I met Chelsea Smith of Art by Chelsea several years ago at the St. Johns River Festival of the Arts in historic Downtown Sanford. I was immediately enchanted by her art and proceeded to add her to my collection then and there. Chelsea herself was born in Casselberry Florida though now she travels to Cons to see her magnificent work. Her talent stood out even at a young age, as she graduated from high school with the Dora Lee Russell Scholarship for Fine Arts before going on to graduate from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelors of Fine Arts. She has been gaining prestige and accolades within the National Fine Arts Festival Judging ever since.
Chelsea first became known for her pet portraiture. However, at the Festival I fell in love with her print making. Her copper plate etching means she uses the same types of tools and techniques as Rembrandt during the Renaissance. Printmaking is a time consuming process which requires first creating one of her highly detailed line drawings and then physically etching the image onto a copper plate. Once the copper plate has been finished, she uses a colorful palate to ink it and then presses the paper onto the plate which transfers the image to the paper.
At the time she was showcasing her work in Celtic folklore and mythology. Chelsea manages to explore the rich symbolism of the time, incorporating both a sense of the fantastic and realism within each animal image. Besides her English and Irish heritage, Chelsea’s inspiration comes directly from animals, nature, fantasy and mythology. The meticulous drawings now also include an exploration of the Sacred Feminine vanitas (symbolism of the transience of life and futility of earthly pleasures, emphasizing the inevitability of death) and creatures whose origins are solely founded in mythology, capturing the ephemeral beauty of animals such as unicorns.
As a modern artist, Chelsea Smith remains very active. You can find out more about Chelsea and keep up with where she’ll be with her beautiful art on Facebook.