Throughout my life I have sought to bring order to the visual world. Even before I started elementary school, I found building things and drawing more important than reading. My earliest memory was that the alphabet was synonymous with colors, that A, B, C, were also yellow, orange, red.Jerrold Simon, artist

After high school I wanted to become a commercial illustrator, but instead was persuaded to follow a fine arts program where there was also the opportunity for pursuits in the liberal arts. The University of Texas in Austin was nearby, and by the greatest good fortune the art faculty was extraordinary and they inspired in me a love of painting and a deeper understanding of art.

I was raised in Texas. I lived with its year-long brilliant light, and later while studying for my BFA, I discovered Henri Matisse, the Fauvists, and the artists of contemporary Mexico. These factors contributed to my understanding of how color can create both movement and a sense of space in painting. It also gave me the vision of how to use color to balance a composition.

After receiving my BFA, I moved to Los Angeles where I pursued my ambition at The Joseph Young Mosaic Workshop designing architectural art for new buildings by Richard Neutra and also by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill. In addition I joined a graphic design firm, Saul Bass & Associates, working on movie titles and promotional campaigns for Alfred Hitchcock and Otto Preminger. But after a few years, I decided to continue my education and applied to the University of California at Berkeley. Again I was fortunate to encounter a brilliant and stimulating art faculty and completed my master’s degree in painting and architectural art.

My next move was to New York where the exposure to some of the greatest art museums and galleries solidified my creative direction. But my work as a painter was quite limited, while my commercial career took off with great success. After many years I realized this was no longer my goal and I moved to San Francisco, and later to Ashland Oregon where I could devote more time to painting.

Throughout my life I have sought to bring order to the visual world.

In Oregon I was finally able to realize my goal as a fine artist. Additionally, I was able to connect to the beauty of the natural world and the special effect of the sunlight at this latitude. This has helped me to broaden my palette and control the vivid colors I had been using.

During this period, I began to feel that traditional canvas shapes were restricting. So I continued exploring the idea of moving away from the traditional square and rectangular canvas and developing a free-shaped edge and dimensional surface for my paintings. This approach allowed me to realize that there is more besides the central focus, and what you see moves in all directions beyond the edge. Because nothing in nature is static, this free shape gives greater movement to your vision and creates greater challenges in arranging that vision. In addition, I was easily able to execute these complex dimensional canvases because of my strong desire to build things stemming from my background working with architects and my courses in sculpture. It was time to capture those ideas that had intrigued me over my lifetime.

Jerrold Simon