Scott Smale-Murillo: Garden

Artist Statement

Garden strives to reconcile the physicality of garden plants with the expressive nature of paint. In this oil painting I borrowed colors from Van Gogh’s Irises in order to create my own version of a bed of flowers. The paint has been applied, pushed, pulled, smeared, removed, and applied again to destroy any visual resemblance to the work’s namesake, and yet a notion of the natural world still pervades it. Through a combination of happenstance and deliberate action, passages appear on the surface of the work that seem to flow into each other or float, but by contrast there are also places in which the paint appears to have been cut up or gouged into the piece. The dance of movements required to create this work are as much a part of Garden as the paint itself. Additionally, an overarching factor in the making of the piece was an attempt to capture the creative spirit which I believe underlies all works of art, and in this case is captured through the lens of an appreciation of the natural world.

About the Project

  • Title of Work: Garden
  • Medium: Oil Painting on Panel, 20.5" x 10.75"
  • Student's Name: Scott Smale-Murillo
  • Major: Architectural Studies
  • Anticipated Graduation Date: 27-May
  • Hometown: Columbia, Missouri, United States
  • Student's Mentor: Anna Wehrwein
  • Mentor's Department: Art


Tonya Veltrop

Beautiful piece! I enjoyed seeing this and hearing your perspective. I noticed it in the gallery straightaway and thought of one of my favorite works, Irises, even before stepping closer to read your statement. Great colors and composition! 

Nicely done! Congratulations!