I created this painting over the course of 18 months or so, from 1995 thru 1997. It was my first large format piece of art and also my first experience using acrylics. In 1994, I was employed as a letter carrier for the US Postal Service in Santa Fe, New Mexico, working the historic Guadalupe district downtown. One day, I received mail for an unknown person at a recently vacated business, so I thought I would stick my head in and introduce myself. When I looked in the window, I saw a dark-haired man with a black beard and a red bandana; he was painting. Looking over his canvas, he noticed I had entered his courtyard and he jumped up to introduce himself.
“Hey man, I’m Gregory Truitt Smith, what’s your name?”
After I introduced myself, he said, “Come on over and look what I’m doing.”
At this stage of my life, under the tutelage of a great painter and mentor Lee Rommel, I was strictly painting watercolors. When I turned to look at the image that “G.T.” (as he would come to be known as) was working on, in an instant, my whole life changed. It was right then and there that I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
I remember feeling speechless, as I stood there thinking, WOW. “Man, that’s incredible,” I finally managed to say out loud.
It was such a great blessing for me that Gregory was completely open to having me paint with him at his new studio space. Of course, he told me no more little watercolors. “From now on,” he declared, “you’re going to go big.”
It wasn’t very long after our introduction that I found myself working on the painting in this blog post. What a crazy time it was, and even though it only lasted for a few years, I am so grateful for the opportunity to have been involved with such a positive and passionate person. I own many thanks to my friend for opening his life to me.
Thank you, “G-man.” I love you!
January 13, 2018