Danielle Neeson
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Born and raised in Warwickshire, U.K., artist Kay Smith spends half the year in the U.K. and the other half here in Cayman. For the past 40 years she has been creating a portfolio of artwork, originally inspired by the comics that her brothers read as children.

This weekend she is opening the doors of her studio to the public for the first time, where they will be able to see the progression from sketch right through to finished piece. Smith has never done anything like this before. “This is a big step for me as I have, like most artists, been shy of self-promotion,” she says, “but after 40 years, now is the time.”

She caught the bug for art at a young age. “I started drawing as soon as I could hold a pencil,” she recalls. This lead her to study at North Warwickshire College of Art, after which she pursued a career in graphic design. However, through the years, Smith never gave up her love of drawing and painting.

“I had always painted, but after raising a family, I took it more seriously and started to exhibit,” she says. Working mainly with mixed media acrylic paint, her training as a graphic designer reflects in her work.

“My artwork is heavily influenced by the legend of the superhero,” she explains. “I use intense dynamics and color to set a stage, a powerful yet intimate moment in time, that the picture invites you to share.”

Fans of her work include collectors from the U.K., Europe, the U.S. and Australia.

This weekend Smith is showcasing a new set of paintings: “The Four Seasons.” This collection draws inspiration from Czech artist Alphonse Mucha, also known as the father of Art Nouveau. The beautiful women that often feature in his work also inspire Smith, which can be seen in the works of art that cover her studio walls.

Her favorite piece in the new collection is “Long Celia,” a brave woman with an incredible history which is explained alongside the painting. Cayman is also an inspiration for Smith, with her connection to the island spanning over 20 years. She says that “the light here is like no other place and is inspiring for an artist.”

Smith’s studio is situated one mile after The Lighthouse restaurant in Breakers and is open to the public from Friday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

For more about Kay Smith and her artwork, visit www.kaysmithart.com.

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