Photo by Caroline Macintosh

“I don’t think I could live inland far from the sea”.  When meeting Gabi Lee Smit, her personality will give you a sense of calm. Her seascape series paintings is a reflection of  just that. We take a look into a day in the life of this local artist:

‘I want my viewers to feel like they are actually in the ocean standing or floating in the calm’. Looking at her art you get completely lost in the moment. You feel nostalgic. You start missing the holiday romance you had 10 years ago. A girl you’d expect to be painted and not be the one holding the brush, Gabi Lee Smit has made a name for herself very quickly. She recently had a solo exhibition where she walked away with a sold-out night.

Gabi Lee Smit
Gabi Lee Smit

More recently you’ll find her in her either collaborating with other local artists or painting and creating in her studio. This body of work is her view on a ‘Realist Abstraction’ of a seascape. A main colour theme can be seen in her Seascapes, ranging from darker moody greens or blues to softer pastel colours.

Photo by Gabi Lee Smit

Born in Florida, Johannesburg in 1986, Gabi moved to Cape Town around 2007 to study photography and interior Design. She developed a love for oil paint and started her career in art. She uses smooth brush stokes to add to her sense of calm that she achieves.

For Gabi, the ocean is a place where she goes to feel at peace.

She creates her seascape paintings using photo references that she took.  These seascapes are painted as a romanticised idea or view of an ocean.

Photo by Gabi
Photo by Gabi


Keep an eye on Gabi’s upcoming shows through her Instagram @_gabi_lee_


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