While most, if not all, of you have never heard of Mike Simpson, his influence on my life was and remains profound. Mr. Simpson was my high school art teacher (graduated in 1992) and later in life as a friend. I took 4 years of art and was a mediocre student at best, but he always encouraged me to try something new and different. The most profound moment came during my senior presentation to a group of community members and professionals in the area. While my work was not that impressive, my ability to present my position and argue it was what lead me to where I am today. Mr. Simpson profoundly noted to me "your work may be a C, but your ability to sell bullshit is an A." I don't remember my final grade in Art 4, but I loved that class. I also loved the art history class he taught and the train trip he made us take from Ohio to Chicago to see their Art Museum. What a great man.
Later in life when I started painting using @Mark_Carder
s method, he was still there encouraging me and like me was surprised at how well the paintings were turning out. He was always a man who cared about the success of those he knew. He helped athletes and artists and any student or person that was smart enough to ask. I count myself lucky to have met and known Mike Simpson and just wanted to share some of those stories with you all, to remind you of that person who was a great influence in your artistic life.
He was also great at painting in oil He had a unique method painting dark to light using wood blocks instead of brushes. As you can see the results were unique and fantastic. His work is in the National College Football Hall of Fame and I am fortunate enough to own a couple of his works, a painting of a poppy and one of Abe Lincoln.
Here are a few to enjoy:
Rest in peace Mike Simpson and thank you for all you provided to my life and so many others. For the rest of you, I hope this brings back that wonderful memory of that person who believed in you and encouraged your love of the arts. Feel free to share any of those stories as we start the new year.
Happy New Year and Love to you all in the New Year,