Jonathan William David Smith - Landscape Painter

About Me

I am a self-taught landscape painter born and bred in Yorkshire. I paint mainly in oils and get great joy from the feel and application of the paint. My paintings reflect my emotional responses to the landscapes around me and so I like to manipulate the spaces and motifs within the painting to best get across my feelings.

My Work

I have spent many years working as a dry stone waller and am a self-taught amateur geologist and naturalist. This has given me an intimate knowledge of the landscapes and the stone from which they are constructed. These stones, in turn, create the conditions for the flora and fauna that feature in my work but all the elements in the landscape are at the mercy of nature through wind, water and air. In these landscapes we place our structures, whether a dry stone wall, a cairn, a building or even a plantation of trees. And, as soon as we do, these same natural forces act to unpick all that we have done. Gradually, all of our structures will be turned into the same dust as the rocks. In my work I like to place human structures - often ruined - within the 'wild' landscape,  to reflect on the powerful forces that are at work on the planet and also to reflect on how fragile our own existence is. Whilst the human race thinks of itself as eternal, the decay of these structures acts as a metaphor for our own short time on this planet. To this end, skies play a large part in my work, often showing storms or impending bad weather, creating the atmosphere in which erosion occurs.

My work is found in collections throughout the U.K. and America.

My Inspiration

Much of my inspiration comes from landscapes close to home and especially an area above my hometown of Otley which encompasses Denton and Middleton moors and Timble Ings woods. This area runs into many moors, with clear streams, plantations of Scots Pine and Sitka Spruce, copses of beech and birch and beautiful views. I tend to use photographs and sketches made on the spot before working on the paintings in my studio.


I am happy to take commissions and will paint your favourite landscape in oils.