Simon in the Yellow House Studio.
An Artist's Summary
I was born into a middle class family in Sydney, Australia, in 1956. My two brothers and I experienced an ideal childhood by the water with nature.
When I was seven years old, my grandmother gave me a book on Leonardo da Vinci's drawings of horses and soldiers. Through those drawings I learned to see nature as art.
My mother unwittingly introduced me to the art of Brett Whiteley when I was thirteen. Perhaps Australia's greatest draftsman, Whiteley was a catalyst for me, setting a huge and challenging example of the struggle between life and art.
"In The Mirror at Age 27"
I attended the Victorian College of Art in Melbourne. During my third year there, artist David Hockney was a guest lecturer and suggested we apply for a reciprocal post-graduate painting scholarship at the Royal Academy of Art in London. I was accepted but never made it there. Fate had other plans. On my trip to London, I stopped in New Orleans, Louisiana - the town that became my destiny and home.
The final and most influential teacher in my vocation has
been New Orleans artist and printmaker, Ron Picou. As my mother once observed, Ron taught me about pictorial order and control through tonal value.
A binding love for the people, the character and the nature of the Gulf South has been a constant inspiration and the main focus of my paintings and drawings. Like many other artists, I feel this unique corner of our fragile world needs constant nurturing with the empathy of our being.
Simon in the Valmont st. Studio 1982.
"Painting is Life"
A short documentary film
by David Rae Morris
Photojournalist/Filmmaker on the Australian-born, New Orleans-based landscape painter Simon Gunning.