Paintings by Virginia Simons

Abstract Blue Green

Using complimentary colors for splatter to see how the paint speaks.

Abstract Orange

One of the things about watercolor is its versatility and whimsy. Here curiosity took over as I concentrated on complementary and analogous colors to spatter and see what could become of that. The result is what the paint showed me.

Bits and Pieces on the Beach

The wet sand changes color in the shadows of the clouds. Even the small wet wood chip glimmers. All the shell pieces in their history and formation and destruction tell a story of life.

Blue Hydrangeas

Can you tell I like hydrangeas? They are both hardy and delicate. Here is a still life with Blue ones. One must “hurry” for hydrangeas slightly change shades over time.

Blue Iris

From the hours in my grandmother Browning’s garden to the images of Georgia O’Keefe’s flowers taking my breath away, the blending of colors and lacy edges of Irises amaze me. When I study them I see fluid movement in both shape and value. As a child I enjoyed just putting my face right up into…

Buttercups in Blue Vase

Buttercups remind me of springs and summers. The blue ceramics accent them.

Canyon De Chelly – oil

This is the invaders best version of the Navajo name. “The name chelly (or Chelley) is a Spanish borrowing of the Navajo word Tséyiʼ, which means “canyon” (literally “inside the rock” < tsé “rock” + -yiʼ “inside of, within”). The Navajo pronunciation is [tséɣiʔ” Indegenous people use literal locations of places and pass this down…

Celtic Cross, Ireland

The cemeteries of Ireland have these ancient Celtic Crosses. Before the average person could read, the carvers would put scenes from the Bible on the crosses to tell the stories. This one shows the Christ figure, Adam and Eve at the fruit tree, and Cain slaying Abel.

Charli’s Passion Flowers

Charli and Jill have the best garden! I had never seen passionflowers before. The complicated blooms are amazing especially as they move with the wind. And Charli takes wonderful photos of flowers.

Chinle Spirits Formation

Up on the mesa, not far from where we lived, there was this huge formation sometimes called “haystacks”. To myself I called them watchful spirits. Out of the flat sand rise these interlocking towers. As I painted this I imagined all the possible spirits there so I added the faces.

Coming East into Window Rock at Dawn – oil

I took this highway so many times, but one very early morning just as the sun was rising into full day it reflected off the mountain ridges and I counted seven. I pulled over, got out of my car to stare. I had never noticed them before.

Coming East into Window Rock at Dawn watercolor

This was at early morning as the road drops down off the Continental Divide into the town of Window Rock and the sun was rising over eastern mountain ridges.

Coming Into Tsaile

There is a road north from Chinle to Tsaile where I took Dine’ College art classes. The views change with each trip—it is a favorite route.

Connemara, Ireland

The colors and atmosphere of Connemara are unique. Maybe it is the proximity to the ocean, or the latitude, but the greens and sky colors are penetrating. Thanks to D. Cavanaugh for creating a template to then paint my own version.

Desert Modern

This captures the many parts of beauty within the Navajo Reservation: the bluest of skies, the browns of the sand, the trees in the Chuska mountain mist, the use of turquoise in jewelry that has accents in the landscapes, to the beginnings of the starlit skies of dusk.

Exotic Pause

This portrait is from a photo of a dancer with a feather headdress after the end of a dance performance. Las Vegas or New Orleans or Brazil, I am not sure.

Floral Vase

Fresh field cut flowers still life.

Frosty Winter Scene

It can get so cold the air crackles and takes your breath. Yet the frost settles in wondrous glow in the tops of the trees.

Grandpa’s Farm

Some of my best “picture memories” are spring days on Grandpa’s Tennessee farm. He always rose before the sun and the rising would accompany him to the barn for milking. I would stand at the fence a distance away and take in the whole scene. This is my memory.

Grey Hills, Chinle

When living in the desert I used to say, “If you don’t like what you see, just drive a while and it all changes!” Near home, the stark changes in landscape amazed me. Yes there is a “moonscape” area of grey green hard-packed dirt sand hills. This was a sunset evening there.

Gulf Shore of Alabama

Each day the ocean gulf presents differently. This day the long waves that curl across and fall making a clap type sound were fun to watch.

Hawaii Beach

Hawaii beaches are little pockets of beach tucked in among rocky shore.

Here I Am

Portrait from the Our Child series of Immigrant children separated from their parents at the border and imprisoned throughout the U.S. from 2018 to the present. This series can be uncomfortable as it invokes a human natural response to protect our children.

Immigrant Woman 1

She has had her child taken at the U.S. Border.

Iris Field

Irises bloom in early summer with colors and variety that brighten any day.

Irish Cliffs

Ireland cliffs, my colors.

Leaves at Dusk

Even at dusk their colors can be seen, holding out through the dark.

Leaves for Thankfulness

Fall is a beautiful time in Ohio with all the variety of trees. I am thankful for all the days of bright colors offered just before dark winter days.

Leaves in a Puddle

In Ohio the frost and rains of fall bring the leaves down too soon! The leaves fight back to hold onto their colors to the very last. The maples, oaks and Elms keep company while the cold comes.

Leaves in Winter Frost

I took leaves and dabbed them in a color and put them down on the dry paper to get the edges and veins of the leaves. This palette reminds me of crisp, icy winter days.

