Eric W. Smith
March 21, 2010
It has been said of this particular work that “The inspiration for this painting as seen through the eyes of the artist, Eric Smith, comes from a rural Missouri landscape. It is reminiscent of earlier days when settlers came to Missouri in search of land to clear and farm.” This is so true. Because early times in our state, as well as the rest of this continent, inspires most of the work I do in the field of art.
When I painted this picture of the scenery along the road through the Westphalia area I wanted to add just a little to the picture with mountains that more accurately reflected the ruggedness of the Ozarks as a whole. I think I managed to get the job done. The gray tones seem to harmonize well with the gray shed or barn standing in the field, as does the other building nearby.
The gray house with the two chimneys is an actual house just outside of Westphalia on the right of highway 63 north toward Jefferson City. It was actually a tan rock house built with native rock found in the area. The historic buildings found on the riverfront in Jefferson City are from the Jeffersonian era as is, I suspect, this house. Both are built in this style with native rock. This Westphalia house once served as a post office in 1851. The owner allowed me to take a few snapshots of the place. It was at that time that he gave me some of this background information.
The location is changing in the area. The huge and beautiful sycamores that reached to the heavens are fewer in number now than at the time of my painting. They are being replaced by large metal sheds for one purpose or another. But a few are still to be seen along the creek or river that intersects the town at its south end. Still, at the present time, the scenery reflects the beauty that I found so compelling.