Gretchen Dow Simpson is the recipient of several prestigious commissions,including assignments from Bostonian Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Absolut Vodka,and Kirin Seagram Company. She has held solo shows and group exhibitions in museums and galleries across the country. Her work is held by many private collectors and corporations. She received the Pell Award in 2005 and an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Bryant University in 2009.
She began her distinguished career taking photographs of buildings and worked as a freelance photographer in Boston, New York, Minneapolis, and Scranton from 1962-
Her first painting was purchased by The New Yorker magazine in 1974 and 58 paintings were used as covers over a 21-year period. She is best known for her distinctive views of New England architecture.
Simpson's paintings are recognizable by their clean-lined, architectonic focus,with flat surfaces and deep perspective. Deceptively simplified, these paintings balance shapes, colors,textures,flatness and depth,all in a nearly flat frontal plane. The calm strength of these paintings is evocative of the comment, by 19th century Romantic Realist artist J.F. Millet, that "It is the treating of the commonplace with the feeling of the sublime that gives art its true power."
As a Painter, Photographer and Artist I am inspired and motivated by the juxtaposition of shapes, light and color. My paintings are pieces of the world as I see it. I want to be able to imagine what is outside the edges of my images and see the beauty in the isolation of the subject matter that I choose to portray.
I am interested in the abstract qualities of the world and how that translates to my paintings. The mystery of images plays an important part in my vision. I don't want to show every detail, I am interested in the geometry and feeling of the subject matter. ·
Above all it is the color, beauty and mystery of my surroundings that move me to paint.