Maker Monday: Palmer Linwood Smith

Painter and former gallerist Palmer Linwood Smith – better known in the art world simply as “Linwood,” is a mixed media artist whose canvases use unexpected combinations of color, texture, and letters to create impactful figurative works of art. While Linwood primarily employs acrylic, oil, and pastels to compose his work, he often includes elements of found objects into his pieces, such as a salvaged frame for his acrylic piece “Drift,” seemingly named for the nature of the wood. Layering colors, words, and materials allows for a raw, emotionally evocative experience for both the artist and the viewer. The harsh and soft contrasts in color only exaggerate the natural, stirring feeling the abstract art embodies. Meet Linwood in this week’s #MakerMonday below, and take a look at his stunning gallery on

Linwood’s salvaged unfinished frame adds dimension to “Drift,” in acrylic.

Andrew Joseph: What is one thing no one knows about you?
Linwood: You want me to out myself on my best-kept secret? Here goes: I am painfully shy. And I hide it really well. I can chit-chat and repartee with the best, and I know how to turn on the Southern charm, but it’s a ruse to hide my quiet shy self.

Andrew: Vintage or new?
Linwood: Vintage, always. I love to rescue old things. Now my work is quite modern, but I often introduce found and fleeting ephemera in my canvases, painted over and glazed to create interest and layers of meaning. I love scouring Paris flea markets – “brocante” sounds much more elegant – as well as famous museums. What’s old is new – and it’s art.

Andrew: What are three things you can’t live without?
Linwood: Netflix, a nice white wine (no buttery chards, thank you), and Green & Black Ginger Dark Chocolate. I’ll add that these go beautifully together. Trust me.

“A Tender Look Becomes Habit” includes collaged typography.

Andrew: How would you define your work in three words?
Linwood: Bateau, bateau, bateau. Okay, it’s one word thrice-repeated for emphasis. Bateau is the French word for boat, of course, and you’ll find one (or five) in most all my paintings. Visually, I love the vessel’s graphic shape and, as a symbol, the bateau gets to the essence of my work – it’s about the journey and transcendence.

Andrew: What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
Linwood: Let me set the stage. On the morning of a significant birthday, I was directed to look in the driveway for my gift. My heart leaped in expectation of beholding a Porsche Panamera – I dream big. What I saw was a beautifully restored 1966 Vespa! It really has been the best gift – just my speed – and a surprise!

Photography via Kenton Robertson.

About The Maker | Atlanta-born Linwood is an artist and former gallery owner primarily known for his figurative and landscape portraits. Ever-evolving, in his most recent work, Linwood turns his artist eye on the abstract modern movement, often with strong flashes of color. Linwood tames seemingly discordant hues to achieve harmony.

Linwood is a master of mixed media, unifying disparate materials, including acrylic, oil, pastel, pencil, and even found objects collaged on the canvas. Images, themes and relationships develop in fragments – layer upon layer – in Linwood’s richly textured canvases.

While the artist (and the art) challenges each viewer to find meaning, a sense of beauty born of chaos echoes throughout. Bateau-as-vessel imagery, suggestive of life’s journey and a rich symbol of transcendence, also appears in all Linwood pieces. Joy is also an omnipresent and irrepressible theme.

Every Linwood piece is an original, signed by the artist and available through select U.S. galleries. Linwood’s work can also be found in discerning private collections from Atlanta to Istanbul.

Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of his work here

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