Dennis Simmons was born in San Diego, California and studied illustration at Palomar College. Continuing his education at California State University, Long Beach, he began studying figurative drawing and oil painting with contemporary masters, Domenic Cretara and Yu Ji. Simmons’ largest influences in figurative painting come from Rembrandt, Caravaggio, and John Singer Sargent. Following the traditional painting techniques of the old masters, Simmons’ paintings push the contrast of light and shade to heighten drama. In contrast to his figurative work, Simmons’ paints in the plein air fashion of Monet and Pissaro-in open air, with natural light. Dennis currently resides in the Eastside area of Long Beach.
I use color in a reduced limited palette of very low intensities, as I believe it represents a realistic view of both the subject matter and of life itself, while simultaneously making a comment about contemporary society. Color, as amazing, dazzling, and beautiful as it is, sometimes masks our outlook and perceptions of truth. The world is not black and white, nor is it multi color and high-definition. Life is shades of gray, and I believe my style of painting defines those values. I am bringing harmony to polarization in color, such as red and green, by showing how opposites can work together in a world where common characteristics are emphasized over opposites. Nevertheless, there is an important role for color to play in the subtle contrasts of warm and cool tones.The color is implicit. It teases, whispers to the viewers the longer they look at my paintings.