Ron Simpkins – En Plein Air Professional Landscape Painter & Artist

I could write to you a stuffy boring Biography of my father and incorporate all of his important show dates and locations, corporate collectors and such but in truth I’m sure you’d rather hear about the REAL man behind the art, who Ron was, what he believed in and what he loved, so I’ll tell you that, and leave you to find out all of the details in the varying article links below.

My father was a very simple, humble man. He loved nature; he loved light and water especially. My father painted “en plein air” landscapes oil paintings on canvas. His claim to fame is his water that looks and feels wet. That’s what his art collectors and dealers knew him for. His favorite and best selling images were his water lilies he loved Monet.

We traveled a lot, dad was a gyspy at heart. Our childhoods were filled with long summer drives to the coast, to Maine and Cape Cod where stopping in a field of flowers on the spur of a moment’s notice was a very normal day to day adventure. Dad would paint, mom would have time to kick back and read her favorite magazines and my sister and I would catch frogs or bugs, or torture each other in the loving way sisters do. Dad would drop us at the beach, go off and paint his famous Lillie scenes; we would drop them off at his galleries, supply them with fresh work, and keep on traveling.

Dad loved nature, to him nature was God. In his later years he formed his own philosophy called “Essentialism”. He said he was capturing the “essential” facets of nature, air, water and light. And only if he knew how appropriate his art is now, I swear he was ahead of his time. Now there is a huge movement under way as psychologists have uncovered something called “Nature Deficit Disorder” look it up online. You can hear an interview my sister Cristina did with dad here as he talks about the impact of his work in the coming years.

Dad was truly happy because he had his freedom to do what he wanted to do each day, paint and enjoy nature. He could never understand why some people never really “lived” and was shocked to hear some of his high end collectors, CEO’s sitting behind glass desks in high rise offices with all of the luxury money could afford them complaining to dad that they were jealous of him, jealous of his freedom. He leaves behind a legacy of beautiful art work I will cherish forever.

Dad taught me the most important lesson in life and that is “to love what you do and do what you love”. For a man who loved nature so much so he would freeze outside painting in the winter months, get stung by bees, and attacked by wild geese the list goes on and on…he passed away in the grass with a smile on his face. An exceptional way to go for a life truly lived in an exceptional way.

Vanessa Simpkins

Audio Interviews With Dad’s Friends

Henry Simpkins & son Ron Simpkins Painting Trip Expeditions to the Rouge River

Laurent Coderre

Denise Desjardins

Andree Lalumiere



Professional Bio –

Born In Montreal, Canada 1942, Ron Simpkins began at the young age of seven a dream that would lead him on a path few traveled by professional Canadian landscape artists. Son of Henry Simpkins, late Canadian watercolour specialist, Simpkins understands to be truly liberated and free is to liberate the creative energy within. At the age of 17 his professional painting career took flight.

Attending Ontario College of Art in 1963 drove Simpkins in pursuit of worldwide exploration to further the reaches of his creativity. Widely traveled, as are his paintings which today, can be found in over 500 private and corporate collections throughout Canada, the United-States of America, Europe, Australia and Brazil.

In honor of expo 67 Simpkins painting was selected by the city of Montreal and donated to Herbert Bowden, Secretary of the British Commonwealth as an official gift from Canada. This gifted Canadian artist excels with intense emotion that he pours into his paintings to recreate the serenity of a winter landscape, the translucence of water, the beauty of trees dressed in autumn colours or the brightness of a field bathed in sunlight. Simpkins passion for transmitting beauty is fuelled by the harmony that exists in the natural world that surrounds us.

It was this passion that offered Simpkins great rewards though the 70’s and 80’s as he dazzled the senses of many who attended his solo exhibitions. An important name in the world of Canadian art, it would carry this shy and modest oil painter to great success at his first American Solo Exhibition in Houston Texas 1977. Back home Simpkins was selected the artist of the year by the chartered Banks of Canada, the Quebec chamber of commerce and the Canadian bankers association at the Mercuriades in 1983.

Armed with a palette knife and a curious hunger for capturing light, Simpkins set out to paint his world. His specialty, painting water that looks wet and resonates and ripples with flawless reflections of nature untamed by man. Carefully balancing colors to produce visual waves for the eye in the same manner the ear responds to sound waves, this en plein air painter meditates as he fills the canvas with clear and  uplifting images of  beauty.

“What I try to create is the energy and vibrations of light as nature as my guide to give people a feeling as uplifting as light itself. To me light is god whoever or whatever that may be.”

Ron Simpkins as a post impressionist painter of the 21st  century would confront many challenges on his quest for the truth.

Today Simpkins has overcome an era of restrictions and definitions as he paints with a new freedom. In a smooth and sweeping transition Simpkins art has evolved. The father of “ Essentialism” a unique and powerful style all his own. Like the great masters before him  Monet,  Cézanne and  Davincci,  Simpkins has broken away from conventional methods opening a new milieu for sharing creativity.  His paintings reveal the magnificence of the essential elements of nature; air, water and light.  Simpkins Paints the essential elements with skilfully flavoured  vibrancy and awakening colours that uplift and liberate the soul mirroring the creative energy of an artist  who is celebrating a mystery unveiled after decades of  perseverance.

Past Gallery Representations:
• Michelange Gallery, Old Port Montreal
• Dennison Gallery, Markham Ontario
• Alain Randez Gallery, Montreal- Quebec
• Galerie Helene Boulle, Montreal-Québec
• Private Collectors Gallery, Warwick- Massachusetts
• Wickersham Gallery, New York
• Van der Staten Gallery, New York
• McKenzie Gallery, Hollywood- California
• Joan Gillespie Gallery, Palm Beach- Florida
• Pace Galleries Inc, Houston- Texas
• Blair Galleries, Santa Fe –New Mexico
• Kensington Gallery, Calgary
• Lynn Kottler Galeries, New York
• Meinhard Galleries Inc., Houston-Texas
• Yvon Degagner Gallery, Baie st- Paul, Québec
• Zwickers Gallery, Halifax
• Hamilton Art Gallery, Hamilton
• Duncan Bell Gallery, Toronto-Ontario
• JimFowlers Period Gallery West, Scottsdale-Arizona
• Galerie De Tours, San Fransico
• Galerie Bourse d’Oeuvre d’Art de Montreal
• Mary Bryan Memorial Gallery and Art Center, Vermont


Corporate Collectors List:

  • Bell Canada
  •  British Petroleum
  •  Brown and Root Corp.
  • C. A. E. Corp.
  • Cast Corp. (Belgium)
  • Gulf Oil Cor.
  • Hiram Walker
  • Imperial Tobacco
  • Institute of Canadian Bankers.
  • Laurentian Bank
  • Mac Donald Tobacco Inc.
  • March Canada
  • M.U.C
  • National Bank
  • Petro Canada Corp.
  • Pulp and Paper Research (Can)
  • Royal Bank (Canada)
  • Standard Life Assurances
  • Shell Oil Cor.
  • Texaco
  • Trans Canada Pipe Line



Read more about Ron here: Links to articles + Mention in the Press