What works for Skylar reflects her artist’s path, her way of spicing up her vegetarian meals, and her trick to keeping her cold drinks cold.
By Lucy M. Pritchett

Photos by Patti Hartog

Sometimes artist Skylar Smith works small and intimate and sometimes she works large and public. In her own private art world, the work often deals with biology and the growth patterns of plants and animals. “I have a scientific interest,” she says. “Studying micro- and macroscopic imagery. Exploring patterns and similarities.”

In the public world, she is assistant professor at Kentucky College of Art + Design (KyCAD) at Spalding University and was recently involved with the community mural project in the SoBro (South of Broadway) neighborhood. The mural, designed by KyCAD student Lionel Jones, offered an opportunity for volunteers to come together to paint the 90-foot by 16-foot mural on the brick building at 2nd and Kentucky Streets on Spalding’s campus.

“I am very interested in community art,” Skylar says. “I like the idea of using art to bring groups of people with different backgrounds together.” The project also involved the Louisville Metro Office of Sustainability and the SoBro Neighborhood Association.

Skylar and her two daughters work on one of Skylar’s large canvas abstracts in her basement studio. 

Skylar and her husband TM Faversham are raising their two daughters Forest, 5, and Eleanor, 2, in the Crescent Hill neighborhood, and often work on art projects as a family.

Forest mixes acrylic paints. 

What is inspiring her today is thinking of how women have been involved in politics throughout history and she is embarking on creating a series of paintings that explores that idea.

 This project is the beginning stage of her new concept featuring significant dates in women’s history. 

Skylar is currently listening to Revisionist History, a 10-week series of podcasts by Malcolm Gladwell. “He takes a second look at some person or event from the past that has been overlooked or misunderstood. The first installment profiled British artist Elizabeth Thompson. She was the first woman to have a painting shown at the Royal Academy of Arts exhibition.”

This is one of Skylar’s smaller block paintings which are part of a set she paints. 

What works for Skylar reflects her artist’s path, her way of spicing up her vegetarian meals, and her trick to keeping her cold drinks cold.

Daler Rowney acrylic inks
These are an acrylic artist ink manufactured in England. They come in a jar with an eyedropper. I can use a small palette for mixing the colors. The inks are water resistant so they don’t bleed. They are permanent and create a nice line. I can layer them and make the color opaque or add water for a more watercolor-like effect. The inks can be used on paper, wood, or canvas. I make a lot of small scale paintings using Fabriano watercolor paper blocks which come in different weights. I don’t work on the block but tear off single sheets as I sometimes have 10 pieces going at a time.

Nori Komi Furikake Rice Seasoning
I eat a mainly vegetarian diet with a little fish now and again and this is one of my go-to seasonings. It contains seaweed flakes, sesame seeds, salt, and sugar. I put it on eggs, stir fry, rice, and veggies. I love to sprinkle it on an open-faced avocado sandwich. It adds a little texture. I like the taste of it and it looks pretty on my food.

Yeti thermos cup
This thermos is amazing. I fill it with filtered water from the fridge, add ice, and it keeps the water cold all day. Or, sometimes I fill it with iced coffee. It is great for keeping my drink cold when I am at work or in the car and driving around town running errands. It is perfect.

Do you have a list of favorite items that work for you? Here are a few more you might want to try.