Ralph Smith Obituary
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In Memory of

Ralph Smith

July 12, 1919 - July 28, 2010
Obituary

Ralph Smith was born on July 12, 1919 in Petaluma, California. He moved to Virginia in 1958 with his wife Ferne S. Smith, they were married for 68 years. He resided in Virginia until his passing on July 28, 2010. Ralph loved to travel and the outdoors, especially fishing. He learned to tie his own flies and also sold some of them to purchase a Johnston outboard motor for his boat. Family vacations were spent traveling to places like Rapid City, South Dakota; Kennebunkport, Maine and Winter Harbor, Maine where Ralph would paint and the kids would fish or play by the waters edge. Ralph studied art at Arts and Crafts, The Art Center in...
Ralph Smith was born on July 12, 1919 in Petaluma, California. He moved to Virginia in 1958 with his wife Ferne S. Smith, they were married for 68 years. He resided in Virginia until his passing on July 28, 2010.

Ralph loved to travel and the outdoors, especially fishing. He learned to tie his own flies and also sold some of them to purchase a Johnston outboard motor for his boat. Family vacations were spent traveling to places like Rapid City, South Dakota; Kennebunkport, Maine and Winter Harbor, Maine where Ralph would paint and the kids would fish or play by the waters edge.

Ralph studied art at Arts and Crafts, The Art Center in California and the American University in Washington DC. He also studied with Washington area artist, Chen Chi, Edward Betts, William F. Walter, Marcos Blahove, Antonios Karafyllakis, Edgar Whitney and Barse Miller.

Ralph worked for the Department of Navy. He retired to pursue his passion for painting. He opened his own studio, Gas Light Studio of Fine Art where he began to teach. Painting seemed effortless for him. He began conducting the Ralph Smith Workshops around 1975. He traveled and conducted workshops for over 30 years to places like Beaufort and Charleston, South Carolina; Outer Banks and Nags Head North Carolina; Winter Harbor, Desert Island, and Monhegan Maine; Black Hills and Rapid City, South Dakota; Canaan Valley, West Virginia; Ghost Ranch and Taos, New Mexico; and Canyon de Chelly, Arizona; and Newfoundland, Canada. He always enjoyed "creative outdoor painting", teaching small groups of students so the classes would feel personal and intimate.

Ralph was a member of the America Watercolor Society and the Virginia Watercolor Society. He won many awards, AWS Bronze Medal of Honor 2003, AWS Bronze Medal of Honor 2004 and DIDI DEGLIN award 2009, are only a few. Ralph also achieved membership to the AWS Dolphin Fellowship. He was always excited to win awards for his paintings but seemed more excited when one of his students won.

Ralph had paintings exhibited in galleries all over the country, states included: Virginia, South Dakota, Texas, New York, Massachusetts, Maine, Missouri, Colorado, Tennessee, Utah, New Jersey, Georgia, Kentucky, DC, Maryland and Oklahoma.

Artist's Statement: Motivation are the creations from the mind of the viewer, that anyone can paint as well, that anyone can relegate, and imagine anything from the brain. Everyone can paint what the mind senses and sees. It is another pathway the artists can cross the barren field and see what the mind has conceived.

It is a marvelous means to communicate mental visions to another human being.

Ralph is survived by a wife of 68 years, Ferne S. Smith in Virginia, a son Peter J. Smith and his wife Sherry in North Carolina, a daughter Beverly C. Steffen and her husband Art in Virginia, grandchildren Emily and Mackenzie Steffen in Virginia, and a brother, Roland A. Smith in Califonia.

AMERICAN WATERCOLOR SOCIETY (AWS) AWARD in Memory of Ralph Smith

As a tribute to Ralph, we are establishing and award through the American Watercolor Society Awards Show in New York City.

If you would like to contribute to this award, please make your check payable to the "American Watercolor Society" and in the memo section of your check, please write "Ralph Smith Award". All contributions are tax deductable.

Contributions can be sent to the following:

Beverly Steffen (Smith)
9940 Wood Grouse Court
Burke, VA 22015

If you have any questions, please contact Bev Perdue-Jennings at

bevperdueartist@aol.com

Bev Steffen on (703) 216-3763 or e-mail at

bcsteffen@hotmail.com

"Pete, Sherry, and Families: Mr. Smith lived a truly fascinating and inspiring life. In knowing Pete, we can see his Dad's legacy lives on in him and,..." Paul & Patricia Beha (Troutman, NC)

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