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Ron Sims; fine artist and artist-printmaker

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Ron Sims' work combines contradictions of surface and form, ambiguities of pictorial space, visual puns, literal associations, and historical cross-referencing. How do George Stubbs, 16th century Dutch Interiors, life-drawing at the Royal Academy Schools, Walt Disney, butterflies, hippos and cowboys all come together and make sense? We can all enjoy the delicious sense of humour going on here! - Barry Atherton, Glasgow School of Art

Our friend Ron Sims

I regret giving you the sad news that Ron Sims, friend, colleague, artist, talented printmaker and inspirational Wednesday evening class tutor died at his home on Friday 17th October 2014.

Our heartfelt condolences to Wendy, to his daughters and to all his family and many friends.

Ron's ability, approachability and wit made him a much liked and admired artist and teacher. Had there been an Olympic Gold for originality, he deserved to win outright. His personal work gained an increasingly strong reputation and many plaudits, modestly and humorously accepted, as was Ron's way.

Recently Ron was kind enough to present a wonderful print to the workshop when I asked him if he'd like to join Michael Rothenstein, Dale Devereux Barker and other workshop stars on the studio walls. The print is now beautifully framed by Carl Borges, and will hang in the Gainsborough's House Print Workshop - and will, I'm sure, inspire and encourage artists and printmakers in the future, just as Ron has through his own example, practical skills and his unfailing enthusiasm.

Ron will be remembered with great affection and gratitude. The workshop really valued his contribution and, for regular working members, finding Ron making a new print upstairs was always a pleasure. I had hoped to organise an event to mark our appreciation of his contribution to the Wednesday evening classes. Ron liked the idea and we had hoped to organise a date but, sadly, health problems intervened. Ron's attitude was typically resilient and stoical and he spoke of such matters with all his usual humour and optimism.

Numerous organisations benefitted from Ron's creativity, organisational skills and leadership - including as the 2014 President of the Colchester Art Society - and here I add my own grateful memories of his encouragement and print making expertise and for the enjoyment of seeing his inspired prints in production and the sheer fun of their titles.

With fond thoughts to you all, Sue Molineux (Gainsborough's House Print Workshop, Gainsborough's House Museum & Art Gallery, Sudbury, Suffolk UK)

Gainsborough's House Print Workshop

Ron Sims, President of Colchester Art Society

It is with deep regret that I have to inform you of the death of our President, Ron Sims. Many of you will have been aware that he has been ill for many months but he has continued to be active for the best interests of the society and attended our last committee meeting just two weeks ago. He will be greatly missed, not just for his kind and valuable advice, but for his great knowledge of the arts and the contacts he maintained in the art world. Our thoughts go out to Wendy and his children.

Kind regards, Mervyn Vallance (Membership Secretary, Colchester Art Society, Colchester, Essex UK)

Colchester Art Society

Ron Sims regularly exhibited his work, which is held in both public and private collections, for over 40 years. For Ron the psychological implications of turning soft imagery into a hard-edge, rigid-block representation are a vital element in his work. He derives pleasure from producing fine-tuned, sometimes discordant, relationships between colours and tones. The tension and conflict in his colour-clashes are unified by geometric shapes and the hard edges enclosing them - creating three-dimensional effects.

The "double-take" is also an important ingredient - it is through this that Ron Sims explores incongruous and unusual ideas.

Art work | Exhibitions | Profile | Gallery

Further information

The East Contemporary Art Collection

Ron's work is part of this new showcase - "A new collection, distinct from the historic collections in the region yet complimentary to them, which will act as a showcase for the wealth of artistic talent at work in East Anglia in the 21st century. All the art on display has been produced after the year 2000 by over 115 different artists. Artists from seven counties Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire have contributed work."

Colchester Art Society

Spring 2013 - Ron Sims has been elected as President of 'Colchester Art Society' (following in the footsteps of Cedric Morris, John Nash, Roderic Barrett and Anthony Atkinson) - "A very proud moment!"

The Art Workers' Guild, 6 Queen Square, Bloomsbury, London

Ron Sims presented a substantial solo exhibition, Visual Genetics: Human and Animal - 18 March / 23 March 2013

Founded originally by the leading lights of the Arts and Crafts movement in the 1880s, The Art Workers' Guild's current members uphold long-established traditions of workmanship and a desire to contribute to the community. Ron is a Guild member

See more of Ron's upcoming exhibition dates.

Visit The Art Workers' Guild website.


Ron is a writer / reviewer for 'Interface'. Interface is a "Platform for critical writing, and a focal point around the presentation of contemporary art". Ron has been writing for 'Interface' since 2003, here is a list of his reviews for the magazine.

Printmakers Council

Ron is a member of the Printmakers Council - the PmC promotes the place of printmaking in the visual arts, new developments within printmaking, and exhibitions of printmaking in the UK and abroad.

The Art Workers' Guild

Ron has been elected as a member of the Bloomsbury-based Art Workers Guild (Oct 2011). The Guild is a society of artists, craftsmen and designers bound by good craftsmanship and design. Potential new members are makers of distinction or merit in their field - past members include architect Sir Edwin Lutyens; designer William Morris and illustrator Arthur Rackham. See Ron's profile page on the Art Workers' Guild website.

Colchester Castle Museum

"Artist Ron Sims demonstrated four different techniques (dry point, etching, lino-cut and woodcut), creating a new type of event not seen in the Colchester Castle Museum before." Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service Joint Committee [March 2009 - report on museum events]

Royal Academy Schools, London

A well respected tutor and critical reviewer, Ron studied at the Royal Academy Schools in London, and is a current member of the Royal Academy Schools Alumni Association (RASA) Council. Previously known as the Reynolds Club - RASA was created to maintain links between the Royal Academy Schools and its past students.


Ron Sims on Flickr - as part of the Royal Academy Schools, alumni photostream (RASA)

Ron Sims' work relates to colour field and hard-edge imagery

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