Enid Smith Becker
Enid Smith Becker lives and works in the Seattle area. Inspired by the complex dynamic between humans and the surrounding world, her paintings remind us of how our interactions with nature can transform ourselves and the land. Enid studied art at the University of Washington and has taught art in secondary school. Her paintings are in numerous collections around the US and abroad.
In her work for this show, Enid presents a fluid, multifaceted experience that mirrors our own interactions with place and time as we frame our experiences through the screen of a mobile device. The sharp edges of the planes within the painting represent the human influence on the land. The layering of multiple perspectives invites the viewer to see the world through shifting lenses of time, scale, and space. The work is painted in acrylic on canvas.
"Witness" acrylic on canvas, 30in x 48in, created in response to the Maple fire that burned on the Olympic peninsula in 2018
Witness was created in response to the Maple fire that burned on the Olympic peninsula in 2018. This is a painting of contrasts- the contrast of the organic of the old growth forest and the sharp cut edges of the windows of fire (representing the human impact), the contrast of the cool green of the woods and the hot orange of the fire. If ground truthing establishes the veracity of a map, I see my painting as a verification of reality -a kind of map that asserts the veracity of climate change. Like all my paintings, there is an intentional beauty in the depiction of the natural space in order to draw the viewer in. But the beauty of the old growth forest is broken by the windows of fire. A reminder of what has happened and what will happen if we don't work to protect our natural world. The painting presents a kind of ground truthing for the future- both a warning and an admonition.
As a native Washingtonian almost all of my paintings are inspired by the pacific northwest. It's a place I know well and love. I spend a lot of time outdoors. The places I explore and the photos I take are the starting point for my paintings. Within each painting the windows I create tell a story about the place be it a change of season, a new perspective or an event such as a wildfire.
more from Enid's perspective
Salish Tides, acrylic on canvas, 48in x 72in
The Salish Sea, Hood Canal, is a place Enid often goes. Her one room cabin is surrounded by old growth forest. The beach view is the one you see here. It was also from this perspective that Enid watched the Maple fire burn on the Olympic peninsula in 2018, inspiring the painting, Witness.
Spring Stream, acrylic on canvas, 24in x 48in
This work is inspired by an area that Enid hikes through, just east of Seattle. As is often the case in Enid’s paintings, the sharp edges of the frames within the image represent the human view and action upon the land.
Winter Woods, acrylic on canvas, 48in x 72in
Enid painted this work a year ago, inspired by a winter storm and how snow drains color from the land it covers. The trunks of the Douglas firs are brown and their branches are dark green, but the effect is one of a black and white landscape.
Brighter Haze, acrylic on canvas, 30in x 40in
This painting was inspired by the song “Brighter Haze,” written by Enid’s friend, the singer songwriter Kristin Chambers. Chambers wrote it while watching the color of the sky change during a forest fire.