“Painting is ninety percent work,” says Tucker Smith. “The rest is talent, but
talent isn’t something you’re simply born with. Talent requires a great deal of
perseverance.” Smith is well known for his painstaking approach to art. He does
research, paints on location, and labors at his easel until he feels the work
is exactly right. “I suppose I’m a perfectionist,” he says, and then adds with
his customary modesty, “but it turns out all right in the end, I guess.”
Smith was born in St. Paul, Minnesota. As he grew up there, he developed an
interest in drawing, but he didn’t think it was possible to make a living as an
artist. It wasn’t until he attended the University of Wyoming that he seriously
started to consider a fine art career. Even so, he worked as a computer
programmer and systems analyst for ten years before making the courageous
decision to become a full-time artist.
Today Tucker Smith’s art is part of the permanent collections of such respected
galleries as the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma and the American West
Art Museum in Wyoming. Smith is a member of the National Academy of Western Art
and is the recipient of many major art awards, including the prestigious Prix
Smith lives with his wife, Jean, on a small ranch in Montana’s Rocky Mountains.
There they have raised two sons and many quarter horses. The boys are grown now
and out on their own, and there are only a few riding horses left in the
stable, but the Smiths still live a picturesque life that is well suited to
Tucker’s reputation as one of the country’s finest artists of the West.