Elfrida's Blog . . .

Thoughts, diversions, and all of those things. - This is their home !

Carnevale Icon Happy talk,
keep talking Happy talk . . .

Posted by Elfrida...
27th March 2015

Happy talk, keep talking Happy talk . . .
Talk about things you like to do . . .
You gotta have a Dream - - If you don’t have a Dream . . .
How you gonna have a DREAM come TRUE !!

These words are from “South Pacific” -

the wonderful Musical Play of so many years ago.
The music and words have always haunted me !
And . . . . SO it WAS, for me !!

(and STILL IS !!)

Nicola’s superb colours and subjects created The World I ‘lived in’ !! So many Memories !! His favourite places recorded in his “diaries” . . . they still hold the excitement and “dreams”, of then . . . whether it was the SEA, or the beauty of Italy, or a beautiful girl, or a racing car, or a bicycle race . . . or even scenes of London (with The Horse Guards lining up for their Drill !) . . .

Simbari - Horseguard Parade - London
“Horseguard’s Parade”
©Nicola Simbari

Often, sitting in a ‘trattoria’, somewhere in Rome, or Naples, or - - ? - - Nicola would take a pen from my bag, and sketch all over the paper tablecloth . . . or create a ‘sculpture’ from the tooth-picks, in a small ‘holder’,placed on the table, held together with grissini (bread-sticks) !!

Ciclisti - Nicola Simbari He always took with him his favourite Camera, and lots of film, and disappear for ‘ages’ . . .
taking photos of the town, or beach, or . . .
and they would be his ‘next subjects’ !

©Nicola Simbari 1958

“Scalinata di Panarea”
©Nicola Simbari
Scalinata di Panarea - Nicola Simbari

Café Flore - Nicola Simbari “Café Flore” – Paris
©Nicola Simbari

Later, when he had his Studio in Paris, he would walk the streets of his favourite ‘parts’ of this superb City, taking photos of everything
- - - cafes and restaurants, girls on mopeds or bikes, the confusion of traffic, and even the clowns and performers in the Place St. Germain de Pres . . .

As I look through some of the colourful books, and catalogues, published about his works, I don’t need a photo album . . . here is MY Life in glorious colour !!

- - - for me, the only ‘thing’ that is missing is “Music” . . . songs, poetry and music, bring back so many scenes and memories from a busy and chaotic Life !!

. . . and a SIMBARI painting, or etching, or sketch
brings it ALL back to “Life” !!!

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Carnevale Icon St. Valentine's Day - the Two Men
in my Life...

Posted by Elfrida...
12th Feb 2015

St. Valentine's Day . . . !!

- - - and the adventure BEGAN !! - - -

When I fall in love . . .

It will be forever,

Or I'll never fall in love . . .

Words sung by Nat King Cole
. . . many years ago !

They describe MY relationship with Nicola . . !!

So many times I wanted to ‘pack my bags’, and leave . . . BUT I couldn't


For years, I have not thought about the time when Nicola turned up in London, very unexpectedly ! - - - I had returned to England, from Italy, to follow my career (and Dream) - - the Theatre. Nicola had asked me to marry him when I was in Rome, studying singing and working in the ‘movies’ and, as a fashion model. But I wanted to be “free”, and returned to London “unattached”.

Nicola had ‘other ideas’ - - - he called me from a telephone-box, and announced that he was IN LONDON and had come to ‘ask my Father for my hand-in-marriage’ !! I often wonder what would have happened IF my father had not said “You are NOT going to marry HIM !!” in a very angry voice !

Six weeks later, on October 1st. 1957 Nicola and I were married, in London, at the Kensington Registrar’s Office !!

Only NOW do I begin to understand the ‘quality’ of that Love, that I had for Nicola - the man – the boy – and the Artist - - !! My love, then, was ‘forever’ - - - and, despite all his “naughtiness”, it still IS “forever”. Very Naïve for ‘today’, it would seem - - - but nevertheless, IT STILL IS a “forever love” . . . perhaps it became, as time went by, more like the love for a ‘wayward’ child ! He relied on me ‘being there’ to sort ‘things’ out !!! and I was - - - until - - -!

and then - - I couldn’t ‘help’ ! But I was still there and ‘waited’ !

He was ‘different’ - - ‘forever young’ and filled with THE NOW of each day . . . and with his Art, and his Love-of-Life, which can be felt in his paintings . . THAT was his Magic - - and - - - IT STILL IS !

I love this photo !!
Nicola Simbari - Nicola and Chu chu The 2 men in my Life !!!

Nicola and Chu-chu (named after a friend of ours who lived in Cornwall
. . . Prince Chula of Chundragor !).

