Geraldine Simmons was born in London, England but at an early age moved to Australia. At about 10 years of age Geraldine experienced the most incredible flow of creativity that seemed so effortless and exhilarating that she amazed her art teacher, her classmates as well as herself. That was Geraldine’s first realization that being an artist was her calling. Over time, Geraldine’s love of drawing has evolved into the detailed real-life portraits of wildlife that she draws today in either pastel and colored pencil, or scratchboard. These mediums enable her to capture the true nature and essence that bring each animal to life.
Geraldine has exhibited both locally and abroad receiving many invitations to donate her works to well-known animal conservation groups such as Humane Society International, Sea Shepherd and Borneo Orangutan Society. Gaining signature membership to the Artist’s For Conservation was one of her proudest achievements along with being the recipient of the 2010 AFC Conservation Artist Award for May of that year.
“I draw wildlife simply because I love animals and for the creative adventures that my drawing process brings. When I draw I aspire to show that the eyes of an animal are no different to ours; that they feel emotions, are a part of loving families and are sentient beings just like us. Before I start a piece the eyes are what I notice first. They mesmerize me. These beautiful creatures are calling me to express that they are not just mere commodities to be exploited, used or forgotten. I specialize in mixed media that includes colored pencil, pastel and gouache. I work in layers, building on one color upon the next to attain the light, shade, tone and texture that leads to a realistic effect. I mainly use gouache for fur detail and the finishing touches using a fine tipped watercolor paintbrush.”
“Scratchboard is a medium that is very exciting to work with too as it enables me to capture the realism and depth of my animal subjects even more. My frame of mind when creating a piece is that of total concentration due to the amount of detail and accuracy I like to achieve, yet after a while it feels as though I am transported out of my analytical mind and into another zone where time seems to stands still. I feel connected to my subject.”