Landscapes to a Tee: The Art of Golf Course Landscapes
Joshua C. F. Smith is in the rarefied field of golf landscape artists. As part of National Golf Month in August, we caught up with him for a behind-the-scenes look at how he captures the natural beauty of a golf course landscape in his paintings.
GD: That sounds a lot like how gardens are designed. JS: I’m sure there are different ideas in gardening of what looks formal or informal or balanced. What I look for in my golf course paintings is a scene that is more organic with imperfections. I like to see plant material that is tied to the region it’s in. I’d build a garden the way I’d build a golf course—not too formal, with beauty in what appears to be random. For instance, I love when people use decomposed granite as a paving surface. It’s much more organic versus pavers or concrete. There are no perfectly edged pathways.
GD: How do you choose the best perspective for your paintings? JS: I look for different levels in the landscape, upright planes and tiers. I want things in the distance that fade away, and some things in the foreground that are clearer. I look for a setting that will look 3-D. I want certain areas for the brush strokes to be strong, and other areas that will be blended and faded. Your eye is drawn to focal points with bolder strokes.