1960 . . . Life was GREAT !! WHAT could possibly go wrong !??

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Carnevale Icon Gennarino & Celebrations . . .
Posted by Elfrida...
11th Jan 2015

Today, something reminded me of “Gennarino” ! - - -

Gennarino Book Cover - Nicola Simbari
Gennarino - Hard Back - Nicola Simbari

Title:   Gennarino
Hardcover:  32 pages
Publisher:  Oxford University Press (December 1962)
Language:  English
ISBN-10:  0192796011
ISBN-13:  978-0192796011

Title:  Gennarino
Publisher:  J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia New York
Publication Date:  1962
Binding:  Hardcover
Illustrator:  Simbari, Nicola

(an award winning illustrated children’s book, published by J.B.Lippincott in 1962, by Simbari)

1961 - - It was Christmas in New York (it had been snowing and it was COLD!) - - Nicola was preparing for his first one-man exhibition in Palm Beach, Florida, scheduled to open at the Palm Beach Galleries, in Worth Avenue, at the end of January 1962 . . .

As we sat in our small studio/apartment, Nicola started to sketch and paint memories of his childhood in Calabria (Southern Italy) . . . telling me stories of the ‘family Celebrations’ over the Nativity period . . . and “Gennarino” was ‘born !!

I have been re-reading this enchanting book, today . . . and I am reminded of “the Simbari Magic” . . . his ‘telling stories’ with his paintings - - -

“ - - - fantastic fireworks opened like brilliant umbrellas
of coloured stars and lit up the evening sky.”

Nicola Simbari - From Gennarino p1 1962 was the start of the unbelievable Simbari “Success Story” . . .

The Story of Gennarino . . .

It all started in ISCHIA . . .

a beautiful island in the Bay of Naples . . .

and the dreams of a

little boy

who dreamed of

winning the

“Festa al Mare”

with his boat . . .

Nicola Simbari - From Gennarino p2

Nicola Simbari - From Gennarino p3

and the people
and adventures he met, along the way !

Nicola Simbari - From Gennarino p4
such as Carmine, the Clown and Fire-eater at a visiting Circus


With the help of friends and a lot of luck . . .

He, and the

Magical Bird,

came sailing

into victory !!
Nicola Simbari - From Gennarino p5 was THIS  the story of young Nicola ?

and his Dream of becoming an Artist !

and his ‘dream’ of being a “Clown” . . . making everyone happy !!

It is an enchanting trip into his “world” - - -

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Carnevale Icon The CIRCUS “Simbari”
Posted by Elfrida...
-08th Dec 2014

Life with SIMBARI was a “CIRCUS” !!

Nicola told me that as a small boy in Calabria, he had dreamed of ‘running away’ to join one of the small Circus Groups [Saltimbanchi] that visited his home town of San Lucido Marina !

He loved the “Clowns” ! . . .      and their different Costumes . . .      sometimes they were acrobats . . .      and sometimes they were magicians . . .

or even both !

Nicola Simbari - The Clarinet Player

The Clarinet Player
gouache on paper
©Nicola Simbari

- - - was this a Self-portrait ??


Circus Ring
oil on canvas
©Nicola Simbari

Circus Ring - Nicola Simbari

- - - from the Cirque Ancienne Grus to the Russian Circus . . .
in Paris - - -

Circus Elephant etching - Nicola Simbari

Simbari NEVER lost his excitement !!

The Top - Le Cirque Ancien Grus - Nicola Simbari

“The Top”
Le Cirque Ancien Grus - - Paris

and then . . . . “Le Cirque Exhibition’ in New York

Vivacious Simbari Exhibition - Nicola Simbari

and a visit to The Coloseum . . .

and the famed Barnham and Bailey Circus

Musical Clown - Nicola Simbari

CLOWNS were everywhere !!

And the beautiful “Acrobats a Cheval”

Acrobats a Cheval - Nicola Simbari

Simbari Circus Family Sketch

AND WE became The Circus Family !!

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Carnevale Icon Paris
Posted by Elfrida...
-20th Oct 2014

Hi there everyone !!!
I was reminded again of the Paris collection !!! - - - because I've been approached and may be letting some of the "Paris" works go.

And with the way my mind works, some words of a song popped into my mind..

I Love Paris in the Springtime
I Love Paris in the Fall
I Love Paris in the Winter when it drizzles,
I Love Paris in the Summer, when it sizzles

I love Paris every moment
Every moment of the year,
Why oh Why do I love Paris ?
Because my Love is near . . .

"I Love Paris" - Cole Porter 1953

Nicola Simbari - Station de Metro The Markets are full of Colour !!!

