Smita Rao Landscape Artist Bucks County Landscape Artist

About Smita Rao

by William Hooper Photography, New Hope, PA.

Smita Rao is an award winning Bucks County artist, pioneering use of mixed digital media to create novel artwork to express her love of the local landscape.

Ms. Rao is a soft spoken, petite woman, with a large mind, and a big heart. She has developed her refined artistic sense and sensibility starting with her fine arts education in India. Ms. Rao re-tooled her work in the past 7 years to embrace digital capture, artistic creation and enhancement on the computer, and fine art digital printing. She now digitally mixes photographs, pencil and ink drawings, and watercolors to create her finished art.

Like many artists, she starts with a strong vision and feeling, and then translates it to how she wants to visually speak to the head and heart of the viewer of her work.

Ms. Rao states: “Being immersed in the natural beauty that surrounds us, this artistic process allows me to bring my own visual voice to how I react to my surroundings. I start with an image that I see in my mind’s eye, which is quite complete in its detail. I then decompose this visualized image into several elements, overlaying layers, and media techniques. Next, I use physical tools (cameras, pens, and brushes, computer mouse) to connect lines and thoughts that are in the abstract. For example, imagine constructing an image using plastic transparency overlays, one or several on which you have a photograph or part of a photograph, one on which you make a pencil and ink drawing, and one on which you make a watercolor.  None of these individual layers by themselves are the true complete expression of the image I first perceived in my mind. But, when all these layers are electronically fused and flattened together by me and held to the light, so to speak, I reach the initial image in my mind. The only difference is that now it is a beautiful tangible and physical experience that can be shared with others.”

Further, Ms. Rao states: “Since my process is about combining artistic techniques it requires mastery over several media. One has to be able to express through ink, pencil, photography, etc. and also have a clear understanding of these separate entities, and how they will all merge together. To blend these once separate visual ideas, I have to master another tool: the digital. Since the computer screen is illuminated, unlike the paper, one must apply a new perception of light and color, and be aware of these subtle changes. Finally, the finished product is printed on paper again, which is another artistic challenge in terms of color management and surface “feel” and look of the final work.

As example, Ms. Rao’s View from Plumstead above is in part ink and pencil drawings, based on views in her neighborhood. Some parts are created with several photographs, and these layers have been blended and enhanced digitally. She says, “Overall, it expresses the way I perceive and translate this particular landscape in my visual experience.”

Ms. Rao’s final works are printed by a master printer on state of the art professional inkjet printers using archival inks and paper. Each work is pencil signed and numbered, and then archivally matted and framed.

Business consulting for artists by William Hooper, New Hope, PA.
Photographer and Digital Imaging Artist