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Weekends: 11am-4pm

Paul McDonald Smith


Paul was 2001 Artist of the Year at the Victorian Artists Society and is a Life Member and Past President of VAS and the Twenty Melbourne Painters Society. Paul is widely known for his colourful oil paintings of flowers, still life, landscape and portraits in the tonal impressionist manner. A very experienced teacher, he has conducted painting classes and workshops since 1977. Paul is in high demand as a judge and a very popular demonstrator of traditional painting techniques. His work has received well over 100 major awards including VAS Norman Kaye Memorial Medallion in 1998 and 1999. His studies include fine art at RMIT and the Camberwell Travel Scholarship. He has worked as a professional artist all his life. You can see more of his work by visiting his website.


Paul McDonald Smith OAM VAS FVAS FRSA demonstrating for the class in the VAS studio.

Born in Melbourne 1956, Paul started painting in his early teens inspired by artist Sir William Dargie who was to become his friend and mentor. He has made a full-time career of painting in the tradition of tonal impressionism since 1978.
Past President of the VAS (19982003) Paul joined 'the Vics' in 1975aged 18when new members were only admitted twice a year. He has maintained his involvement with the VAS ever since including 12 years on Council.
Paul’s studies included Fine Art at RMIT, private study in tonal and academic painting (197379) and he received the 1986 Camberwell Travel Scholarship for European study.
As a young painter in the 1970s he shared a studio in Russell Street Melbourne with artist Donald Cameronwhere the Hyatt Hotel now standsconcentrating on still-life and portrait painting; often painting lunch-time portraits of city workers. The support and guidance from Dargie over many years was a rare privilege, providing many priceless memories.


'The Ingredients' by Paul McDonald Smith OAM VAS FVAS FRSA

Oil on Linen. Private Collection.

Exhibiting since 1974 he received his first award for watercolour from Charles Bush that year. Paul has conducted painting classes and workshops since 1977 and has taught painting at the VAS since 1990. He has judged countless art awards throughout 5 states of Australia and was Chairman of the AME Bale Scholarship Judging and Advisory Panel for 11 years.

During his 5-year VAS presidency Paul renewed the links between the VAS and the Royal Art Society of NSW leading to reciprocal interstate exhibitions in 2000 and 2003.

Invited to join the Twenty Melbourne Painters Society in 1997, Paul was elected TMPS President in 20032013 and Vice President in 2018.

He established private painting groups, the Balwyn Oil Painters (1978) and the Moonee Valley Painters (1981) which continue today with enthusiastic members.

Well known for his paintings of flowers and still life, Paul’s work includes landscape, portrait, and figure painting. His many awards include the VAS Artist of the Year in 2001, the VAS Norman Kaye Medallion in 1998 and 1999. He is well represented in Public, Regional and Municipal collections including the Mildura Regional Art Gallery, Wangaratta City Art Gallery, Central Goldfields Gallery, many others in Victoria, NSW, and private collections worldwide.


 'Lilac and Daisies' by Paul McDonald Smith OAM VAS FVAS FRSA

Oil on Linen. Private Collection.

In 2005 Paul received the Order of Australia Medal for services to the Visual Arts as a painter and lecturer.

Paul is a Fellow, Signatory and Honorary Life Member of the VAS. Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts London in 1999, Past President and Honorary Member of the Glen Eira Cheltenham Art Group, Life Member of the Box Hill Art Group and Honorary Member of the Hobsons Bay Art Society.

His bibliography includes Mavericks and Masters100 years of the TMPS, Who’s Who in Australia, State Library of VictoriaOral History Interview, Australian Artist Magazine, VAS Journal, many editorial, biographical and curatorial publications.


My paintings represent my interest in natural appearances and the time I shared before the motif. Fleeting or extended, I aim to capture the sensation of the momentin the moment.

Paul McDonald Smith OAM VAS FVAS FRSA

July 2021


'The Red Dish' by Paul McDonald Smith OAM VAS FVAS FRSA

Oil on Linen


'Pomegranates and Peppercorns' by Paul McDonald Smith OAM VAS FVAS FRSA

Oil on Linen


'Fresh Eggs and Butter' by Paul McDonald Smith OAM VAS FVAS FRSA

Oil on Linen. Private Collection.


'Ranunculus' by Paul McDonald Smith OAM VAS FVAS FRSA

Oil on Linen. Private Collection.


'The Visitors' Chair' by Paul McDonald Smith OAM VAS FVAS FRSA

Oil on Linen. Private Collection.

Exhibitions & Events by Paul McDonald Smith

'The Artist of the Year' talk with Paul McDonald Smith OAM FVAS FRSA
Sunday 4 Jun 2023, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Works by Paul McDonald Smith

107_From Janes Garden_Paul McDonald Smith
From Jane's Garden
Paul McDonald Smith
41cm (W) x 56cm (H)

Not for sale
Widow's Thrill
Paul McDonald Smith
77cm (W) x 66cm (H) x 6cm (D)
Oil on Linen
$ 3,500.00
Paul McDonald Smith
30cm (W) x 25cm (H) x 2cm (D)
Oil on Linen laid to board
$ 700.00
Paul McDonald Smith Red Dish
The Red Dish
Paul McDonald Smith
Oil on Linen
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Acknowledgment of traditional owners.

We would like to pay our respects to the traditional owners of the land on which our building stands, their leaders, past, present and emerging.