Kim Simmonds is primarily known as one of the architects of the 1960s’ British Blues music explosion and one of the greatest guitar players of all time. Less known is the fact that Simmonds also paints, a medium that allows him to combine his deep knowledge of and love for guitars with the challenge of expressing those qualities in a way other than through music. His solo album “Out of the Blue,” released in August 2008, features one of his first guitar paintings on the cover.
Although his focus has been on guitars, he also paints abstracts, still life, and landscapes. “Painting is a lot like playing guitar solos,” said Kim. “For me, it has to be full of emotion so that you can communicate something of your feelings, through your motif, to the onlooker. I also enjoy the challenges painting brings and the fact that you will never reach the point where you think you know it all.”
Born in Newbridge, Wales, in 1947, his family moved to London when Simmonds was 10. As a guitar prodigy, he found immediate success as a professional musician at the age of 17. The rest, as they say, is history. He now spends his time performing on the road, and when at home he paints daily. Completely self taught as both a musician and a painter, Simmonds uses his imagination and what he knows intimately as muses. His work is emotional and entertaining, and richly satisfying over time.
Simmonds uses brushes and a palette knife to apply paint to canvas as well as anything else on hand – paper towels, rags, etc. He paints quickly, driven by emotion rather than technique, striving for a finished work that is pleasing, playful, and unpretentious. “To this point I have painted for myself and as an emotional outlet … Of course, my biggest inspiration is the fact that I will be dead in thirty years; time is short.”
Simmonds’ paintings will be on exhibit in the Arts Café Gallery from July 20 to September 21. A “meet the artist” reception will be held on Saturday, July 20, at 6:30 pm, after which Simmonds and Savoy Brown will perform in the main theater at 8 pm. Tickets to the performance are on sale at www.earlvilleoperahouse.com.
EOH is located at 18 East Main Street in Earlville. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10 am – 5 pm and Saturdays 12-3 pm. For more information, call 315-691-3550.
Kim Simmonds has generously donated a painting in support of the EOH Galleries. To purchase a raffle ticket, please contact EOH: 315-691-3550 or email the office. Raffle tickets are $5 each, 3 for $10 and 7 for $20.