The landscapes of Mel Smothers, currently on display at the Art Foundry Gallery, are not your ordinary scenes of Northern California. In one respect, they’re straight and to the point—clearly representational, accurate and direct—until you look closer and see an artist playing. Take the polka dots, large ones, in the foreground of “Notation #10.” These playful elements run throughout Smothers’ work. And the odd thing is, they don’t seem out of place. It almost seems as though he painted over some abstract paintings. Perhaps he did, but the effect reads like a nice, planned-out, pattern-oriented design that tends to be pleasing and beautiful. And with the images being strong and attractive on their own, it makes for added enjoyment. Notations on the Landscape by Mel Smothers, along with New California Landscapes by Vicki Asp, is showing at the Art Foundry Gallery, 1021 R St. Through April 7.