- So vibrant

Station de Metro
oil on canvas
©Nicola Simbari

I think this is how Nicola felt . . . however PARIS was the Magical world of ALL Arts, and he FOUND HIS TRUE LOVE, there . . . his Art changed from 'naive' to 'full-on'!!

Yellow and Reds

Yellow and Reds
oil on canvas
©Nicola Simbari

Yellow and Reds - Nicola Simbari

Many, many, Artists, from ALL the Arts. have been enchanted by 'her' Magic ! [IF I ever had a "rival" . . . she was PARIS !!]

Nicola Simbari - Reds and Blues Reds and Blues

- So vibrant

Reds and Blues
oil on canvas
©Nicola Simbari

Nicola became an "artist" when he 'discovered' the Paris "Magic" !!!

I've written before about Nicola / Paris inspiration, find the "Diary entry Paris" here, also mentions of the Paris Studio here

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Carnevale Icon Bougainvillea
Posted by Elfrida...
-15th Sept 2014

I haven't blogged for ages - Don't worry - still here !!!

Bougainvillea - - - So many Memories . . . of the West Indies
- - of Trinidad, and Carnival Time, when living with my Father in Port of Spain ;!      or trips with Nicola to Jamaica,

Nicola Simbari - Bougainvillea where there are
of species,

from deep purple to white

oil on canvas
©Nicola Simbari

. . . and Mexico and beautiful Florida !!

. . . but, most of all, our holidays in Capri . . .

Nicola’s   ‘most favourite place in the world’ !!

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Carnevale Icon The Master Artist and the “NUDE”
Posted by Elfrida...
-5th March 2014

Through the ages, Artists have painted and sketched “The Nude” !
It has always been considered a “Challenge” - - -
for the Artistic talent of any artist . . .

and SIMBARI was no ‘different’ . . . ! He was “challenged” by the ‘magnificence of God’s Creation’, always striving to bring to the human figure its ‘true beauty’ . . . not as a sexual “object”, but as “The Ultimate God-made Creation” - - - male and/or female. The Ancient Greeks and Romans showed us ‘the beauty of the human figure’, with magnificent sculptures of young men and women . . . now, in various Museums around the world.

Through the many years, that Nicola and I were ‘together’, it never ceased to amaze me how he could “catch” an intimate ‘moment’ in the ‘life of a female model’ !

Nicola Simbari - The Dressing Room

I have been asked many times,

if I was ‘jealous’ of his attention to ‘nude models’ - - -

the answer has always been “No” !!

I come from a family of Sailors . . . and it seemed like asking me if I were ‘jealous of the Sea’ !! For me, “an Artist” must be free to follow his/her Heart, and The DREAM, whichever ART he/she chooses. . . and however he/she chooses to express it.   For me it was the Theatre . . . and though I gave up The Stage, to stand behind Simbari and HIS ART, I did not give up The Theatre of Life !! 
- - - and with SIMBARI, there has been plenty of “Theatre” !!!

When painting “The Crazy Horse Saloon” Collection, at the request of the Club’s owner, Alain Bernardin, Simbari rose to “The Challenge” with a ‘renowned’ collection of ‘outstanding works’, first shown in a Paris Gallery in 1976, and then in New York. 

It was a resounding success !

and many of these paintings have become ‘famous’ !!

[such as the “Lips” used as a poster for the Show in Paris].
Nicola Simbari and Alain Bernardin - The crazy Horse - Paris

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Carnevale Icon Christies to sell “Plage Caraibique” 
Posted by Elfrida...
25th January 2014

Simbari - Impressionist / Modern Art - Christies 7th Feb 2014

. . . I have just seen
the Christie’s (London) Catalogue for their

Impressionist / Modern Art auction

on Feb 7th. 2014 in London

. . . it is superb !

In it, is a SIMBARI - - “Plage Caraibique” .

This is a special painting, filled with Nicola’s love of Life !

Is it Barbados, Santo Domingo, Trinidad, or St. Lucia ?

Below is page 13, and there is the entry - How exciting . . .

Simbari - Plage Caraibique - In Christies Sale

Page 13, from Christies   "
Impressionist / Modern Art auction" - 7th february 2014

Every winter we would fly to the SUN ! - -  Nicola would carry his black leather Camera bag, with him - - - filled with film . . .

If he had not been a ‘painter’ he would have been a ‘photographer’ !!

I am reminded of those “golden days” . . . and his “joie de vivre” - - -

The SEA – the SUN - - the Freedom to BE (himself) !!!

