By Sue Dolamore
Robert Simone is an award winning plein air painter. He recently won 3rd Prize Overall in Mountain Maryland Plein Air Festival, The Artists’ Choice Award in Plein Air Easton’s Tighlman Island Competition and 2nd Prize in Solomon’s Island Plein Air Festival’s Paint The Town competition (this was a timed 4 hour painting competition).
Robert supported himself through years of intense study with positions that kept him close to nature and near the sea. Now his distinctive blend of sensual colors, confident brush strokes and captivating light portray the emotions associated with the scenes he loves. He paints on location so that the landscape itself will inform the paintings he creates. Most days will find him with his easel at water’s edge pursing his passion. It’s this experience of the elements that makes his landscapes and seascapes in oil so highly collected.
I sent Robert a list of questions and below he shares his answers:
- Like almost everybody, I have admired Sargent, Sorolla, Edgar Payne, Ivan Schiskin and others. But I have probably been more influenced by the Cape Ann School of Painters including Emile Gruppe, Aldro T. Hibbard, Paul Strisik, Frederick Maulhaupt, Carl Peters and Charles Movalli, Among living artists I admire and gain inspiration from Jason Sacran, Mark Boedges, Brent Cotton, Don Demers, Shelby Keefe, Ann Blair Brown, Scott Christensen and Clyde Aspevig, I could name others but the list is pretty long!
- My strength as an demonstrator/instructor is the ability to explain clearly what I am doing and why. My strengths as a painter are in conveying the big shapes, bravura brushwork and suggesting detail. My best subjects are water, dunes, boats, cars and buildings.
- My favorite challenge is distilling the complex down to the essential. Currently I am working on more large sustained paintings in the field. My technical goals involve the fine tuning of edges and great reserve with regard to saturation.
- My palette consists of a warm and cool of each primary, two secondaries, three earth colors plus white and black. So, that is: Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue Black, Viridian, Quinacridone Violet, Cadmium Red Light, Cad Yellow Medium, Cad Orange, Cad Lemon, Burnt Umber, Transparent Oxide Orange (or red), Yellow Ochre, Ivory Black and Titanium White.
- My favorite painting grounds are Centurion Oil Primed Linen and Clausens- C-15 Oil Primed Linen. I use Rosemary Brushes exclusively, the Ivory Series Flats mostly. I like Gamblin and RGH paints. My favorite white is Le Franc and Bourgeois. When I use medium it’s usually solvent free gel by Gamblin. I also us Gamsol OMS in the early stages of painting….Oh, and Viva! Viva paper towels are a must as I use them to pull out shapes as well as to apply paint in the early stages.
- For the demo, my main concern is that participants leave excited about painting water falls and with a renewed enthusiasm for painting in general. I intend to carry a 14×18 or 16×20, 80-100% of the way.
Simone is a respected instructor who strives to inform, encourage and inspire. He is known for both his ability to demonstrate and to explain. He is a generous, organized and patient teacher. According to one appreciative student, “He knows what we need to know and is willing to tell us!” Robert says, “The impulse to paint is an emotional response to nature. But it requires some sort of framework through which we can express ourselves adequately.” Simone draws a correlation between music and painting, “In music, the scale provides the basic framework for expression. In painting, shapes, values, colors and edges provide the framework for expression. In that sense, painting becomes a translational process. It’s a visual language. At its most fundamental level painting is noticing and comparing. That’s what I teach, the fine art of noticing and comparing!”
For more information about Robert and to view more of his fine work visit his website: http://robertjsimone.com/
We hope you will join us on Tuesday at 9:30 AM.
I would like to thank Rhonda Care for initiating the idea of having Robert demo for us and for connecting me with Robert Simone. Without her, this would not be happening and I am truly grateful. Thanks Rhonda!!!!