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Many of his recordings have been Billboard hits and his 2017 album Witchy Feelin’ reached #1 on the Billboard blues charts.
Kim Simmonds on painting
I started painting over twenty years ago as a way to extend my artistic boundaries.
Abstract guitars were the first things I painted. There is an old adage….paint what you know. I still paint guitars, in the same style, always trying to improve the colors, the application of paint and finding new ways to surprise myself.
Landscapes I enjoy and the challenge is to say something that hasn’t already been said a million times (as in music). I like working indoors but also outside looking at nature which I call “live painting”. As in a live show performance.
Abstract expressionism, to me, is like playing a guitar solo; which is also an abstract concept. So I know a bit about that after all these years. With the abstracts, I start from nowhere and let my imagination take over. I try to be honest and child like. And that’s good advice in life, period.
Still life’s sometimes end up being my favorites that I paint and I’m feeling that I have to do more. But how much time is there in a day? Not a lot.
Portraits I do of musicians. These are in monochrome blue. I enjoy monochrome painting and it seems to fit my musician series. One of them is the cover of my solo acoustic album Out Of The Blue.
There’s only so much time and energy one has.
When I reach saturation point with playing guitar I turn to the easel.
I’ve been painting for over 20 years, in between gigs and studio recording.
I started in painting by doing abstract guitars (paint what you know) and it seems that’s what people like, so I still do it decades later and I still enjoy doing it.
Technically I try to keep the guitar works free and easy. Often, especially in acrylics, I don’t use a palette and brush but simply squeeze from a tube of paint on to a palette knife and then onto the canvas. It’s not hard or complicated, essentially. Some paintings are completed in no time at all…in a morning or in an afternoon.
Sometimes they take time and sometimes I finish one in an hour (if they are small).
Others literally take weeks, months or even years. They are the ones that don’t quite look right to me….I hold on to them anyway and at some point I try to complete them to my satisfaction.
Many paintings need to be tweaked after the initial burst of spontaneity. That adds time to the process.
I use acrylics but also oils too. I also like painting in watercolors. Watercolor particularly suits my mentality. You have to be quick with the medium…grab the moment, be confident and “go for it”.
Watercolors also have become a practical way for me to sell my paintings. I can paint the small watercolors and put them into peoples hands for a small price. It can be bought as a piece of art, as a decoration or simply as a memento.
I paint abstract guitars, traditional landscapes, still life flowers, pure abstract expressionism and portraits of musicians. I’m also starting a new “muse”…..cityscapes.
Painting for me is very much like playing a guitar solo. It’s just improvisation of a different sort. I imagine it all comes from the same side of the brain.
As with my guitar playing I try to not paint by the rules. That is, force myself into a box via the normal color rules. I try to be as naive as possibly and just grab colors that appeal to my emotions or opposite to what my intellect is telling me.
There have been many times when I slogged through the art…punishing myself…making it hard for myself. There’s always that side to creativity but these days I try to have fun doing what I’m doing.
Anyway, there you have it….hopefully you enjoy what you see.
Central New York 2020