Published: 23 August 2021
Welcome to Simeon's World!
Simeon Stafford is one of the country's leading contemporary artists and these 'just off the easel' paintings of the attractive coastal town of Aldeburgh and surrounding area, afford a perfect opportunity to see his interpretation of iconic buildings in Aldeburgh as well as parts of the West Country and quirky studies of figures.
Simeon moved to Cornwall in the early 90's from 'up North' to focus entirely on painting and composing music. His artistic abilities manifested very early and by the age of 14 he was painting skies, that at first glance, were indistinguishable from his childhood hero, John Constable, and he was exhibiting widely across the North of England as well as in the Royal Academy's summer exhibition. Simeon appears to paint with sheer pleasure and seemingly light-hearted abandon as might a child, yet each brush mark is considered and always significant to the finished work. Looking at his paintings, one might recall a certain northern artist who encouraged Simeon as a young boy but the contrast between their work couldn't be more apparent. Stand in front of one of Simeon's paintings and for the most part we are transported into a world of undiluted happiness where skipping ropes, donkey rides, beach huts and fishing boats abound. Many of the characters in his paintings have been or are known to Simeon and he has many interesting tales to tell should you be fortunate enough to meet him. He will mesmerize you for hours with stories relating to his beach, London or fairground scenes - the latter which he began painting because his brother used to repair fairground machinery – such colourful scenes still figure very strongly in his work and to this day Simeon is always on the lookout for fairground memorabilia. Note in many of his paintings the girl doing a handstand who is his Aunty Dot with her dog Trixie. Simeon is captivated by distinctive or rather, idiosyncratic characters as much as he is the landscapes and seascapes in which they appear. These characters and the colourful world in which they live begin to captivate us too the more familiar we become with his work. Simeon's paintings can't help but make us smile, perhaps it is for a moment that we recall our childhood holidays, a time when the sun always seemed to shine. In Simeon's world it is almost always sunny and he wants to share that warmth with us and in today's challenging times Simeon's world is a nice place to be.