West Sussex vet scoops four international art awards

Self-taught Sussex artist and vet Sarah Simmonds, of Wiston, has beaten more than 2,000 other artists in a major international competition.

camel driver painting by S Simmonds
camel driver painting by S Simmonds

Sarah won no fewer than four awards in the global art competition LightSpaceTime, including first prize overall. The event was open to various art forms and attracted 2,128 entrants from 34 countries.

The exhibition results can be viewed until October 2 at https://www.lightspacetime.art/10th-anniversary-art-exhibition-2020-overall-category

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The winning artist will be promoted by the US-based gallery and circulated to 550+ major news outlets including PremiumFox, CBS, NBC and affiliated sites with a guaranteed listing on Google News, Bing News and social media inclusion. The exhibition video will also run on YouTube.

The competition’s judgement was: “Miss Simmonds’ Camel Driver reminds me of the tried and true style of the great American master John Singer Sargent. Capturing the expression in his wrinkled face, it makes me wonder what the subject is thinking. The couched pose, colour palette and her use of light combine for a strong composition, making the painting truly the top overall winner.”

Sarah said: “To be likened to J S Sargent is the ultimate compliment as far as I am concerned. To have got any award in such a big competition would have been a thrill, but to have won the top prize is just mind-blowing. I'm excited at the prospect that this win will help build my reputation as an international portrait and equestrian artist and result in more commissions coming my way.”

Sarah enjoys working in all media – oil, pastel, watercolour, acrylic, pencil, charcoal and even biro. She can also capture a likeness in clay. She has won many major awards, had paintings exhibited in Christie's and Westminster Galleries and has had her work published – achieving all this alongside her demanding veterinary career

Examples of her work can be seen in her Portrait, Equestrian and Pet albums on Facebook: http://https/://www.facebook.com/sarah.simmonds.775

Sarah added: “I could be described as a realist but my overarching desire is for every piece to have a certain beauty and emotional value in its own right.

“After devoting much of my life to my rewarding career as a vet and leaving my creative ambitions unfulfilled, I am now determined to make up for lost time and concentrate on my art. There's a lifetime of art to be created and lessons to be learnt, all to be crammed into one-third of a lifetime. Where there's a will and passion there's a way!

“My intense love of animals drives and motivates me in both my veterinary and artistic pursuits.

“Having also worked in racing yards, with such magnificent thoroughbreds, I couldn't help but be drawn to capturing their beauty and movement on paper.

“I have back-packed to many remote places, and the photographs of the beautiful people that I had the good fortune to encounter on my travels were my main inspiration to start painting portraits. The camel driver was actually my guide for a day's camel ride in Rajasthan actually my guide for a day's camel ride in Rajasthan which led to a blistered back-side – a misfortune more than made up for by this latest award.”