Author: jesimonello

Time Flies Like an Arrow. Fruit Flies Like a Banana.

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I won’t say “Where does the time go?”, but I sure would like to!

It’s been busy in the Sim-Studio. In November, I had an amazing exhibition at OhVino’s, a local wine and sake bar. It began as a crazy idea that turned into a GREAT idea, if I do say so myself.

In my little town, we live and die by the Space Center. Don’t get me wrong, but I often refer to Titusville as ‘that smudge on the road between the Cocoa and Daytona beaches. We’re the girl who was invited to the prom, but couldn’t afford the dress. Our downtown area consists of about two blocks of mostly boarded up historical buildings, an art gallery (YAY!), a brewery which I love, more coffee shops (two) than our town can support so one closed, an amazing playhouse and OhVino’s. Oh yeah. There’s an ice cream shop, but no one can figure out what their hours are. If any of you are fans of Night Vale, we also have the Faceless Woman and lights over Arby’s.

But I digress.

I really do love where I live and support many of our small town businesses, often to the potential detriment to my liver, so when OhVino’s opened, I wanted everyone to know about it. It’s a cool kind of hipster bar (is that still a thing?) run by to wonderful people where jazz is always playing and there are not TVs so the patrons actually talk to each other. One of the owners is also an artist.

“So!” said I, “How about I have an exhibition here and we’ll invite a bunch of people who probably don’t know about you and you’ll sell wine and I’ll sell art?”

“Fabulous!”, said James, the artist/owner. “Let’s set a date right now!”

Yeah. I woke up the next morning thinking what a fucking stupid idea that was. And then this happened:

Pretty cool, huh?

It was an amazing night! So many people showed up and both wine and art were sold in abundance. Okay – more wine than art, but it was still a great night!

So the moral to this story is this: If you have a crazy idea, just do it. You never know what may come of it.



Categories: Shows

I’m on an ‘E’ Ticket Ride


Once upon a time in the Land of Disney, there was no such thing as fast passes or, lines permitting, unlimited turns on any given ride. There were no MagicBands for hotel guests. Imagine this, if you will, a time where entrance to the park came with a little stapled book of paper items called “tickets”. There were varying values, but the best and most expensive ticket (at a whopping .89 cents) was the ‘E’ ticket. This ticket got you on the latest and greatest rides! An ‘A’ ticket got you a ride on the street car. An ‘E’ ticket? Submarine Voyage! A ‘B’ ticket? Casey Jr. Train. An ‘E’ ticket? Matterhorn Bobsleds! You get the picture. It was ALL about the ‘E’ ticket rides.

I am definitely on a ‘E’ ticket ride this year!

The majority of the summer has been spent taking online classes from the fabulous Ardith Goodwin. I can’t recommend her classes highly enough. Some of my works in progress from her classes include these guys: “Comb-over Carl”, “Tony Toupee” and “Bob, but I Call Him Dennis”.

Comb-Over Carl - A Work in Progress Tony Toupee - A Work in ProgressBob, But I Call Him Dennis - A Work in Progress

And just when I thought life couldn’t get any sweeter, I met Carolyn Seiler through our mutual friend, Maxine Trainer. These women are amazing artists, mentors and animal lovers. Carolyn owns Carolyn Seiler & Friends – An Artists Co-Op in Cocoa Village, Florida and guess what? She asked me to join her artists in her gallery!

Insert happy dance here!!!

As of one week ago today, my peeps and I are part of Carolyn’s wonderful tribe of artists! I’m still pinching myself and find that I’ve been using the word “Gobsmacked” a lot.

I still can't believe this happened!

As for those Disney tickets? I have some unused sets of them around here somewhere and judging by what people are selling them for in Ebay, I might just make enough to pay for parking should I ever go to the parks again!







I’ve spent this week shaking my head and thinking, “Really? You really said that? You really believe that?” I’m dismayed and for the short term, dismayed I shall remain.

I met myself on the paper this week because “Rita” and I are wearing the same expression. It made me chuckle when she appeared because even The Husband said, “That’s kind of how you looked last Sunday.” (Occasionally he has flashes of being observant although finding me screaming into a pillow may have given my feelings away.)




Enough of that.

Have you ever played with Scribbler? You create a line drawing using your mouse, start scribbler running and it fills in all sorts of wonderful lines within your lines. Clear as mud? Here examples of images I created using Scribbler.

For “Rita”, I printed out the lines and the circles on deli paper and then used them for collage.

Scribbler is crazy addictive and the more I play, the more collage fodder I create!

Scribbler only works on the computer, not on the phone. Check it out and have some fun!!

Until next time.



Categories: Paintings Techniques

I Was Crying


Actually, I was weeping with laughter.

As I’ve said in the past, I never know who is going to show up when I paint. Yesterday was no exception. The more this gal emerged, the funnier it became and the more I laughed. The Husband even came into the studio to ask what was so funny.

As I paint and as my people come to life, they often tell me their stories. This is hers:

If you’ve ever been in a casino, you’ve seen me. I’m at my favorite slot machine and have been here for quite some time. I am totally confident that the big payout is coming with the very next pull on this one armed bandit.

Playing the Slots


Until next time.



Categories: Paintings

Feeling Grungy


Nothing pleases me more than when I’m making something for someone special. It’s a happy zone I get into during the process where I reflect on the reasons that person is special to me, moments of laughter together and adventures taken.

