Local artist goes viral – Hernando Sun

Lynne Simone is a visual artist whose work combines the love of animals, art and teaching. Her work fosters emotional connection and support for audiences and artists in the Central Florida arts community.

Simone remembers having a gift for the arts from an early age: “I’ve been drawing and doodling ever since I was able to hold a pencil or a pencil. It’s just something programmed into me, a need to create. My dad could draw just about anything and that’s where my talent came from, although he never pursued it other than a fun hobby.

Simone’s parents supported her talent by enrolling her in private drawing lessons at the age of 10 until she could take art classes in high school. “My art school teacher inspired me during those confusing teenage years and the arts department became a safe place for me. “

She continued to play with different mediums, found her unique style and traveled into painting. “I explored a variety of mediums and my favorite at the time was pastels,” she explained, “Painting is an extension of drawing, another medium to experiment with, and I love acrylic. for its bold color and quick dry time. I love the creamy look of oil paint, but not the mess on cleanup! “

Simone revived her profession after her children grew up and left their home. The creative energy she devoted to helping with school projects and crafts was now devoted to commission painting or sharing her passion through teaching.

Pet portraits have become Simone’s specialty, acclaimed by locals and national celebrities like Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame. “I’ve always loved animals and feel like they have moving expressions, just like humans. “Eyes are the window to the soul” is true in both domestic animals and humans and if you don’t have the right eyes it is just another dog then I strive to capture every personality unique in my portrait. “

She has been making custom pet portraits for years and started teaching others how to capture an animal’s personality with paint about seven years ago. This is what led to his viral portrayal of Freddy, Mike Rowe’s rescued puppy.

“Last summer I gave my monthly ‘Paint Your Pet’ course to Paint with a Twist after the businesses reopened and used Mike Rowe’s dog, Freddy, as a classroom demonstration dog,” a- she explained.

The painting was then hung on the Marker 48 where you can see some of Simone’s work on the walls or the beer cans. She took a photo, posted it on Facebook, and tagged Mike Rowe and his nonprofit: MikeRoweWorks. Within an hour, the TV star had said he would love to have his precious puppy painted and Simone kindly agreed.

She said: “About a month later on September 18, 2020, he posted a public post on his Facebook page from the dog’s point of view looking at his own likeness which has been seen by thousands of people. He gave my information on social media and my website and within days I received hundreds of requests for portrait awards.

Thanks to this post, Simone had over 5 million new eyes on her work. Its commission calendar is now complete until the end of the year.

“I had to cut my other jobs as a massage therapist and painting teacher in order to be a full time artist and I couldn’t be happier,” she exclaims, “I’m always grateful for his cuteness that catapulted my career pet portrait. “

In addition to her commissions, Simone has exhibited her work in Hyde Park with the Tampa Regional Artists, the Stirling Gallery in Dunedin, Atelier de Sosi and the Morean Art Center in St. Petersburg. She was also involved in the Art League and the Hernando County Fine Arts Council. Despite her already busy schedule, she still regularly attends art shows and galleries in central Florida.

You can follow Simone on her social media to keep up with her busy schedule and keep tabs on when you can order your own pet portrait.

Facebook: Lynne Simone Fine Art

Instagram: @ lartiste_724

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