Meet the Artist:
By Betsy Hecht Cramb
Ernest (Ernie) Simmons is a premiere Florida wildlife artist whose works are on display in some of the most prestigious collections in the State. He has been painting since he was a little boy of seven and really hasn’t stopped since. After high school, he studied on his own from artists whose work he admires. Ernie’s studies included travel and photography throughout the State.
Artist Ernie Simmons in his Unique Dunedin Studio
In his own words, “It all started out with being able to draw well as a kid and then evolved eventually into trying to paint at age seven.” He is a very skilled artist as you can see in some examples of his recent work here.
Ernie says what he likes most about his painting is his passion and interest in the subjects he paints. He takes the time he needs to create a painting that looks as good as his ability allows.
Ernie’s work is unique in that he paints mostly birds that are very regional, primarily in Florida and his work is very detailed. He is proud of the fact that audiences respond so well to his paintings. He has had a long career and supports himself doing what he is passionate about, painting.
Although Ernie’s work includes mostly Florida birds, he occasionally includes a Florida otter or panther as a subject in some of his works.
This Florida River Otter picture was featured in the movie, Dolphin Tale, where it was displayed on the wall of Doctor Clay’s office (played by Harry Connick, Jr.). The original permanently resides as part of the Raymond James Financial Corporation’s collection in St. Petersburg.
Ernie and his work were featured in the July /August 2014 issue of Tampa Bay Magazine.
Full Moon Owl
Although Ernie has had no formal training in art, his techniques (usually in acrylics) bring the birds and other animals he paints to life.
You can see a few examples of Ernie’s work here and more at his website: www.ernestsimmons.com. You can e-mail the artist at email@example.com. He will open his unique Dunedin studio by appointment.
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