Featured resident instructor Dee Smart

The PebbleCreek Art Club is happy to feature Dee Smart during the month of April for her teaching expertise. It seems like yesterday to Dee that she and Joe moved to PebbleCreek from Hailey, Idaho. That yesterday was actually November of 1994 and over these past 20 some years, Dee has been honored with three awards from the Art club for her teaching and artwork.

Soon after moving here, Dee met Bill Cupit and worked with him and others to establish an Arts and Crafts Center. She is also a founding member of the PebbleCreek Art Club which now numbers over 160 members enjoying a wide variety of classes, workshops and art shows. Through the years, Dee has taught popular drawing and watercolor classes and currently gives highly regarded and well attended monthly critiques during Open Studio sessions. She has also been a member of the Arizona Gourd Society for 10 years and loves creating art from all-natural dried gourds; her pieces range from sculpting to making paper from the fibrous inner lining, wasting nothing.

Watercolor is Dee’s favorite medium; she maintains that an artist “can do more with watercolor than anything else—-and it’s faster, too!” But Dee also continues to explore other challenges. Last summer in Idaho, she took a weekly oil painting class with noted Northwest artist Fred Choate, who paints landscapes and murals. Also while in Idaho, Dee joined a plein air group, traveling to a new location each week, braving the elements and hoping to come back home with a masterpiece. According to Dee: “Masterpieces are hard to come by, but painting with a group of artists out-of-doors is great fun.”

When asked about major influences upon her work, Dee immediately brought up former Creeker Carol Little. She believes Carol had the freedom to express herself in unique ways and communicated that vision to all her students. Carol also spearheaded a club effort to offer regular critiques and our art community is grateful to Dee for continuing in her footsteps. Dee’s own ideas are also drawn from her long experience in art. She notes that her aptitude for critiquing goes back to college where she was taught to value the basics, saying, “It’s that simple.”

Dee maintains that teaching has always been an enlightening experience in which she continually learned from her students as they learned from her. She reflected that: “Watching others grow and improve as artists is pretty exciting.” For Dee, being a member of the PebbleCreek Art Club has been a great source of learning, teaching and making lasting friends. She says, “How lucky can one girl be!” The club feels equally fortunate to be able to draw upon her creativity, knowledge and skills. You are invited to view Dee’s work on display in the Creative Arts Center and in the Eagle’s Nest and Tuscany Falls clubhouses.