Left Ashore

I collected these and placed them in a cluster in the sand, as if hugging one another after being left there from the familiar sea.

Lies Sideway – Crow Brave

Portrait from an Edward Curtis (c1908) photograph. His photographs and study are amazing. I just don’t know if any of the monies made from these photographs ever came back to help the Native American people. I only hope.

Lone Bison

Lone Bison in first snow. Male Bison range as much as 20-25 miles in a day and live mostly alone on the range. I am struck by this since all the other “buffalo” I have seen were behind barbed wire.

Maui Beach

Memories of beach walks on Maui.

Memorial Day

I was at this cemetery to paint outside just after Memorial Day. This was the veteran’s section. Having an uncle who died in war, a father who served in the military for 20 years, and four other uncles who served during WWII and now a son in the Navy, there was a lot to think…

Navajo Powwow Fancy Dancer

Time at any indigenous Pow Wow of ancient dances and artistic symbolic dress inspires. Families pass down the art, and the meticulous care taken to costumes and the dance steps honoring ancestors.


The intention was to take a design and make it one’s own in a nouveau style.

Orange Beach

This day the wind was up and the waves came steadily swirling the water as it was pulled back off the sand. There was a distant little rain cloud on the horizon.

Our Child 1

Heartbreaking for children to be held in fenced cages away from parents and among strangers.

Our Child 2

This is one of four portraits painted from May to June of 2018 when our government took babies and children from their immigrant parents and housed them in cages.

Our Child 3

This is the third of immigrant children series. Is this a teen? What sexual identity? Is the emotion anger? But there are tears? Is this child watching and waiting for us to do something? I want us to have all these questions and feel both for the child and our own discomfort.

Our Child 4 – Waiting

This is one of a series of four portraits painted from May to June of 2018 when our government took babies and children from their immigrant parents and housed them in cages.

Paris Night Cruise

Influenced by a visit to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam I’m sure. But I am not so conscious of how, it just happens when both a painting captures and then a live scene consolidates in the heart and mind. On the night cruise, I kept thinking “he took what he saw and pushed it…

Poinsettia Impression

Abstract painting of Poinsettia Still life.

Rain on the Mesa

In the desert one can see for 70 miles at times. I was so amazed as I watched the storms move across the vast spaces. With sun shining where you stand and rains, blessed rains falling on the horizon.

Shells at Fort Morgan Beach

The Shells are larger on Fort Morgan beach. The curves and designs of nature are intriguing and show differently in white than in grey or black. The sand is so soft it collects in a way that leaves flowing and weaving edges as the edge of each wave leaves.

Shells on a Beach

I have been a collector of shells on beaches around the world; these are a few of my favorites.

Shells on Shore

These shells on shore are near enough to still get periodic edges of waves to soak the sand around them.

Spider Rock Inspired

My husband and I lived for four years in Chinle, AZ. Canyon De Chelly National monument was 5 miles from our home. We would often go there in all seasons and times of day. Spider Rock sits deep in the canyon and is known for the ancient weaver called Spider Woman. She is the spiritual…

Spreading Swirl

As I work with “Brusho” watercolor powder the colors explode and with the water spray, they run wild on the page. It accents the beautiful detail of leaves in motion.

Spring at Sandy Ridge Reserve

This is a favorite place to watch migrations of birds in spring and fall. But on this clear summer morning there is this wonderful reflection of the sky, and water lilies.

Spring Flowers

A still life of fresh flowers in a vase, hopefully bringing a smile to someone’s face.

Sticks and Stones

Little girl in headlights at night, waiting for officer, since her mother is taken.

The Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

This was a windy cold day in early May with the crashing waves and few people braving the weather this almost raining day. This is such a dramatic coast on the edge of the Atlantic. It is where ancient history and threatening weather prevails and pulls one to the the very earth and sea.

Touring in the Rain

Watercolor . Standing on a bridge in Ghent, Belgium in the rain, hardy tourists came by on a boat tour. This image always makes me smile.

Tulip Tree

Impressionistic tulip tree bloom, again using my observation, memory and Charli’s photography, I could both mask out parts to resemble the flower while also letting the washes and colors run throughout.

Twirling Dancers

The skirts of Latina dancers of Mexico, U.S. southwest, and Spain are so beautiful and dynamic. This unusual arial perspective is one of my favorites. It was my first piece as I emerged from a long absence from doing art.

Where Am I?

One in the series of Our Child. This series represents the children taken at our border and imprisoned from 2018 to the present. This image is from a news photo taken of a very young boy looking out the fenced window of a cage.

Where Are You?

This is one of the series Our Child about imprisoning innocent immigrant children. This is of a very young girl, around 3 years old, with wild curly black hair with such questioning eyes. Don’t turn away.

Whimsical Glass Vase With Flowers

I love the drips and flows watercolor forms. Always the interaction of control yet out of control, that is the balancing act of the artist.

White Hydrangeas

I won this crackled vase filled with white hydrangeas as a table prize. This still life was a result. There is an oil painting also.

White Hydrangeas – oil

The lovely white hydrangeas in crackled vase still life.

Winter Field

There are many snowy fields during Ohio’s winter. Once in a while the sun sets across the snow reflecting the cold clouds and this gold, peachy color.