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The 32 Foot Floating Art Studio © by KC Moore

January 11, 2012

I admit it, I’ve had studio envy.  That is until I found an artist that had less and did more than myself.  This artist was nationally known and the pieces he painted on this sailboat were in a sold out show.

RA Smith on the Deck of the Agape

RA Smith on the Deck of the Agape

Robert Alan Smith left Ventura College where he was an art instructor for 14 years and returned to animation.  He was in his 50’s at this time and living on his boat named Agape.  His day job was working for the studios like Disney, Hannah-Barbera, Marvel, etc., it was the 1980’s.

In his free time he continued with his love of fine art painting.  I’ve tried to imagine how an artist can paint in such small quarters – without stationary footing!  He lived and painted on his 32 ft Kettenberg, a sailboat in the Ventura West Marina.  I understand this boat was actually the second one sold in that series of boats.

RA Smith on the Agape

RA Smith on the Agape

Within this limited footprint, he lived, dined, slept and painted.  Often the easel sat on the table and he stood while applying thin layers or glazes of paint.  There were times when he could paint in the cockpit but even that was limited to a few feet of space.  I try to imagine what kind of light he painted by, considering he probably painted into the night.

When your passion is painting, an artist will use whatever they can to continue to produce.  The series he developed consisted of about 20 pieces of oil on cardboard.  The theme was entitled ‘Alpha and Omega’ and it became a very successful show proving that it is not the fancy studio, it is the inspiration in the heart of the artist that makes great art

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