Simpkins, John

"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.