John Simpkins "As a little kid, I used to illustrate the walls of my bedroom — against my
parents’ wishes, the artist explains. "I climbed up into the closet and
actually used crayons on the ceiling." Thus is how John Simpkins began to
express himself through art Follow-ing formal art studies at Napa College and
with the renowned Earl Thollander, Simpkins later explored the museums of the
U.S. and Europe for further inspiration.
He sought to eliminate any remnant of academia and "let the child come out,"
he explained. "I discovered that American primitive art appealed to me. It
gave me a warm feeling so I began to experiment with that." Simpkins’ strong,
bold and graphic style is deceptively simple. His paintings please and uplift
with a single glance but then unfold with layers of meaning. The artist
explains, "My work evolves slowly and intuitively from the heart." Almost
always, Simpkins includes a "bit of the vinegar of life" along with happy
symbols and motifs such as hearts, checkerboards, cats, gardens, etc.
Simpkins painting style is equally "layered." His use of paint and color is
subtly complex and often includes the use of gold leaf.
For years his art was unseen outside of a few, select, private collections, but
once viewed his paintings are not forgotten, so word eventually reached
galleries, museums and publishers. His creations have now been exhibited from
America to England and published in a variety of books and magazines.