Douglas Simonson, Lincoln NE Member Since September 2014 Artist Statement Douglas Simonson has been making art since he was capable of holding a crayon--and he began taking photographs not long after that. Born and raised on a ranch in western Nebraska, he followed a longtime dream and moved to Honolulu at the age of 19. His passion for creating art, whether with paint, pencil or camera, has been a defining factor in his life every step of the way.
EDUCATION AND HISTORY: Douglas Simonson studied art at the University of Nebraska and the University of Hawaii, and took classes at the Honolulu Academy of Art. After working as a writer in radio and television, and an author/publisher at his own publishing company, he embarked on a painting career in 1980. He has been painting ever since, and has built a worldwide collectorship for his male nudes, abstracts, landscapes and portraiture.
Simonson's medium of choice is acrylic. He prefers to work quickly and likes a medium that encourages that. He's also known for his pencil drawings.
Simonson is also adept at drawing and painting digitally, using programs like Photoshop and Illustrator to create contemporary digital portraits and landscapes.
"Although I'm best-known for my work with the male figure, my true focus has always been on finding a visually exciting way to say what I want to say. So whether I'm painting a figure, a landscape, or an abstract, the subject matter is secondary to the way the paint (or whatever medium I'm using at the time) is applied. What this means in practice is that I'm constantly fighting the urge to be careful and get things "right" in my painting, and always pushing myself to take bigger chances, to be more daring and explosive. I'm not so interested in making something look photographically accurate as I am in evoking some emotional connection with the viewer. I'd rather have you feel something than be impressed with how well I drew something.”
In 2011, Simonson left Hawaii to begin a life of full-time travel. A few months without being able to paint made it clear to him that his life of travel had to include a studio. His solution was a move to Lincoln, Nebraska, where the presence of family gave him an interim haven where he could return to full-time painting while pondering his next step. At an age and in a place where he could focus on his painting like never before, he experienced an exciting period of creative discovery and growth.
Simonson is currently in the process of establishing an alternate studio in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.