Wright & Gail Smith

Waterlife Art

1043 Marshside Way

Belville, NC  28451

Wright Smith

Gail Smith


Living on the Brunswick River, she finds inspiration all around – in the ever-changing river, early morning sunshine sparkling on the water, swaying marsh grasses that change from green to gold with the seasons, shore birds flying overhead and wading in the marsh, beautiful skies that shift with every breeze. She enjoys painting a variety of subjects, including seascapes, landscapes, birds, animals, flowers, still life and architectural images. Some reflect her Virginia roots, most coastal Carolina. Her grandchildren are the inspiration for a series of children’s paintings. 

Largely self-taught, Gail enjoys creating one-of-a-kind pieces to share with others. She finds it incredibly satisfying when one of her pieces makes its way into the home of an appreciative customer!


Life’s most pleasant experiences stay with us as happy memories. Gail enjoys creating images that evoke memories of familiar places, experiences, even childhood. Her favorite reactions to her paintings include “that reminds me of…” and “that makes me smile” as viewers escape – even for a brief moment – to a happy memory.


A signature piece by award-winning artist Gail Smith will become a prized possession that helps keep those memories alive forever.

Much of the driftwood used in making these unique pieces of "furniture art" are cypress and cedar pieces which are hundreds of years old, dating back to the Cape Fear River's logging industry. Many logs that were being rafted on the river in the 1800's and early 1900's fell off the barges and sunk to the bottom. The silt and lack of oxygen helped preserve these historic logs until they were disturbed by modern-day dredging, which caused many pieces to float to the surface and travel with the currents until they became lodged at various locations along the shore.

Once retrieved and on dry land, each piece is power washed to remove the silt and mud. It then takes approximately 12-24 months for each piece to completely dry out and become seasoned. After that, work can begin to transform these beautiful works of Nature into an incredibly distinctive and gorgeous work of art.

Any decor - coastal, traditional, modern, or eclectic- can be enhanced by these beautiful pieces.

Owning a Wright Smith original allows you to not only have a one-of-a-kind signature piece of coastal North Carolina history in your home or business, but also to enjoy the unique beauty of his and Nature's creation.

Wright Smith, born and raised in Wilson, North Carolina, is an award-winning craftsman. His attention to every detail that goes into each lamp and table adds to their special quality. He currently resides in the Wilmington, NC area with his wife Gail.

Wright is captivated by the character of each individual piece of driftwood. No two pieces are identical, even those cut from the same tree.



A native of Martinsville, VA, Gail Smith is a retired fundraising executive who followed her husband, Wright Smith, to Wilmington, NC in 2006.  Previous creative pursuits included interior design, graphic design, playing piano, and arranging flowers, but it was her appreciation for fine art – especially oils on canvas – that led her to explore painting. Retirement provided her this opportunity.