At the age of thirty six I bought a complete beginners’ kit for oil painting, and a few books on the technique and its history.

Above all, I wanted no teacher looking over my shoulder, so no lessons. No instructions, no comments. I wanted to savour my apprenticeship as one savours any dish, with nobody to get in the way of my impetus, obstinate and free.

Informed people disadvise figurative painting to me, supposedly gone out of fashion… But this is precisely what I want to do, figurative painting. And nothing else.


Maria Personnaz Smith
Born in Uppsala in Sweden
On October 30th. 1954
Dual nationality Swiss and Swedish, I grew up in Geneva


  • Self-taught painter since 1990
  • Member of the Société Suisse des Beaux-Arts, Geneva
  • Member of the Société Mutuelle Artistique, Carouge
  • Fan of figurative painting
  • Mother of Elsa, born in 1991, my pride and joy.