“A painter’s painter and a skilled draughtsman, working in oil, watercolour and acrylic, Michael Smee’s paintings vividly capture people gathered together in cafes, bars and pubs, frequently exploring the inner margins of the city and semi-hidden streets that are threaded through the urban sprawl. He closely observes their interior decoration, social interactions of the clientele and the collision of cultures that figure modern city life.”
Michael Smee was born in Chelmsford in 1946. After studying at Colchester School of Art he was employed by Birmingham Repertory Theatre as a scenic artist/designer.
In 1967 he joined The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and in 1969 broadened his scenic career by joining Thames T.V. then London Weekend Television, followed by freelancing for T.V. and film production at Shepperton Studios.
Throughout this time Michael continued to exhibit regularly in London and East Anglia. He’s been a prize-winner locally and nationally, including awards for The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition and Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries.
In 1978 he joined Colchester School of Art as a full-time lecturer teaching Drawing & Painting. He retired from teaching on the BA Honours Fine Art Degree Course, leaving in 2006 to concentrate on his own work.