smoking in paintings or no smoking?

I am about to do two more paintings in the series of Stinky and Smokey but was worried that they won’t be sellable because Smokey is a smoker! Now I wouldn’t normally worry about political correctness and it is my intent for Smokey to be a smoker. I am not glorifying smoking by any means, I am kinda saying Smokey being a smoker is a bit smelly like stinky- so there, now I have insulted all the smokers. I was a smoker and my husband is a smoker and I really don’t have that much problem with anyone smoking that’s up to them. I just came up with the idea and would like to keep Smokey smoking in all of the paintings. It never occured to me that there would be a problem until a friend suggested I leave the cigarettes out because people won’t want to buy a painting with a smoker in it. Then my husband showed me an article in the Manly Daily -Undertow page 11 on Friday April 24. This article was about Manly Council digitally removing a cigarette from a man’s mouth in a painting that appeared on their website because of their anti smoking policy. This makes me want Smokey to smoke even more. I am wondering what all the other artists out there think. To smoke or to not smoke this is the question


  • Anita Inverarity
    Anita Inverarityover 5 years ago

    Wow never thought about this- interesting. I’m a stinky smoker lol and we are real people too (with filthy habits) and I think art should reflect all that is real and true to life.
    Smokey is clearly a character that needs her cigs- it wouldnt put me off buying and if people are going to self censor more for that reason, mark my words in the future paintings with cigarettes may be quite collectable :))))))) xx

  • thanks for your feedback Smokey really does need her cigs

    – Laurie Lou McKern

  • Angela  van Boxtel
    Angela van Bo...over 5 years ago

    I think smoking was once stylish as that is how it was represented to us in the media and art very ooozzz ..smoozzz…
    I don’t think smoking has that same feel anymore …just thinking of the persons hiding in the cold outside large buildings in the city…or trapped in square in a pub…
    But it’s part of your character…and that’s art!! and I have the ooozzz smooozz memories..but probaly the new generation has not :

  • thanks for your comments. It isn’t thought of as sexy like in my Moms day and age but it is part of my character and I am reluctant for her to give it up- your comments are really helping me to stick to my smoking guns

    – Laurie Lou McKern

  • Matt Mawson
    Matt Mawsonover 5 years ago

    My wife suggested I add a cigar to this drawing of our jack russell, Bob. I thought it was a great idea. I hope it doesn’t influence other jack russell terriers to take up the habit, though.

  • I laughed my head off at your comment and love the image

    – Laurie Lou McKern

  • Genevieve Robey
    Genevieve Robeyover 5 years ago

    let the smoke flow! they need to realise that they are paintings and you’re not producing posters for a what’s cool at school campaign or anything : )

  • Matt Mawson
    Matt Mawsonover 5 years ago

    I found the SMH story on the Manly Council censorship. It’s pure vandalism. Sounds like the work of some silly little bureaucrat. But note the final sentence in the article … “But within hours of being contacted by the Herald yesterday, the missing cigarette had reappeared in the image on the council’s website.” Yay for common sense!

  • Hey thanks for the link. I just clicked on ‘censorship’ now and read through it. Very interesting. I didn’t realise how big all this anti smoking thing is. I wonder if making smoking banned everywhere doesn’t make it just a little more attractive for the young rebel. Extra naughty. In Canada where I went to high school we actually had a smoking area outside in the cold behind the lunch room. In art college we could smoke right there in the classroom! I actually quit smoking when I was 16 (started when I was 10 but didn’t inhale till I was 12 lol) and started again when I began college cause I wanted to try it in the classroom. Smoked again till I was 21 before quitting for good. How times have changed. I somehow doubt you could still smoke in the classroom.

    – Laurie Lou McKern

  • Matt Mawson
    Matt Mawsonover 5 years ago

    I’m sure the first part of the story will spread like crazy across the internet as an example of political correctness gone mad. The boring, sensible outcome of the story will be largely ignored.

  • You’re probably right.

    – Laurie Lou McKern

  • Sharon Hammond
    Sharon Hammondover 5 years ago

    Let ’em smoke I say

  • darkestartist
    darkestartistover 5 years ago

    i used to smoke, for a long time, and a lot. I would make him smoke, because that’s who he is. If someone is the type to digitally remove a smoke from a painting, do you really want to have your work shown there or by that group? If they censor smoking, what other things would they censor? I’d paint what I pleased :) and as unpopular as smoking is, there are entire magazines and organizations devoted to it. You could probably sell the paintings to pubs where smoking is allowed, or places that sell smoking supplies and the like. just an idea. good luck with whatever you decide.

  • thanks for your wise comments

    – Laurie Lou McKern

  • Midori Furze
    Midori Furzeover 5 years ago

    I saw it on the Sydney Morning Herald first.

    According to SMH, “Manly Council is renowned for its anti-smoking stance. The first local government in Australia to forbid smorking at its beaches. It has also banned smorking at al fresco dining areas, sporting frounds and within 10 metres of the ectrances to council building.”

  • Laurie Lou McKern
    Laurie Lou McKernover 5 years ago

    thanks for the attachment Midori