About Simon Bull
An exotic and inspirational childhood laid the foundation for Simon
Bullís passionate creative vision.
Simon (on left) with mother
brother & sister. York 1965
The second of four children, Simonís flair for art was first noticed
when he won his first art competition at the age of six. Other childhood
art prizes were to follow, including several in his teenage years and a
national art students painting prize while he was at college.
At the age of seven he was sent to boarding school in the North of
England with his elder brother. The next four years provided a heady
cocktail of experiences for an impressionable young mind. The tough
school regime, contrasted with times of adventure with his family in
South America. Home was a rambling white colonial house on brick
pillars, with floors of polished wood. A colony of fruit bats lived in
the loft and emerged at six every evening, humming birds fed from
flowering trees in the garden, which was also home to the familyís
parrots and a menagerie of different pets including a kinkajou and
That's Cricket - Guyana 1966
The fringes of the rainforest provided the young artist with a
wonderland of sight and sound. It was a world of color and mystery, the
cathedral-like pillars of the forest trees and the swollen rivers adding
a note of darkness and danger to the enchanted wilderness.
During his teens the family moved to Hong Kong for several years. It was
here that he first encountered the art of the East where the beauty of
Chinese brushwork with its economy of line and energy of composition was
to have such a lasting influence on him. It was here also that he held
his first one-man exhibition at the age of eighteen. The success of that
and other subsequent shows was to lead Simon into a lifetime career in
At the time of his first one
man show. Hong Kong 1976
While living in the East he continued his education in England at a
boarding school in South London. Being in London afforded him the
opportunity of becoming familiar with the great art collections and
enabled him to benefit from the wide range of exhibitions as they came
Many influences were coming together and shaping an inner vision of the
world that was to inform Simonís passion to create, not just an image,
but an experience.
In the early years at boarding school, the sense of desolation he
sometimes felt whilst away from the bosom of the family opened him up to
an intense search for spiritual nourishment. Coming from a Christian
family had meant that a sense of God was always present with him, but as
he grew older, a desire for a more tangible spiritual reality led him to
the Bible and eventually to find in the person of Jesus, one who brought
him the peace he so badly needed as well as a new purpose and sense of
Young Love. Simon and Jo,
While still at art school he married Joanna, his childhood sweetheart.
As time passed the economic challenges that faced the growing family
were many, but always there would be some buyer who saved the day, some
last minute commission that turned up. During the late seventies and
early eighties the skills in printmaking that he acquired at art school
and which had especially fascinated him began to pay dividends. He sold
his first three editions to Pallas Gallery in London and then entered a
relationship with London Contemporary Art who sold out many of his
meticulously worked multi plate etching editions.
Parenthood. With Rebecca 1988
Throughout this period Simon painted the world around him. Traveling
extensively to the East, he trekked with his paints through the
foothills of the Himalayas, toured the Mediterranean and spent many
weeks painting the mountains of the English Lake District where he and
Joanna later made their family home for many years.
However, as each year passed a deeper creative current seemed to pull at
the artist. Once again it seemed that what had happened during his teens
in the spiritual realm was now touching him in the creative realm; a
sense of something more, of something waiting to be touched and
expressed beyond the world of visible realities. He was moving away from
painting the outward things, his canvases began to be expressions of the
inner world, the world of the heart and of the spirit where the real
life of mankind is felt and lived.
Like a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis the rich and vibrant style
for which he has since become world famous began to find expression, to
find a voice. It was not until his major one-man show at Harrods in
London where seventy-six of his paintings were exhibited together, that
the effect of this new work came home to him.
Plein Air painting. Spain 1990
"I remember walking around the show listening to what people were
saying. I began for the first time to understand what my paintings had
become. The people were telling me! People were being transported, the
colors and imagery were becoming a means of conveying the viewer into
another world, the miracle was happening. People were being hit right in
their emotional center."
Old Flames. Simon and Jo, Vail 2000
In 2000 he won the Fine Art Trade Guild award for the top selling
original print artist in Great Britain and was short listed twice for
the best selling published artist award.
His Painting entitled ďThe Journey Never EndsĒ has also been awarded the
National Association of Limited Edition Dealers print of the year in the
United States, for ďThe graphic print whose artwork was the most
outstanding in artistic quality and public appeal during 2003Ē.
He moved with his family to Carmel California in 2003 where he now
His art has come a long way since he held aloft his prize at the local
cinemasí Saturday Matinee coloring competition in 1964. But that same
passion to play with color, to create with radiant hues, harmonies that
affect the senses, remains with him still.
"If I can touch a life. If through my painting I can show something
previously unseen. If I can reveal something old in a new way, if I can
enrich a soul on itís journey into the eternal, then my painting, my
living, has not been in vain."