The long hours spent building characters with words informs how I paint faces.

Paintings are posted on FaceBook first. They can sell very quickly.
Follow me on FaceBook

$100 Paintings Still Available

This monologue touches on my early indoctrination into “the emotional realms of painting”. The paintings featured are from my recent, ongoing series of $100 paintings “The Hat”, “No Hat”, “Angry Woman in Rock”, “Kabuki”, “Y-Front” and “The Singer”.

It all started with “The Hat” series in January, 2016. I posted the first one on my FaceBook page and it sold that same day. Hours later, someone was offering me money in advance for the next one! Since then, paintings in this series have been purchased by painting instructors from the University of British Columbia and the Art Institute of Chicago, a painter whose work was exhibited in the Whitney Biennial, 2014 in New York City, and by a critic for Artfourm Magazine.

Paintings from this series are posted by month
$100 paintings from February, 2016
$100 paintings from March, 2016

$100 paintings in April, 2016
$100 paintings in May, 2016
$100 paintings in June, 2016

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Collector comments

“Jean Smith is a f***ing genius. She is one half of the long running avant garde band Mecca Normal and she is a published novelist. She is unsentimental, but her work always leaves me with my own bruised longing exposed.” – Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Art Institute of Chicago whose paintings were included in the 2014 Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial. Molly bought “The Hat #24” in late February. She also told me to raise my prices!

The Hat #24 800

“The Hat #24” (acrylic on paper, 11 x 14”) by Jean Smith

$100 Paintings Still Available

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