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Carnevale Icon The ‘TRUE ARTIST’ . . .
Posted by Elfrida...
10th December 2013


[Painter, Actor, Sculptor, Writer, Musician, Dancer, Singer, Poet.
or Musician - - -]

Touches the Soul

(no Critic/Critique can capture, or explain, the “MAGIC”)

- - - and so it has been, all through SIMBARI’s long ‘career’ - - -

- - - with his vibrant COLOURS - - -

touched with HUMOUR and The Love of LIFE, and LIVING,
expressing this, with every stroke of his brush or palette-knife.

Yet, little is really understood, or known, about the MAN (and Artist)
BEHIND his ‘OEUVRES’ (works) . . .
he hid behind the “persona” he had invented, for “the Public” !
He became
“The Clown” . . “Il Pagliaccio” . . .“the Jester” !

“Carnevale” - ©Nicola Simbari
SIMBARI at the “opening” of his “CIRCUS SHOW” in New York !

he showed us
Beauty – Simplicity – Humour – and the ‘Ironies’ of Human Life.

Like the Great Masters, before him - - - whom he admired, and ‘studied’, taking every opportunity to visit Museums, Churches and Collections, to ‘pour over’ his “Heroes’ works” - - - perhaps his ‘favourite’ was Vermeer, with his wonderful use of Light . . . and, then, there was Rafaello, and his beautiful nudes - - - and hours spent, in Florence, visiting and studying the magnificent statue of “David” by Donnatello . . . and Mantegna, and Caravaggio with his ‘powerful’ “new views” of Man.

Simbari was a “Simple and Complex man” . . . a ‘by-stander’ . . . 
of the Life around him - - - and of his Time

Nicola Simbari - Praia a Mare
“Praia a Mare”                       © 1981 Nicola Simabari

It is one Year since his Death (and yet, he will never ‘die’)

I am overwhelmed by the response I have had, on the
SIMBARI DIARIES page . . . from his Collectors and Admirers . . .
Thank you . . thank you !
You are the mainstay of Simbari’s ‘Continuation’

Too often it is “Critics” (and/or journalists) who step into a void left, when an artist dies - - - not understanding the ‘steep road’ an Artist has walked. It is easy to “Criticise” . . . when you are on the ‘outside’.

Stuart PRESTON (of the New York Times) was different, he spent many hours with Simbari, when preparing for the Introduction of SIMBARI, the ‘coffee table’ tome, published by Simon and Schuster in 1981 . . .

For me, as an Actress, the Theatre of Simbari’s Life became My Stage . . . I became His “Stage Director”. {I am reminded of a quote by the Sufi Master, Hafiz: “I am a hole in the flute, through which Nature moves .” } Being “the woman behind the man” (from the title of an article in Palm Beach News!), for decades, I never lost ‘sight’ of Nicola’s dedication to his great LOVE - - - His Reason for Being
- - - HIS ART - - -

Perhaps, there were ‘other women’ in his life - - his beloved Grandmother, Rafaella, his Mother, Clorinda, and his two sisters, and his school teacher, at the age of 7, who discovered his Talent. But none could compete with “This Love” !!! For me, it seemed “natural” and “normal”, that “the other Lover” in Simbari’s Life, was HIS ART.

HE was The STAR . . . in our “Tragi-Comedy” . . . our Theatre !!!

Since his death . . . NOTHING has CHANGED
- - even the ‘story’ behind his demise, is like a Soap-Opera !!!

will be our Witness


The Jester
Arlechino . . . Pulcinello


Clown au trombone - Nicola simbari
“Clown au trombone”                                ©1976 Nicola Simbari

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Carnevale Icon Happy Thanksgiving ! . . .
Posted by Elfrida...
26th November 2013

This is a time of the Year when to Reflect on Life’s GIFTS . . .
and be

Never has this been truer in my life, than now !

An adventurous Life, even from a small baby, when, with my Mother Brother, and I traveled from Plymouth (England), on an ocean-liner to Japan, to join my Father, working there with an Oil Company !!

As a child, even during WW2, I accepted, almost joyfully (!), the endless changes in my life. It was not until my beautiful Mother died, in Trinidad, when I was 14, that I began to feel “alone” . . . However, she had taught me to be “myself” and “independent”, and this ‘advice’ I have followed all my grown-up life . . . no matter how difficult this has been !

My ‘crazy idea’ to go to Italy and ‘be an Opera singer’, at 21, was NOT what my Father, or family, wanted to hear !! I worked hard as a waitress and behind the scenes in London’s Theatre-land to earn the money to pay for MY DREAM . . . and I flew to Milan for my first Audition, with the Director of La Scala Opera House . . . and, yes, it went well !! BUT . . . Fate had other plans for me . . . and I ended up in Rome !!

In Rome I was able to work, playing small parts (usually as a ‘tourist’ !!!) in some of the many Films being made then . . . including “La Dolce Vita” !! and I continued my singing studies - - still dreaming of the Operatic Stage.

