Wuanita Smith described Pyle’s way of encouraging his students: It was his constant inspiration that made me improve rapidly in his class. Such as “Keep a stiff upper Lip,””It is easy to paint,””Just like 1,2,3,4.” And strange to say I began to Find it so by “seeing things clearly in my mind” and just putting them down on canvas. Mr. Pyle encouraged the good comradeship in his class. He was a good leader. No other teacher ever inspired me so. Smith’s early illustrations closely followed the Pyle tradition.
Historical subjects, such as Martha Washington Knifting for the Soldiers at Valley Forge for Ladies’ Home Journal in 1902, reveal close attention to details of period costume and furniture. In her illustrations of children laying she adopted a flat, decorative style, placing outlined figures in a heavilypatterned, narrow space. She illustrated versions of Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Gulliver’s Travels.
After the First World War she studied printmaking with Allen Lewis at the Art Students League in New York. She also worked with Hugh H. Breckenridge and etcher Ralph Pearson. Subjects for her etchings, woodcuts, and linoleum prints were drawn from her trips to Brittany, Mexico, and Alaska. She exhibited widely and won prizes from the Philadelphia Print Club, the Wilmington Societ of the Fine Arts, and the Mississippi Art Association. She was one of the founders of the American Color Print Society. She died in Philadelphia at the age of ninety-three.