Car Enthusiast and International Artist
The Community Tapestry NEPA Project attracted 30 artists – families, children, first-timers displaying their art, established artists showcasing their work or sharing inspirational messages. One artist is Simon Ward. Simon is an internationally known artist in the world of high-performance racing cars.
His contribution of “An Old Ford by the Hawley Garage” is simply wonderful. Using only three colors, the painting looks like a photograph.
Simon is British. He has “crossed the pond” numerous times since his first visit to the Indy 500 in 1990. In 2015, he met a woman and moved to Ohio to be together. Early this year, the relationship ended, and Simon was intending to return to England. That was March 26th.
When Simon arrived at Kennedy Airport, he was advised not to get on the plane unless it was an emergency. His friend and business partner, David, offered his trailer that was stored outside his garage on his Lackawaxen property. Thinking this might be a 2-3-month solution, Simon accepted this generous offer and began his journey into the unknown.
He calls it his “Wilderness Period.” Having an opportunity to isolate in nature was a gift to reconnect with himself. “It’s a haven” says Simon, “without a car, I was able to watch the seasons change by days and sometimes by the hour – there were amazing transformations. And I actually got to see a bear!”
Simon spent a great deal of his time painting (when he could acquire supplies). He was pleasantly surprised to be invited to the Community Tapestry Project. This beautiful and unknown part of Pennsylvania has delighted Simon in many ways. He loves the sense of community, a cross section of car lovers and enthusiasts and rich with history and roots grounded in its identity.
His original idea for a painting was an 1880’s railroad scene. Walking through Hawley he was taken with the old Western town motif. “Hawley is how you imagine an American small town to look.” Once he stumbled upon the old Ford, Simon knew this is what his painting would be. A combination of his passion for cars and the charm of years gone by.
“COVID-19 has given us the gift of a far greater imagination, the ability to entertain ourselves and to be more creative. People end up surprising themselves.” Simon continued, “Life is a series of chapters. This opportunity has allowed me to step back and think about what’s next. It’s important to empty your head and remember peace in stressful times. There’s more to come with your Art. I’m now looking at my work in a slightly different way.”
Simon is still here, painting and enjoying the kindness of a welcoming community. The pandemic is a globally shared experience. Yet, we are each experiencing it in our own way. Simon’s motto – You live, you learn. You learn, you live.
The Community Tapestry NEPA Project is on display at The Cooperage in Honesdale – July 29 – August 5 and at The Delaware Valley Arts Alliance on Main Street in Narrowsburg – August 5 – 19. @CommunityTapestryNEPA for updates and information.
A live artist event and socially distanced art gallery is currently in development to be held at The Silk Mill. Stay tuned for details. Follow Simon @Simonward46 or www.facebook.com/simon.ward.165