Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Essence of Peony

©A.K.SIMON ART - Essence of Peony - 

I read this quote today and I thought it so aligned with me. "The world is not changed by our opinions but is changed by our love." What speaks more of love than flowers. And is it really the physical appearance of flowers that moves us or the smell, the energy, the garden they come from or the essence. So here you have it. A loose interpretation of the peony. I have worked diligently to make a representation of the peony and have come really close in realism in past attempts. However, maybe I was missing the point. Maybe it wasn't the actual picture perfect rendition of it but rather just being in its presence and soaking in the energy and loving it for what it is without judgement. This rendition is the energetic essence of the peony and I truly love it just as much in its imperfection. Plus the red vase doesn't hurt!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Barbara's Thanksgiving Gift

©A.K.Simon Art - 6"x6" Oil on Gessobord - 

These flowers were a gift to my friend Donna from her boyfriend's daughter Barbara. It was a surprise to Donna and she shared them with the upstairs painters because they lasted long after the holiday was over. Can't for the life of me remember what these flowers are called.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

She's Mesmerized

©A.K.SIMON • She's Mesmerized • 6"x6" oil on gessobord

Though I often paint animals they are usually commission pieces - mostly dogs. I love dogs but once we had a rabbit named "Buttercup." This rabbit is out of my imagination and the design behind it is an abstract of a piece of scarf pattern. Sometimes these things just spill out of your brain and you have to go with it. This one is all brush work and I even broke out the fussy little liner brush for the background. Why? Who knows?

I named it She's mesmerized because she kind of has that deer in the headlights look.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Also Ungilded

©A.K.SIMON • Also Ungilded • 6"x6" oil on gessobord

I'm a little obsessed with Lillies or maybe it's just white flowers in general. I painted one just like this a while back only with a little cooler color. Flowers are just so beautiful but never worry about how they look - wouldn't that be so refreshing if humans were like that? But I guess it's this burden of brain that keeps us from being like the flowers!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Geranium Jungle

©A.K.SIMON • Geranium Jungle • 6"x6" oil on gessobord 


I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers. (Claude Monet, 1840-1926)

I know, another flower, I just can't help myself. I love clay pots and geraniums.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Forgiving Tulips

©A.K.SIMON • Forgiving Tulips • 6"x6" oil on gessobord


There's still something so pure and heartfelt and emotional and genuine about a bouquet of flowers that, even with all the advances of technology and the millions of ways we have to communicate with each other, flowers are still relevant in my opinion. Vanessa Diffenbaugh

White tulips are said the be the forgiving flower of the lily family. Another bit of trivia I learned today.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Reclining Rose

©A.K.SIMON • Reclining Rose • 6" x 6" oil on linen 

The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies. Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential. It seems to be constantly in the process of change: Yet at each state, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is.                                                                Paulo Coelho

A few years ago I was taking a workshop and there were individuals in it that were clearly more adept at painting than others. I ate lunch with a young lady who appeared to be so accepting of where she was in her career even though it seemed to me that she was at the beginning. I expressed my feelings of intimidation at the excellence of others in the class and how I had almost not signed up knowing this in advance. What she said next has always stuck with me; "I just look at it this way. I can't be anymore than I am right now. At this stage in my life my experiences have brought me to this point and no farther. I have a destination but can't get there without skipping any steps or wishing my life away to get there any faster." 

I look at so much fabulous art and feel, wow, I should be farther along than I am at my age. But then, what's the point in thinking this way. A few years ago I made this my motto but slip away from it every once in a while. "Love yourself because you can't be somebody else!"

Anyway, the quote of the day reminded me of that conversation years ago. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

They Rode In On The Wind

©A.K.SIMON • They Rode In On The Wind • 6" x 6" oil on gessobord

Sometimes I do a painting that I really like and I've found it's the ones that harmonize like a beautiful song or poetry. I feel that way about this piece. It can be hard to create exciting movement on a static piece. Sometimes they fly off the spatula and sometimes they don't. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Cup & Crock

© A.K.SIMON • Cup & Crock • 6" x 6" oil on linen panel

I just kept thinking Crate and Barrel and came up with Cup & Crock. It could happen, a store that only sells cups and crocks. I did a couple of paintings with my spatula from this set up. I love pottery! Never knew I had this in common with Mark Twain.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Blue Plate Special

©A.K.SIMON • Blue Plate Special • 6" x 6" oil on linen $75

It's so beautifully arranged on the plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it. Julia Child
Read more at:

Just Sayin! 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Basil's Best Friend 

(Produce in a Box Series)
©A.K.Simon Art - Basil's Best Friend - 6" x 6" oil on gessobord

$85 includes shipping

Day 27 - 30 in 30 Challenge

The last of the aqua and white series. I just kept adding objects to the scene and painting it to get practice. Through this month I've been working on pattern and remembered after putting the glass in the scene that the glass is a pattern. Just observe the patterns of shapes in the glass and it becomes a glass bottle. Then if you think of that further the whole painting is just a pattern of shapes.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Separated at Birth (Produce in a Box Series)

©A.K.SIMON - 6"x 6" - oil on gessobord


Here I am again at 11 PM on Sunday night finishing a painting. This the second in the series of "produce in a box." If I wasn't so tired I'd go through my thought process for the series, maybe tomorrow. Don't know how far I'll take it but It's been non stressful. This was done with all brush this time. I also made a trip to Blick today and they had all their Rembrandt paint 40% off so I splurged on a tube of sap green. I always just mix my green with the blues, yellows and reds but this is a pretty green but very transparent. I'm sure you all know that by now, I'm just slow at adding new colors to my palette because they are so pricy! 

I've been no where near getting 23 paintings done at this point! 

