Please join us Thursday May, 3 from 7-9 p.m. as we celebrate the opening of Sylvia Simpson's exhibit. Everyone is welcome. The exhibit will be on display from May 1-30, 2018.
I come from a family of doodlers. Ideas were clarified by diagrams and arrows on napkins. I was destined to be a visual thinker. I delight in the expression of a hand-drawn line.
I work in watercolour, oil, acrylic and mixed media. My first love are watercolours because they are fast. I paint from sketches. Living in the city presents me with wonderful street and city views. Living in Hamilton with its "mountain" escarpment provides wide views of the harbour, lake, distant neighbourhoods and far off hills. Storefronts, worn fences, old neighbourhoods, brick homes, Victorian architecture, high-rises, factories, sheds and city trees are the subjects of my paintings.
Sketching from a "live" subject sharpens my eye for detail. Curtains in windows, chimneys, eaves troughs, foundation cracks, stained glass details, brick texture, garden pots, handrails, porch steps and walkways get equal attention. Hydrants, telephone poles, overhead wires, parking signs and pavement - are all included.
In 2014 I switched my subjects to the fields of Haldimand County, Bruce County, Manitoulin Island. Fields are alive with energy and possibility. In our urban world, they are threatened. Development over agricultural fields is a regular site as we drive through Ontario. They are obliterated to be paved over for housing developments and box stores.
My field paintings dare the viewer to see these fields as dynamic fields of energy, life, possibilities and harbours for human existence.
Sylvia Simpson grew up in a family of visual thinkers where ideas were explained through drawings. Despite these early influences and a passion for art, she did not study art formally until her late twenties.
Her general education and career came first. Sylvia chose to study social sciences and dramatic arts, completing degrees in these disciplines at McMaster University. Later, she would complete a Masters in Education at Brock University.
She joined Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology in 1981 where she worked in recruitment, cooperative education, staff development, and student success. She joined the Language Studies department in mid 1990s and taught business communication and pioneered courses in citizenship and visual thinking.
Her art studies began in the 1980s. She was a devoted student at Dundas Valley School of Art, Mohawk College, Art Gallery of Hamilton, and during the summer she made painting trips to the La Cloche School of Art north of Manitoulin Island in Whitefish Falls, Ontario.
She began exhibiting her work in juried shows during the 1980s, and now has a substantial history of shows in her portfolio. Her art can be seen in a wide range of public spaces in Hamilton, including City Hall, Mohawk College, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Il Fiasco Bistro, Tourism Hamilton, Haldimand Art Works, McMaster Innovation Park, and her Westdale Village “Creative-Works” Studio.
Sylvia works in watercolours, oils and acrylics. Her subjects are landscapes, cityscapes, florals and abstracts. Her favourite painting locations are Hamilton, Haldimand County, and the La Cloche Mountains.
An award-winning artist, her painting “Mountain View of Corktown” was awarded best of show in the Women’s Art Association Show in 2004, and the Dr. Pollock Award by jurors at the Tom Thomson Gallery in 2003. She also won best of show in 2000 at the La Cloche Country Art Show for her painting “Ode to Emily Carr”.
In 2007, Sylvia opened Creative-Works, her studio, shop, and gallery in Hamilton’s Westdale Village. The business has given her tremendous exposure and created a credible art presence in Hamilton. Her success earned Best New Business in Westdale from the City of Hamilton.
Active in the local arts community, she is a founding director of the Hamilton Southwest Artists’ Studio Tour and is a member of the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Women’s Art Association of Hamilton, Pumphouse Art School in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and La Cloche Art School. She has served as a Director in the Westdale Business Improvement Association, and recently has enjoyed speaking about Sketching and Drawing to various groups including McMaster University Alumni, Body and Soul at St. James Church in Dundas, and the Women’s Art Association of Hamilton.
She contributes her art to fundraisers including Dundas Valley School of Art, United Way, Stephen Lewis Foundation, Bay Area Restoration Council, Environment Hamilton, Nature Conservation of Ontario, and St. Joseph’s Hospital, McMaster University student groups, and numerous local programs seeking support.
She welcomes commissions, ideas, and comments about your art ideas.