“The Fire-eater” - &copy Nicola Simbari Rome was very exciting, and Via Veneto was THE PLACE to sit and have a ‘coffee’ and watch the world go by . . .

I remember my excitement when I realized that sitting at the table next to me, was the famous Concert Pianist,
Arthur Rubenstein !!

“The Fire-eater” - An Early Simbari.

In THIS Rome, and atmosphere, I was invited to an Art Exhibition at a well-known Gallery, L’Obelisco . . . and my Fate was sealed !!! I saw the works of a young Commercial Artist, with dreams of becoming known for HIS Art . . . Nicola Simbari !! I knew nothing about him, yet his small paintings, of the Italy he loved, were enchanting  - - -

I have lived in his Enchanted World ever since . . .

once I gave up the idea of ‘my career’, I became his Stage-manager, in his Theatre. Since then, there has never been a ‘dull moment’ !!

He was always The Clown/Jester ! yet, as such, he hated to ‘meet people’ and was really very shy, so he became “Il Pagliaccio” when he had Exhibitions, or was invited to parties and so on, and I was his “fall guy” !!!
"La Famille du Cirque" - Nicola Simbari
« La Famille du Cirque »
Acrylic on canvas

But, The Artist , in Nicola, was ‘full-on’ when painting and creating, in his Studio, wherever it happened to be - - Rome, Paris, New York, Florida ! With the radio playing his favorite music, he would sing at the top of his voice, and dance around the easel, as he swept the exciting colours across the canvas, on which he was working - - - he was in “heaven” - - - and in Rome, he would be joined by Chu-chu, our Number One Siamese cat (named after our Siamese friend, who lived in Cornwall, Prince Chula of Chunderagor !!) - - - and then, it would be “time for a break” and he would head for ‘his’ swimming pool, in the garden of ‘his’ villa !

The ENERGY and LOVE he put into his paintings, is apparent when looking at any of his works . . . whether it is a racing car, or a ‘girl sitting on the beach’, or a nude, or a street scene in Southern Italy . . . or Café scenes in Greece, Paris, Naples and Capri. When he was painting he was THERE - - in that moment . . . and that was what he gave to “us” . . . the NOW ! He ‘captured’ a ‘moment’ in Time . . . for us to “remember”. . . as our own !! 

I have had many super e-mails from SIMBARI ‘owners’ . . . Thank you for letting me know “Our Children” are loved . . . for me Nicola’s paintings are “Our Children” . . . they are “our Legacy” !

“Carnevale” - ©Nicola Simbari
oil on canvas
©Nicola Simbari

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Carnevale Icon SIMBARI - posters - again ! . . .
Posted by Elfrida...
23rd October 2013

A Collector’s Query ?!

As I leafed through Simon and Schuster’s fabulous SIMBARI Art Book, published in the early ‘80s, I decided to READ the List of Collectors !!

Amazing . . . top, top American and European Art Collectors were among the long and impressive list of “Simbari Collectors” ! Which, now makes me ask WHY ? has Simbari been ‘forgotten’ by the “press” . . . Why is his work no longer ‘worth a mention’ ? IT has not “changed” . . . and, from the response to the “Simbari Diaries” web-site, there are many, many ‘Collectors’, new and from the past, “out there” . . .

For me SIMBARI Collectors are part of “our family” ! They own a part of our DIARY . . . the travels that we made to ‘exotic’ places, and favourite ‘haunts in Italy - - - Naples, Capri, Amalfi, his birth place of Calabria, o driving north on the Adriatic coast to Venice - - - or our life at the Villa, in Grottaferrata (looking ‘down’ on Rome, from the Alban Hills) with the vineyard, and our dogs and cats and tropical birds . . . Life was never “Dull” !!

“Washington-77” - ©Nicola Simbari

A painting from the PARIS Collection !

Used in the poster for an Art Exhibition in 1977

And then, one day - - - there was PARIS! She bewitched him! A top-floor studio in St. Germain de Pres . . . sitting at the Duex Magots Café, and watching the “world go by” . . . and the ‘circus performers’ on stilts or doing acrobatics in the ‘piazza’ . . . this became a new “Reality” for this Lover of Life . . . an Artist who always found LIFE exciting . . . who wanted “US” to join in his excitement, using colour and action, and humour, in his works. . . . . and have you seen “The Crazy Horse Saloon” collection of paintings !?  - - -    WOW !!

A Reminder ! - - -

I have recorded some of these works, on the ‘page’ dedicated to his Posters (some found in a London Underground station !!) . . . where are the others !?