Friday, January 20, 2017

It's All About The Shapes (Produce in a box series)

©A.K.Simon Art - 6"x6"oil on Ampersand Gessobord

Day 20 -  30 in 30 challenge

Just taking some time to play with composition and shapes. I've set up a series of tomato still life with the produce in a box. Why? Not sure why but I was playing with shape and spacial relationship then it occurred to me that all produce is shipped in boxes, so why not? And, because I also make jewelry and have some small jewelry boxes in my studio, this tomato (a jewel itself) ended up in a box sitting on a bed of cotton. The background is scrap book paper. Not sure how successful it is to others but I like this painting because it definitely pops from across the room.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Pom du Jour

©A.K.Simon - Pom du Jour - 8" x 6" on aluminum panel


I'm on a pomegranate kick this month. They are quite the challenge and I've posed this one in every possible scenario. I've found it does help to keep with a series because it does keep me a little more focused and floundering less for a subject. 

So, I ran out of small panels and decided I would try the aluminum ones I've been hearing about. This is one. They are awesomely sturdy and just a little bit more expensive! You have the option of either applying a gesso or painting right on the metal (I gessoed mine a mid gray). This is the stuff they make signs out of so it's "gonna" last a loooooong time! If you like smooth surface this is for you. I happen to really like smooth surface but this doesn't move the way linen does so it will be an adjustment if I continue using them. I do like the way the paint just sits right up on the surface though. I got these from Jerry's Artarama  and they are called AlumaComp - the Dibond brand is harder to find. You can also adhere linen, cotton or paper right to the surface of these. The idea is that you're getting a panel that will last 100 years without warping or rotting.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Pomegranate Potential Exposed

©A.K.Simon Art - 7"x 5" -  Pomegranate Potential Exposed


11 PM and I'm posting this for tomorrow. I rigged some foam core and set this little still life up with some directional light from the sun. The greenery has nothing to do with pomegranate. It's just here because I love red and green paintings. I'm not even sure what kind of greenery it is. It's one of those stems that is filler in a grocery store bouquet. I've learned that you can put it in water for almost a month after the flowers are dead and it keeps its suppleness. 

I've been reading so much about the benefits of pomegranates and beets. Wow, it seems there isn't anything that these luscious red fruits and veggies can't heal! A little info link:

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Radishes in the Raw

©A.K.Simon Art - 7"x5" Radishes in the Raw


I apologize for this picture, I'm going to have to tweak this color and clarity. The radishes are more maroon than red. 

This is a set up in my studio using my kitchen towel and some radishes I just purchased. Another study in pattern but this time I tediously painted each section because the busy pattern messed with my brain as far as figuring out the form. The minute I washed all the mud off the tops of these they wilted and the stems broke. Now I have to figure out what to do with all these radishes because we tend to eat them more in the summer. 

Ah ha, found this online just now. I never thought of cooking them because I've only every eaten them raw. Seems you can saute them in butter. May give it a try now that I have a whole bunch.


Friday, January 6, 2017

Real Lemon

©A.K.Simon Art - 7"x5" oil on masonite


Day 6 Painting a Day 

I know I could just whip off a lemon painting very quickly but If I'm going to make this project a true challenge I need to work on some things that really push me. A friend set us this still life a long time ago in our upstairs painting class. There is much more to the still life, teapot, etc. but I narrowed it down to this section. I've used the photo before but I didn't really push the pattern as much as I could have. So, thanks Mary, because I think I got it this time. It's never going to be exact but that's not the point. The point is the shapes following the form to make something believable. 

I tackled this, because I don't know a better way, by painting all the values of the white cloth then added the pattern like calligraphy and just changed values as the planes changed. It really did move along quickly because the form was already there. My work for tomorrow and next day will also include an edible with a patterned cloth. However, I think this may wear me out mentally. It can be pretty intense observation sessions. 

This one's all about the drama and I like that in paintings!

And just cause I like trivia, here's some about lemons:

Just as an FYI, here's the blog where I read about the dibond panels and mentioned it in my post the other day.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Slim "Pickins"

©A.K.Simon Art - 7"x5" oil on masonite - $75 plus shipping 


Day 2 30 in 30 online challenge:

Second day, second piece in the 30 in 30 challenge. Got home from work late in the afternoon and started this then got distracted by dinner, TV and a phone call. So, here I am at 11PM finishing the photography and posting. Same size and same ground I used yesterday in painting this piece.

Hope tomorrow is smoother!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Pear Shaped Body Type

©Pear Shaped Body Type, 7"x 5" oil on masonite


Well here we go again! I'm starting the Leslie Saeta 30 in 30 for the months of January. Can't say that I've ever completed the challenge but I can say that it has motivated me at the beginning of the year to try to live up to my own expectations. When I have participated in the past it has invigorated my art spirit. Participating in this challenge opens the door to communication through online relationships, exposure to techniques not yet used and the realization that discipline in daily practice is the only way to get to that point where your mind accepts what you do as worthy of being called art. What's funny about that for me is that several years ago mind thought my art was good and I do like some of the work I produce now but that is an ever changing target and I've come to accept that as the only way to grow. 

I think my theme for this challenge will be "edible" art. No, it's not meant for human consumption but the subject matter should look luscious enough to eat. That said, this first piece is a set up from Tuesday's upstairs painters (you didn't really expect me to paint on New Year's Eve did you?). I always have some kind of plan after I study the subject. I acquired a bunch of 5"x7" masonite panels and wanted to use them all up in this challenge (not sure I have 30). I know they have to be done quickly so I chose to use a spatula that is mostly used by ceramicists. I love these tools and I purchase them at Dick Blick - they get the paint on quick but it takes a little time to gain control. I also used my brand new tubes (I had run out) of gamblin radiants. Santa was generous this year!

Let the games begin!

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