This week brings the birthday of the husband of one of my dearest friends. It’s one of those often rare relationships where her husband and mine are pals as well so it’s great fun doing things together.

D has one of those techy, geeky kind of jobs that I’m sure if he told me what he really does for a living, he’d then have to kill me, so I’ve stopped asking. What I do know is that often he works long hours, often through the night, of on-call time.

I knew I wanted to create a little painting for his birthday, so when this gal showed up, I knew she was the one. I have seen D after a long on-call and his eyes look an awful lot like hers.

On Call

On the back, I wrote this quote: My tolerance for idiots is extremely low today. I used to have some immunity built up, but obviously there is a new strain out there.

She makes me happy on so many levels. Aside from giving her as a gift, I rediscovered my love of grunge and grunge makes me very, very happy.


Until next time.



Categories: Friendship

Challenge Accepted!


It’s been a crazy, busy, fabulous seven days in the Sim household.

Last Friday, my darling Lizzy left to return home to Hawaii. Saturday and Sunday brought a wonderful trip to Amelia Island, filled with all sorts of crazy adventures with wonderful friends. Tuesday brought us a new friend in the form of a German exchange student who will be with us for the next three weeks. Thursday began very early with a 7:30am appointment for the boy to have his wisdom teeth removed and ended with a gorgeous launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket from Canaveral.

Knowing my schedule for the week, there seemed to be only one option. Sign up for the One Week, 100 People challenge on Facebook.

The thing is, I don’t know how to sketch and I’m most definitely not an urban sketcher. I do figurative abstractions and distortions, and while I certainly could have done those for this challenge, it seemed much better to move outside my wheelhouse and try something new. And do it on a “world stage”. I regularly had to remind myself not to compare my beginning with someone else’s middle in this journey because there was such amazing talent in the group. I am so inspired!

I began using magazine images for my sketches, but quickly realized there was no way I was going to get to 100 people at that rate. I jumped onto the site and did a ton of 60 second sketches. Last night, I took pictures of the people waiting for the rocket launch and crossed the finish line using those. Whew!

So, drum roll please….I present you with the not so good, the bad and the ugly.

I hope this pops up on my feed next year so I can do it all over again!


Until next time.



Categories: Challenges

Moving Forward Looking Back


Yesterday was one of those “Best Day Ever” days! Two of my best gal pals and I took my daughter who was visiting from Hawaii to Winter Park. We took the scenic boat tour through the Winter Park Chain of Lakes and WOW, that was fabulous. We saw some amazing “bungalows”, birds and boat houses.



This is the house Mr. Rogers’ father allegedly bought for him to live in while he attended Rollins College in the 1950s.

I’d be singing “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” too, if that were my neighborhood.






We attempted a selfie after leaving Sam Flax Art Store but no matter how hard we tried, we just couldn’t really get four of us into the shot. At this point in the effort, we all almost tumbled over like a row of dominoes.








Moving forward, I thought I had resolved the issue of readers being unable to post comments. Turns out I haven’t so it’s back to the drawing board on that one. Time to call tech support…

My most “exciting” news today is I think I have finally figured out how to post to Instagram from my laptop. I’m probably the last person to do so, but I’m so happy I did! Now it’s off to make another list…this time, a list of hashtags.

Until next time,



Already it’s April?

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I feel like this year has been a mad rush on a treadmill. I'm running as fast as I can and getting nowhere.

Actually, that's not true. I went from zero to 100 in the blink of an eye the first two months of this year. I created a lot of product and had a great show in the Keys in February. Didn't sell much, but the experience was amazing.








Clearly, I now see the need for a carpet for my booth!


March felt like I was just putting band-aids on things and getting projects "mostly" done. I made lists and lists and lists of lists while pacing back and forth while talking to myself. I called it "having a staff meeting".

So now it's April. It's time to circle back and finish up those sloppily patched projects. It's time to do the yuck business stuff of creating spreadsheets and making a business plan. It's time to work on this website. It's time to open up the light box I purchased and get better pictures of my prints for the shop. In other's time.



Best Day Ever

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Swan Lake Stables Open House

There’s something about hitting yourself repeatedly with a hammer…it feels so good when you stop.

After six weeks of running around getting canvasses, magnets, note cards and banners printed, the day finally arrived. My first show! There is a lot to be said for prior planning. We did a full staging of the tent the day before just to be sure we knew what we were doing. The set up at the show couldn’t have gone any easier.

The weather was absolutely perfect and the venue was wonderful. There were hay rides and pony rides, a petting farm and a craft area for the kids. Music and art and crafts, oh my!

At the end of the day, I had that Christmas/first day of summer vacation feeling in my stomach. That’s a sensation I haven’t felt since I was a kid. I felt (and will always feel) so thankful to my family and friends who encouraged me to do this. It is truly humbling.

Seeing old friends and making new friends

Now to plan and prepare for the next one and hopefully get some painting done too!

Categories: Shows


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If this page looks different each time you visit it, it’s because every time I touch it, something unexpected happens.

This isn’t my first trip to the website building rodeo. It is my first time using a drag and drop editor. This is making me crazy! I like to touch the code. I love Dreamweaver. I adore problem solving.

With this, I’m simply scratching my head and going in circles. I’ll get it eventually. I always do and once I do, we can get on to talking about fun things like art, art and more art!

Categories: In the Beginning