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Carnevale Icon SIMBARI - posters . . .
Posted by Elfrida...
8th October 2013

A “reminder” of an incredible ‘joie de vivre’ and talent . . . this is from recent e-mail from a French collector - - -

“L Italie a Grenoble” - ©Nicola Simbari

Many people are unaware of Simbari the “commercial artist” . . . from the age of about 14, he used his art to earn the money to feed his family (remember, there had been a major War during his young childhood, his Father was in concerntration camp and his Mother had 6 children to feed!!) - - - so Nicola sketched GIs, for sugar and food as ‘payment’ !!

Toulous-Lautrec showed us that “posters” were ART . . . !! When I first met Nicola, in Rome, he was one of the major poster/commercial artists there, working with the Theatre and Film Industry, and highly ‘thought of’ ! He won an “Oscar” for his Poster for the magnificent film “On the Beach” - - -

I have recorded some of these works, on the ‘page’ dedicated to his Posters (some found in a London Underground station !!) . . . where are the others !?

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Carnevale Icon If You Were Here . . .
Posted by Elfrida...
13th July 2013

[ Nicola's Birthday - Today - 13 July 1927 ]

If you were here . . .!

If you were here,
Beside me, now . . .
You would paint me
Picking flowers !
But, now you’ve gone,
The colours fade . . .
Your magic Wand
Has disappeared - - -
Yet, as I recall,
The Laughter Then,
Myriad of shades Return,
To bring me Joy . . once more !

“Grand Bouquet” - ©Nicola Simbari

 - Elfrida July 13th 2013

“Happy Birthday” Nicola !

Grand Bouquet
oil on canvas
©Nicola Simbari

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Carnevale Icon The Message of Art . . .
Posted by Elfrida...
31th May 2013

[ 6 months on from us losing Nicola ]

To Nicola . . .

“When you Loved me . . .
I gave you the SUN and the STARS,

“Mediterranee” - ©Nicola Simbari

to play with - - -
I gave you ETERNITY, in a single moment - - -
in one clasp of your arms - - -
the VOLUME of the SEAS,
in one Impulse of your SOUL - - -
WE possessed all the Universe . . .

(borrowed from George Bernard Shaw
- - - as he “painted in words” )

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Carnevale Icon Master Hands . . .
Posted by Elfrida...
16th April 2013

“A scene painted by a Master Hand,
Such Beauty, soothes the Soul . . .”

These words have been “haunting” me . . .
did I invent them ?

Or - - are they written by a “Master Poet” ?

Words which describe the Works of the “Master Painter” - - -


his works ‘speak’ of 
his Belief, and show 

his  LOVE of LIFE !

Nicola Simbari - Hands of the Master

Which are my “favourite” works? - - - the ones which describe
(for me) the Man and the Master Artist, with whom I lived, and greatly admired, for so many years - - -

During our years together he had many ‘moments’ of
“trying out”  ideas . . . some left me ‘perplexed’ !! . . . but, as he explained to me, he ‘needed to try things out’  !!!

NEVER am I disappointed by his amazing Imagination !
Such COLOUR ! . . . Such JOY of LIVING !!


Of Colour !

Piazzetta di Capri - Nicola Simbari
“Piazzetta di Capri”
oil on canvas
©Nicola Simbari

What do you think ?

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Carnevale Icon Remembering EASTER . . .
Posted by Elfrida...
25th Mar 2013

Remembering Easter !

Since he was a very small child, EASTER WEEK had a very special meaning for Simbari . . .

Il Calvario - Nicola Simbari “IL CALVARIO” acrylic on canvas ©Nicola Simbari

An unusual, and touching, “view” of the Man and the Artist - - - and his deep reverence towards his ART . . . which he described as “A GIFT from GOD” . . .

EASTER . . .

and a trip to
Capri !

- - these were the days of


of the Sun
and the Sea
- - -

Enchanting Italy !

Marina Piccola
acrylic on canvas ©Nicola Simbari
Marina Piccola - Nicola Simbari

                   A VERY HAPPY EASTER !

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Carnevale Icon A New Pope . . .
Posted by Elfrida...
19th Mar 2013

A New Pope !

The amazing gathering of believers and non-believers in front of the red-draped window, in St Peter’s Square, in Rome, last evening, to Welcome the New Pope, Francis . . . touched me to my Heart !

What a Spectacle !
A “New Beginning” - - -

The simple origins of this Holy Man, reminded me of Nicola’s maternal Grandfather, who left Southern Italy, in the early 1920s, to work in Argentina, in order to send money ‘home’, to look after his wife and family. Later his young son, went to Brazil. Neither of “the men” ever returned to Calabria . . .

