Dennis Simmons

Dennis Simmons

Dennis Simmons was born in San Diego, California and studied illustration at Palomar College.Continuing his educating at California State University, Long Beach, he began studying figurative drawing and oil painting with contemporary masters, Dominic Cretara and YuJi. 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.

Artist’s Statement

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

Select Juried Group Exhibitions and Competitions


Art Exchange, Long Beach – Group Salon


Randy Higbee Gallery – “6 x 6” Exhibition

Forest and Ocean Gallery – “Coast to Coast” Exhibition – Laguna Plein Air Painters

University Art Museum, CSULB – “Insights” Annual Art Exhibition

Max L. Gatov Gallery, CSULB – “Liminal” Drawing & Painting BFA Exhibition


Randy Higbee Gallery – “Urban Beauty” Exhibition

Loft Studios & Art Gallery – “Local Color”

Studio 2817 – “Less is More” Exhibition, LPAPA


Randy Higbee Gallery – “Less is More” Exhibition, LPAPA


Southern California Plein Air Painters – “Back Bay” Exhibition

Seven Degrees Gallery – “Best of Plein Air” – Laguna Plein Air Painters Association

La Jolla Art Association – “Under the Sky”

“Art in the Pines” Torrey Pines, CA – Plein Air Competition and Art Fair

Randy Higbee Gallery – “Less is More” Exhibition, LPAPA

Debra Huse Gallery – “Fresh Paint” Exhibition, LPAPA


Harbor Days Art Festival – Chula Vista, CA

Art in the Pines, Torrey Pines, CA – Plein Air Competition and Art Fair


Long Beach Arts – “Scapes” Exhibition


Chula Vista Art Guild – 10th Annual Art Show

Long Beach Arts – “Many Cultures, One World” Exhibition

Long Beach Arts – “Human Figure” Exhibition

2009 – 2015  

Paint San Clemente – Quick Draw Competition and Art Fair

Awards Received

2013     FASO “Fine Art Views” – Art Critic Brian Sherwin, Staff Pick from FASO Daily Art Show

2013     San Clemente Art Association – Quick Draw, Honorable Mention

2011     Long Beach Arts – Winter Members Exhibition, Honorable Mention

2010     Chula Vista Harbor Days, 1st Place

2010     Long Beach Arts – Human Figure Exhibition, 2nd Place

2009     San Diego County Fair – Oil- Still Lifes, Honorable Mention

2008     San Diego County Fair –Plein Air Painting Contest, Honorable Mention

Public Collections


California State University Long Beach – University Student Union Permanent Collection


City of Chula Vista – Main Library Permanent Collection                         



California State University, Long Beach Bachelor of Fine Arts – Drawing & Painting


Palomar College – Illustration Program

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