Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery is very pleased to announce that Geraldine Simmons has been selected as one of the four artists of the gallery’s fourth “Solo Art Series” Art Competition. Geraldine will now have a month-long solo art exhibition and she will be featured on the gallery’s front page, in the Gallery’s YouTube Channel, as well as in the “Solo Art Series” archive.
Geraldine Simmons lives in Australia, where she is an award-winning wildlife and conservation artist. Geraldine will be promoted by the gallery with an extensive public relations campaign, as well through the gallery’s broad social media network. In addition, she will be featured on the gallery’s YouTube channel, with an event catalog, and with an event postcard.
The “Solo Art Series” is a series of monthly solo art exhibitions for established artists who have a body of work to present to the public. Artist participants were asked to submit the following 3 components for the “Solo Art Series” competition; 1. Their art. 2. Their artist biography. 3. Their artist statement. These elements were evaluated and judged, which resulted in the selection of the artists who will be featured in an individual month-long solo art exhibitions. This is the fourth “Solo Art Series” Art Competition the gallery has conducted.
Below is Geraldine’s Artist Biography, her Artist Statement, along with 15 of her drawings. We hope that you will take the time to read Geraldine’s information and to take a look at her wildlife series.
For the first eight years of her life Geraldine lived in London, England and then settled in Australia in 1968. As a child of parents who worked in the performing arts, this environment led to spending many weeks and months away from home in boarding school, yet the two activities that made her feel more “at home” and made her heart sing was drawing and riding her bike.
Time spent alone riding her bike inspired her love of nature and deep appreciation for all living things. At any opportunity and with wonder, Geraldine would study things that caught her eye, such as the unique patterns and texture of a tree trunk, the way the light shone through the leaves, or the soft, velvety feel of a flower petal. These experiences helped enhance and develop her observational skills as well as the patience required to create detailed works of art.
Over time, Geraldine’s love of drawing has evolved into the detailed real-life portraits of wildlife that she draws today in either pastel and coloured pencil, or scratchboard. These mediums enable her to capture the true nature and essence that bring each animal to life. Through paying close attention to the eyes, her mission is to communicate that animals are innocent, loving and sentient beings just like us.
When visiting a national park in the remote jungles of Borneo, Geraldine got a close up view of orangutans while they were rehabilitating in quarantine at NGO Friends of the National Parks Foundation (FNPF). One orangutan grabbed her hand and pulled her towards it. “It’s hard to put into words how awesome that experience was. There is so much intelligence, beauty and innocence that shine from their eyes. It made me realize how closely connected we are to them.” This was a defining moment for Geraldine to use her art as a portal for raising greater awareness of endangered wildlife.
Geraldine has exhibited in many selected exhibitions both nationally and internationally as well as receiving invitations to donate her works to well-known animal conservation groups such as Humane Society International, Sea Shepherd and Borneo Orangutan Society.
Gaining signature membership to the Artists for Conservation was one of her proudest achievements along with being the recipient of the 2010 AFC Conservation Artist Award for May of that year. Artists for Conservation are the world’s leading artist group supporting the environment.
I draw wildlife simply because I love animals and for the creative adventures that my drawing process brings. When I draw I aspire to show that the eyes of an animal are no different to ours; that they feel emotions, are a part of loving families and are sentient beings just like us.
Before I start a piece the eyes are what I notice first. They mesmerize me. These beautiful creatures are calling me to express that they are not just mere commodities to be exploited, used or forgotten.
I specialize in mixed media that includes colored pencil, pastel and gouache. I work in layers, building on one color upon the next to attain the light, shade, tone and texture that leads to a realistic effect. I mainly use gouache for fur detail and the finishing touches using a fine tipped watercolor paintbrush.
Scratchboard is a medium that is very exciting to work with too as it enables me to capture the realism and depth of my animal subjects even more.
My frame of mind when creating a piece is that of total concentration due to the amount of detail and accuracy I like to achieve, yet, after awhile it feels as though I am transported out of my analytical mind and into another zone where time seems to stands still. I feel connected to my subject.