The well-known and well-liked artist was painting on a Texas ranch over thirty years ago when someone referred to him as a “cowboy artist.” J.R. much prefers the designation made by one art critic who called the artist’s work “feel good art.” J.R. Smith paints public art murals and frequently exhibits his easel size landscapes, horse paintings, other animal paintings, architectural views, portraits, and abstract works in art exhibitions throughout Texas. The Texas-based artist receives national and international attention via exhibitions of his work and via his website. According to J.R. Smith, The Judd foundation hosts numerous art exhibits in their facilities throughout the town of Marfa, Texas, and “for the month of October the foundation has numerous festivities that draw folks from all over the world.”
“One of the main attractions in Marfa is the historic Paisano Hotel. During the filming of the classic film Giant, Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, and James Dean stayed in the Paisano Hotel. The hotel has an exhibition space named the Greasewood Gallery and I had a very successful abstract show at their Greasewood Gallery last October during the Chinati Foundation festivities. From the show, my painting Turquoise-spikes went to entertainer Matt Skinner of Fort Collins, Colorado.”
Italian sportsman and art collector Mario Nobili recently hunted elk at a ranch in the Alpine, Texas area. He and his wife also traveled to New Mexico and shopped for art. They stayed at the historic Holland Hotel where artist J. R. Smith has work on display and expressed an interest in visiting the artist’s studio. The artist contacted and the studio visit arranged, Mr. Nobili arrived and purchased two pronghorn sheep paintings on canvas and a larger image on a wood panel. The canvases removed from their stretchers, rolled and wrapped for the Nobilis to carry back to Italy on the plane. The large painting on wood put into a crate and shipped to Italy. The collector also commissioned a painting and plans to return to buy more from artist J.R. Smith.