Saturday, December 24, 2016

It's that time of year

Happy Holidays to all! I painted this small painting 8"x8" this year as my Christmas card. Due to shipping issues it did not get to me until today's mail. Kind of funny that a card based on timing is late getting here. Life is full of this little dichotomies (time being untimely). 

The concept for the card is that magic starts to happen after midnight on Christmas Eve. So, the clock is set at 11:55 on December 24th but the magic has already started. I painted this as a warm gray grisaille them created the start of the magic in the hands of the clock, the date and the ribbon. The hope is that life will be renewed in the knowledge that a savior is born to bring hope (all colors) to all mankind. 

Here's the inside of the card. It's a little abstract prose that explains the picture.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Seeking Sanctuary

© Seeking Sanctuary - 6"x6" oil on linen 

Every year we try to make a trip in the Hocking Hills of Ohio which is about an hour from where we live. I've noticed this beautiful little church off to the side of the road each year but never really thought about painting it until this year. The older I get the more I seek sanctuary from the everyday grind, especially in a presidential election year. And, as simple as it sounds, what better place to find peace than in an actual sanctuary. 

At first I wondered if this particular church was even in use anymore because it looked so overgrown. Almost like the earth had decided it should be reclaimed. But, then I saw that the steps were clear though the bushes and grass were not trimmed. Maybe the earth is not reclaiming it, just protecting it from something we may not know is coming. The fall colors have enveloped it like a quilt and make it the perfect place to seek the peace that passes all understanding.

This type of fall scene makes me feel grateful for living in the midwest even if I do know what's coming next!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Emerging from Despair

©Emerging from Despair - 9"x12" oil on wood pane


Just offering up this painting which I did a little while ago but due to certain circumstances in our family and the fact that Easter just passed, I would like to share as the symbol of hope of things beyond what we see.

Many churches display this type of lily as a symbol of purity, innocence and hope on the altar at Easter. The Lily has become sort of a symbol of the essence of the spirit of Easter. I read recently that these majestic flowers are often referred to as the "white-robed apostles of hope" because lilies were found growing in the Garden of Gethsemane after Christ's agony. Legend says that the white lilies sprung up where drops of Christ's sweat fell to the ground in his final hours of sorrow and deep distress. ( They have become the symbol of hope for Christians. 

One week ago I received a call from my sister that her middle son had passed away. Scott was only 35 but was in the midst of a battle with withdrawal from prescription medication. He was determined that this was not the life he wanted to live anymore. Scott was not a burden to any public health system. He worked as a kidney dialysis technician and functioned on a daily basis but carried the weight everyday of his addiction to pain killers, Benzodiazepines and sleep aids. His family helped as much as they could to bring him comfort but in trying to manage his withdrawal, Scott passed of an accidental overdose. If any of you have ever dealt with Benzodiazepine withdrawal you know that it must be done cautiously because there are severe side affects. Scott passed in the night and as a family we are determined to get the message out to others that you are not alone and we will only be able to take control of this epidemic if we work together. Here is a link to Scott's obituary which took all the strength his family had in their struggle to put the truth out there.

So back to the reason for the Lily painting. Scott was a devout Christian and shared his faith whenever he could. He lived a life of faith. He believed in the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen. So, being a "good and faithful servant" Scott entered into the kingdom of our Lord on March 23, 2016 sometime in the night. Nobody was in the room with Scott that night but we all know that, as the 23rd Psalm tells us, he did not fear the next stage of his journey. 

This lily is painted specifically in the stark contrast of the white symbol of hope emerging from the dark, fiery despair. A true symbol of purity emerging from a place we would think impossible to survive.  

Monday, February 29, 2016


copyright A.K.SIMON - Spillway 8"x 8" oil on gessobord - SOLD

I got to the studio class late and helped a fellow artist with some Facebook issues then finally got around to painting. I knew there would not be enough time to paint everything that was in the set up so I judiciously selected items and rendered them as quickly as possible.. Long story short, a friend I was painting with said I want to buy this painting to keep you from painting any more on it. I don't know if I'm flattered or sad that she knows that I tend to overpaint when I think too much. I did paint a little more on it trying to keep the freshness (hope she doesn't notice).

My approach in this piece was to adjust my thoughts from painting on a flat surface to thinking more of sculpting the pieces and coaxing them out of the surface. Seems weird I know but in doing this mind shift the pieces seemed to develop more quickly. And, it doesn't hurt that I love the blue bowl with the oranges. It also helped to develop the story line in my head that I wanted these items to look like the bowl tipped and I wanted the pieces to seem like they were still in motion. 

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