An artist often finds inspiration all around them, and in the case of Michael Braceland Smith, so are his materials.
“I am an organic, abstract, constructionist,” Smith said in a Thursday interview. Smith’s work is currently being featured in the lower level of Patchogue-Medford Library for the month of August.
The 60-year-old longtime Patchogue resident has worked for 40 years as a trim carpenter — and since retiring he has been able to invest his energy in transforming the world around him.
“I’m in the woods a lot,” Smith said. “Most of the time I’m just in the woods communing with nature. That clears my head, and allows me to see how nature operates.”
While in the woods, he obtains vines, wood and other natural materials that are then used to create his art.
Smith also gets into his artistic headspace by listening to binaural beats, often streaming the music over YouTube while wearing headphones in the evening.
In the event a child visiting the library gets inspired by his artwork and wants to get started with creating similar projects, Smith recommends getting into the tactile arts.
“Try to make something every day,” Smith said, giving examples like trying out origami and anything that can be assembled using their hands. Then as the child gets older, they could try out more advanced projects.
After the exhibition at the library on the 31st, Smith’s work will be on display at the Brick House Brewery, 61 W. Main St. in Patchogue Village, and he has recently finished a show at the Main Street Gallery in Huntington.
To follow Smith’s future projects, you can visit his website by clicking here as well as @michaelbraceland on Instagram. He can also be reached by email to MichaelBracelandArt@gmail.com or by calling 631-374-4969.