Tucker Smith was born to be an artist. He always knew it—he just didn’t know how he’d make a living at it. So it was that he took a more practical route.
Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1940, Smith and his family moved to Wyoming in 1952. There, in the wilds near his new home, his yearning for art took shape, as he developed a love affair with the land and the wildlife in the mountainous region. Nature became his muse, and it was just a matter of time before he would take up a paintbrush in earnest.
Smith graduated from high school in Pinedale, Wyoming, in 1958 and went on to earn a degree in mathematics from the University of Wyoming in 1963. He and his wife Jean then moved to Montana, where he worked as a computer programmer and systems analyst. It wasn’t his passion, but he says, “I actually enjoyed working with computers, because what I was doing was a creative type of work: designing programs and systems.” He spent eight years doing that work for the State of Montana, but by the time he’d turned 31, the siren song of art could no longer be stilled.
In 1971, Smith left computers behind to pursue his dream of becoming an artist. “I just had to quit [what I was doing] and start doing art,” he says. “That first year we only made $3,000, but I was driven to be an artist.”
1983 Lost Cabin Creek
12” by 16”
2018 The Boys of Summer
32” by 40”