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Simone R. Wilson is a self-taught artist born in Atlanta, Georgia. She is an obsessive scavenger and rescuer of materials from the past and this often influences her work.
Setting up studio in 1991, she began producing functional and aesthetic assemblages out of the wonderful junk she would find. She and her best friend, Louise, a now seventeen year old Bassett Hound would peruse the neighborhoods in search of treasure.

"I knew the garbage pick up schedules and I’d say ‘get in the truck Weezy!’ on the eves before all the good stuff was taken away and off we would go."

Rusted roofing tin, old wood, porch railings, barn doors, irreparable chairs, bed springs….worn and discarded pieces of other peoples lives became birdhouses, yard art or simply forums for painting. " As our ever-changing society replaces old with new, I find magic on some level by resurrecting small parts of the past and making them new through artistic expression." Salvaging materials that would have ended up in the land fill, she gives character to abandoned objects using her own innate style, rendering them changed but still a part of the living …and not forgotten to all.

Simone’s studio is named for her Grandfather, Pleasant Hugh Martin, a farmer and carpenter from Hartwell, Ga. She spent summers with her grandparents when hot lazy days were passed in the kitchen with her Grandmother or following PaPa Hugh around. These were simple, sweet times she will never forget. At the age of nine she was given her first pocketknife by Pleasant Hugh and taught to whittle. Her first project was a slingshot, which consisted of a carefully chosen tree branch, inner tube rubber from a tractor tire, the tongue of an old boot and some string. The passion for assemblage, necessity of form as well as function, and her love of wood and junk were born. Many slingshots and other things were created that summer!

Simone moved to Athens, Ga. in 1992. It was there that she cultivated many important and supportive relationships and her garden of artistic dreams really took seed and began to grow. One of these relationships was with artist and person extraordinaire Beecher (Bill) Hickey. "I knew that Bill was going to be an important person in my life from the first moment I met him. He helped me to realize my need to paint."

Together they began restoring and building furniture using recycled wood and other objects and then embellishing them with trompe l’oiel paintings. Their work began to gain recognition and they were commissioned to paint wall, ceiling and floor murals in homes and restaurants throughout Atlanta and the southeast for the next eight years. Bill passed away in October of 2002.

"With his passing, I lost a mentor and a friend but gained so much from the short time we had together. Bill shared with me his experiences as an artist, a traveler, a cook and a lover of life! He was loved and is missed by many. I attribute many of my successes to him. He flows through my heart and my paintbrush every day."

Today the 42 year old artist focuses on her paintings, taking inspiration from the people and creatures that surround her. She continues to create two and three dimensional works for Pleasant Hugh Studio and Atlanta based Dryads Dancing. Her work can be found in galleries and specialty stores throughout the United States and in Canada. She paints, builds, scavenges, gardens and lives in Asheville, North Carolina with her family and best friend Louise.

ARTIST STATEMENT
"I am continually in awe of and inspired by the people in my life and the furry and feathered creatures and this good earth .I want the viewer to see and maybe remember something and smile. My images are simple and true, no dissection necessary. There’s not much dialogue there…or maybe there is."
 
 

©2017 Simone R. Wilson, Pleasant Hugh Studio