Somehow, Nicola’s amazing Grandmother, Nonna Rafaella, struggled on, bringing up their daughters . . . and much later, with Nicola’s ‘help’, she was able to live out her life in dignity.

Nicola inherited his Grandmother’s strength, much of her Belief, and definitely her independence of character !!

Nicola Simbari - “Tia Mais”
“Tia Mais”
acrylic on canvas
©Nicola Simbari

This beautiful painting, from Nicola’s “Southwest Collection”, in the late 80’s, reminds me of The Women of Southern Italy, when I first went to visit his remarkable Grandmother - -

what strength and character !! . . . and LOVE . . .

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Carnevale Icon FORMULA ONE
     - - The Season Begins !

Posted by Elfrida...
16th Mar 2013

Where are they now ?

Few people are aware of SIMBARI’s small, but amazing COLLECTION of FORMULA ONE RACING - - -

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Monte Carlo
acrylic on canvas
©Nicola Simbari
In 1982 . . .
these paintings were Exhibited at the HOTEL de PARIS, in Monte Carlo, by Mr. Mansour Ojjeh, during the Formula One Racing (in Monte Carlo) - - -
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Last Lap
acrylic on canvas
©Nicola Simbari

This “idea” was that of Mansour Ojjeh, after seeing the incredible and exciting Exhibition, in Paris, of “Les Girls” of The CRAZY HORSE SALOON
- - - Nicola was immediately excited by this “new Idea” - - - as an Italian and ‘mad about fast cars’, it was a “natural” for him !!

[after all, hadn’t we driven all over Europe, as if we were driving in a “Formula One Race”!!]

This small collection of special works went on to “prompt” the incredible

Collection of AUDI “Rally Cars” . . . Nicola with a Audi Series painting

©Nicola Simbari
Audi Rallye Cars in Africa
Nicola with a Audi Series painting

©Nicola Simbari
Audi Rallye Cars in Scandinavia
AUDI “Rally Cars” . . . in Scandinavia

“Four things greater than all things are - -
Women and Horses and Power and War.”
(“Ballad of the Kings Jest” . . Rudyard Kipling)

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Carnevale Icon “An American in Paris” . . .
Posted by Elfrida...
5th Mar 2013

what a wonderful Film !

AND . . . True MAGIC  - - - - - ahhh!     PARIS ! and ROME ! 

The ‘magic of youth and Love’ . . . and DREAMS . . suddenly, I am back - - to the “me” who went to Rome, to continue her “studies” in Singing . . . NO other thoughts were in my head - - - one day I will be a “singing star” !!!

“ Its very clear to say . . . our love is here to stay - - -“

[words from a song in the film]

Nicola had the charm of Gene KELLY . . . ! I was no ’petite star’, like Leslie Caron . . . but - - - when we met, perhaps Nicola’s and my song became

“I’ll build a stairway to Paradise!” . . .

The magic of Paris - - - the enchantment of Rome - - - and WE were young and filled with Dreams . . . and Our Tomorrows were yet to come . . . !! 

- - - - and, of course . . . . . “they live happily ever after” . . . did we ?

certainly, there have been “Ups and Downs” - - - just as in the fairytales I used to read . . . and ‘wicked witches’ and ‘good fairies’ !!

And - - - HERE is ‘ONE’ SIMBARI view, of “his PARIS” . . . !!!!


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Eva di Bratislava
acrylic on canvas
©Nicola Simbari
Gorgeous ‘Girls’

An Iconic Exhibition
“Tous Paris” was at the Opening party !
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Legs Moony Trafalgar
acrylic on canvas
©Nicola Simbari

plus “Les Girls” and Alain Berndin (the owner of the Club)
and SIMBARI [of course!]

as seen in "L'Officiel Magazine"
. . . it is a very up-market French Fashion and Gossip Mag . . . !!!

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"Nicola taking one of his 'girls' across 'Le Ronde Point', Paris, to the Gallery, for his "Crazy Horse Saloon" Exhibition, in June 1976! "

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Carnevale Icon A “burning” Question . . .
Posted by Elfrida...
20th Jan 2013

- - one I have often asked, myself !!

“How could two, diametrically opposed people, have come together (for over 50 years!), to form a “team” ??” . . .
The “answer” ? - - - I don’t know !

As I sat looking for ‘ways’ to explain SIMBARI’s and my “relationship” I found myself in a quandary ! First, I had to ask WHY? I still “care” about his amazing GIFT, even if he “threw” it away, when ‘temptation’ raised its ‘head’ . . . yet . . in this ‘question’, is, perhaps, the answer !!

First, I should ‘explain’, the (generally) perceived “difference” between ITALIAN and ENGLISH, is that “the Italians” are ‘hot blooded’ and ‘emotional’ - - the “English” are ‘cold’ and ‘unemotional’!

