Moving Right Along

Things are moving right along here in the Mike Simpson art world. I’ve been pretty busy and can’t believe it’s the first of March already. Next thing you know it’ll be the 4th of July. Of course you couldn’t tell by the weather yesterday. Snow. But that’s Colorado for you.


I thought it’d be a good day in the studio to get a little painting done and catch you good folks up on the latest news. As you recall, I’ve been spending the last several weeks working on that HUGE commission. 6 foot by 7 foot. It’s done and has been installed freeing up the easel for some pending oils. I delivered the piece last Saturday. Here’s a shot of part of the hanging system getting installed. I thought this would give you a good idea of the size of the wall. Puts things into scale.


I was a little concerned that maybe the painting was too small for the space but after it was hung I think it’ll be just fine, especially once the couch gets put back in place below it.


The top of the couch will be just below the bottom of the painting.

Once I got it finished and approved, it was a matter of applying a couple coats of varnish. So, while they were drying I worked up a watercolor from my front window, since the oil painting easel was tied up. I’ve painted this scene before but on a smaller scale. I really wanted to get outside to paint somewhere but the weather has been so iffy I decided I’d do a 14 x 20 half sheet watercolor of the scene from the inside comfort of the studio, looking out the front window. While technically not plein air since I wasn’t outside, it’ll still count as it was painted “live”. No different than painting through the windshield of the car when the weather is not conducive to being out in it.


This “Niko’s Tavern” a 14 x 20 watercolor and it is available.

Then today, it was snowing so it was another good day to be in the studio. After spending so much time on the big oil, I’m looking forward to doing some watercolors. I’ve got to get one done for the National Watercolor Society show coming up. I’ve got three more oils to do also in the short term but the watercolor has to come first. I’ll do several so I can pick the best one. Here is the first of the possibilities.


This a half sheet 14 x 20 watercolor titled “Low Tide”. A couple of summers ago, 2015 to be exact, I rode my Harley up to the North Coast of British Columbia, painting along the way and on the way back for a couple of weeks. Great trip. This is a studio watercolor I did today of the North Pacific Cannery. It doesn’t operate anymore but is open for tours and the public to see. I wanted to paint on property but it was a weekend and the girl on duty said she couldn’t give me permission to do that, I’d have to wait until her supervisor came in on Monday. I couldn’t wait so I took photos to do studio work from at least.

Still moving right along. Show/event season kicks off next month. Actually that’s tomorrow isn’t it? OK. I’ve got a watercolor in the Rockies National Watercolor show which opens Friday at the Art Center in Grand Junction, Colorado.


This is a plein air watercolor I did for the Zion National Park Plein Air Invitational I was a part of last year. “Tranquility”. A quiet scenic below the Crags above Rockville, Utah just outside the park.

Unfortunately I won’t be there as I’m scheduled to go over to Canyon Lands National Park in Utah to paint for a couple of days. That should yield some really nice work. We’ll see. I’m actually going to the southern part, The Needles and camp. It is just spectacular. You can see a bit of it here.

Then in a couple of weeks, I’m off to Cheyenne, Wy and to Great Falls, MT for a couple of shows. I’m not in these but I want to see what they are like and consider applying for them next year. The first actual event I’ve got on the books is in Marble Falls, Texas the end of March. I’m really glad I was juried into that one. Stay tuned for more on that one as it gets closer. Should be great timing for the Blue Bonnet wildflower blooming.

As long as we are on the subject of upcoming events, I was juried into a plein air event in Los Gatos, CA coming up in June. Here’s a peek of that one. Again, I’ll post more when we get closer.

Let’s see. What else? Oh! I used to do a lot of teaching, painting classes and workshops. I’ve started up again with the Montrose Center for the Arts. It all takes place through them.

Mike Simpson class

This first one is for oil/acrylic painters. Watercolor will be coming. I’ll let you know.

One more thing and then I’ll quit.

I entered a pet painting contest with an art supplier, Dick Blick. If you are so inclined I’d appreciate your vote. You can go here to see my entry and to vote. Thanks a bunch. I appreciate it.

I think that’s about it for now. That’s the trouble when I don’t post more often. I’ve got a lot to catch up on. Thanks for stoping by and I’ll be in touch.