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Newport Beach art by oil painter Steve Simon including scenes of Balboa, Balboa Island, Corona del Mar, Newport Harbor and Back Bay (Upper Newport Harbor).
Newport Beach, California will always hold a special place in Simon’s heart. It is this picturesque seaside community that he chose to begin his art career. Prior to becoming an artist, Simon worked as a mechanical engineer and management consultant in his early and mid-twenties. He then studied international business during which he was elected Class President of his MBA class. Upon graduating, he took a consulting position in Paris, France where he rented an apartment in the famous artist quarter of Montmartre. It was in Paris, Simon had his epiphany and came to grips with his artistic creative passion. It was here he decided he would be a landscape artist.
He had visited a friend on Balboa Island in Newport Beach five years prior. The beauty, pace, and spirit of the place left a deep, lasting impression on him. Newport Beach was, thus, an obvious choice for him to stake out his new career path. So the engineer with an MBA and no formal art training arrived in this city with no practical reason for naming himself a California artist besides his spirit’s call and the inspiration of this magical place.
He would eventually publish two coffee-table books featuring his paintings of Newport Beach. In “The Spirit of Newport Beach” he wrote poetry to complement each painting. As an introduction to this book he wrote the following poem, summing up his attraction to his adopted home:
City on the coast
Blessed with beach and bay
Resplendent beauty and the warm, sunny day,
And dawn's salty fog, effervescent of the sea
And ocean sunsets to calm you and me.
Surfers dance 'top undulating waves
Lush green links pass golfers' days,
Pleasure yachts navigate a bustling bay
Tranquil wetlands put nature on display.
A stranger's greeting wears a smiling face
Wafts of jasmine relax the boardwalk's pace,
Rustling palms suggest a slight breeze
Pelicans patrol their lifeblood seas.
A place like none other I've found.
Indeed, a certain spirit does here abound.
For eight years, the Newport Beach artist would sell his work through the Simon Fine Art Gallery & Studio on Balboa Island. Here he would enjoy creating his Newport Beach art in the front of the gallery and meeting locals and tourists strolling Marine Avenue. Eventually, he broadened his muse to include Orange County art and later California art in general.
It was in his gallery, Simon would meet his future bride. Leslie and Steve married just down Marine Avenue at St. John Vianney and held the reception in the Simon Fine Art Gallery & Studio.
The collection of Newport Beach paintings and prints thus represents a series of simple snapshots in time as seen through the eyes of an artist who truly found his heart, artistically and romantically in this special beach town. From West Newport to Newport Coast, from Balboa Island to The Back Bay, there is much to enjoy and certainly much to inspire.
We hope you, too, enjoy and are inspired by this Newport Beach collection of art.