Torrie’s full name is Mary Victoria Smiley. She has been ‘Torrie’ all her life and she now signs and certifies her artwork by that single name. Home for Torrie is Charlotte, North Carolina. She has two beautiful grown daughters and one granddaughter Audrey Grace. Torrie works full time at a local hospital and paints in her off time. Her children often tell her that her little ‘hobby’ has gotten totally out of control, but she is having the time of her life. Torrie’s partner Kevin is very supportive of her painting, offering generous praise and his critiques are always right which enables Torrie to produce even better work.
Torrie’s one true love is painting. When she is not painting, she is sewing, quilting or crocheting little things for her granddaughter. She also loves trying to grow flowers. Though she says she has left many dead plants in her wake, she has not given up. Torrie also likes to visit galleries and admire other artists work. She likes to see the brush strokes close up, something you can’t do when admiring work on the computer.
Torrie has always wanted to be an artist, but was not able to pursue that path. In 2002, at 43 years of age and her children grown, she decided to follow her dream. Torrie checked out every book in the library she could to learn how to use painting supplies and started painting what was in her head. As she was a single mother on a tight budget, she began selling her paintings on eBay in November 2005 in order to support her “addiction to painting”. Torrie has since sold over 500 paintings and the painting obsession continues.
Torrie’s paintings are usually simple in composition and her goal is to create something pleasing to the eye that may make you smile. She says she is not into the deep, thought-provoking, controversial subjects. Torrie says she is not ashamed to say that she creates wall art to compliment your home.
The material that Torrie started with and still uses most of the time is acrylic paint. She chose acrylic for it’s fast drying time and she felt that would not give her children the chance to mess with it. When she began using oil paint, she found that she tended to be covered in the project before she was finished, so she came to the conclusion that perhaps it was she who was messy. The oil paints she uses are water based to reduce the fumes from the chemicals in regular oil paint. Torrie also dabbles in watercolors and pastels. Pastels are used mainly for portraits of her family and friends. She likes all these mediums but in the end she uses the one that best suits the idea floating in her head.
Torrie says her style is what she ends up with when she is trying to do something else. She has a lot of happy accidents. Because she is not formally trained, she pretty much dives in head first not knowing whether or not it will work. She thinks you could call her work Impressionism, or Realism that is just a bit too colorful and sometimes slanted in the wrong direction.
Everything inspires Torrie. She is always pointing things out to Kevin and exclaiming at the wonderful colors, though he doesn’t seem to see them as richly colored as she does. She is also very much inspired by light and it’s effects on even the simplest objects. She says she still has not mastered getting the light she sees onto canvas, but that trying to get it right is so much fun.
Torrie is primarily a self-taught artist. Her formal art education consists of a couple of workshops she took to see if she was using the materials correctly. Although she would love to take formal classes, there is currently no time to do so. She does plan to do this in the future. Torrie watches videos by different artists to see how they have developed their craft. She says the artists who share their technique on YouTube are her heros and she has learned so much by watching them.
Group blogs that Torrie is a member of include: Artists International Gallery; Daily Painters International Gallery; and Daily Painters Market Place. She is also a member of EBSQ Art and Worldwide Women Artists Online.
Torrie’s work is currently shown at Sand Castle Winery and Gallery in Pennsylvania. She has also shown work at Flourish Boutique and Gallery in Indiana and Star Art Gallery in Star, North Carolina. In addition, Torrie has been a member of the Cleveland County Working Artists Guild and participated in shows at the Cleveland County Arts Council.
International shows with EBSQ Art, Artists Emerge and International Artist’s Magazine have featured Torrie’s artwork.
Though she doesn’t teach painting, and doesn’t think she will ever feel qualified to teach, Torrie does love sharing what she does given the opportunity. Mainly she has helped other artists with blogging, social networking and website setups.
Currently Torrie is getting ready to show her work at WSOC-TV studio in Charlotte, North Carolina, the local ABC affiliate station. She will be hanging large pieces, which is something she doesn’t normally do. The paintings for the show range from 8inches x 10inches to 30inches x 40inches. She says it has been a challenge working in the larger scale since she normally paints ‘alla prima’. (in one session without time for the paint to dry) Taking several days or weeks to finish a painting is quite unusual for Torrie.
Once that show is over, some of the paintings from the show will be available for purchase in Torrie’s online stores. Recently Torrie has started working on her landscape painting skills. So a variety of small landscape paintings will be posted online in the coming weeks. Pears will continue to be a theme in Torrie’s work as they are her favorite things to paint. As well, Torry has a list of wonderful customers who are patiently waiting for her to complete her exhibition, and then get back to work on their individual requests.
Torrie joined EBSQ Art in November 2005. She also began selling her paintings on eBay at that time. Currently she sells her paintings internationally at several websites including her Website Gallery and her ETSY store. Her work is also available for purchase on a number of other sites and blogs as well. Torrie’s work is collected throughout the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia.
TORRIE SMILEY’S WEBSITE
TORRIE SMILEY ON ETSY
PURCHASE PRINTS OF TORRIES PAINTINGS AT FINE ART AMERICA
TORRIE SMILEY ON EBSQ
Visit Torrie at her personal blog.
Visit Torrie on Facebook
LIKE Torrie on Facebook
Follow Torrie on Twitter
Artists International Gallery
Daily Painters International Art Gallery
Daily Painters Marketplace
CHALLENGE BLOGS WHICH TORRIE PARTICIPATES IN
DAILY PAINT WORKS
All Images Copyright Torrie Smiley, All Rights Reserved.
Edited by Ruth J Jamieson, Copyright Ruth J Jamieson, All Rights Reserved.