I was brought up to believe LOYALTY to be very “important” . . . so, to become ‘involved’, I must first RESPECT an idea or a person! I have not changed!! Though ‘battered’ and ‘bruised’ through my experiences, I am LOYAL (perhaps to a fault).

SIMBARI has always had my Loyalty and Respect, since we joined ‘forces’ (in 1957 !)       - - - for his Genius - - -       HE KNEW THIS !!

NOW   to change the SCENE ?

How can I  (still) “make a difference” - - to his amazing
LEGACY - - - ?

By bringing ‘it’ into FOCUS . . . in today’s ‘minimalist’ concept of Art
- - I need ‘people’ - - - and - - -
their ‘help’ - - -

Navajo Girls - ©Nicola Simbari - Southwest Collection
“Navajo Girls”
acrylic on canvas
©Nicola Simbari

‘poetry in painting’

depth and feeling . .

[can a ‘blank canvas’ ever express the ‘love and devotion’ that IS ?]

* * * *

a Master Artist

a Masterpiece

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Carnevale Icon To a Magician . . .
Posted by Elfrida...
6th Jan 2013

To a Magician

I always felt, if I were deaf,
I would not hear you Call - - -
And then, I feared, if I were blind
I could not see you Smile - - -
When you Called,
My Heart would Leap - -
And when you Smiled,
My World lit up . . .
I am in Love . . once more !

Though far away, you are Here,
Your Voice is calling me !
The Colours of the Rainbow shine,
With every step I take - - -
The Book of Memories,
Opens wide . . .
A Lifetime of Adventures Bright, . .
A “Magician” and his chosen Bride,
Step into History!




oil on canvas
©Nicola Simbari 1967
“Mattina” - ©Nicola Simbari

Thank you Nicola for
“The Fairytale Adventure of a Lifetime” !

(written from my heart)
©Elfrida Simbari - Dec. 27th 2012

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Carnevale Icon The Owl and the Pussy Cat . . .
      went to sea !

Posted by Elfrida...
17th Dec 2012

And - - - what an adventure we had together - and now my adventures can be told . . .

The owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea,
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped-up in an five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
“Oh lovely Pussy! Oh Pussy my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are !
What a beautiful Pussy you are !”

From Edward Lear’s  “Nonsense Verses”
Owl and Pussy Cat - Lynton Lamb
an illustration from
“Other Travellers”
by Lynton Lamb (1907-77)

This beautiful pen and ink drawing ‘describes’, to perfection, Nicola’s and my Union, of 55 years . . . did we ever reach “land” !!

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Carnevale Icon The Passing of Nicola Simbari
      ( 1927 - 2012 )

Posted by Elfrida...
15th Dec 2012

 Sadly, Nicola SIMBARI died on 

December 11th. 2012

Nicola Simbari in his Studio Nicola Simbari Nicola Simbari in street with painting



I am “opening” my 



Nicola Simbari

- - - WELCOME !

His beautiful Colours, Joyous Spirit and Love of Life
with his Life’s “Oeuvres”
from the early ‘50s’ to 1990

He has given us the Spirit of the Ultimate “Entertainer”
from an early age - - stage ‘décor’, posters, portraits, - - -
and his views of Life in Italy and beyond !

He gave us his ‘love’ of beautiful women and fast cars,
but most of all

The SEA . . .

Thank you, Nicola, for a Life
Filled with Humour, Adventure and Colour

Elfrida . . .

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Carnevale Icon Early Ads in the New York Times
Posted by Elfrida...
02nd Dec 2012

A few weeks ago I decided to ‘give up’ the “Diaries” page !

- - - the ‘story’ of my Life (with Nicola) !!! . . . “Walk away” I would tell myself - - - over and over again, through the 55 years !! BUT . . . I made a VOW and a promise, and “here I am again” ! Luckily, I have been blessed with a quirky sense of humour !!!! . . . and a love for “the Clown” in Nicola! WHAT “a life” it has been . . . certainly, an adventure.

Nicola wanted to show whatever he chose to create - - - not to be ‘conditioned’ by his ‘then’ gallery, for “commercial reasons” - - - (NOT a popular ‘move’ with that gallery!) - - - so, his ‘wish’ became my ‘command’ !! That was 1981 . . .

Few people realise that the little ‘gallery’, L’Atelier Simbari, in the elegant, Hotel Elysee, on East 54th. Street, Manhattan (NY), was ‘run’ by me . . . this was the Advertising in the New York Times of “The Master Entertainer” (Nicola).

I created a “Salon” - - following the French 19th. Century ‘idea’, of entertaining “at home”, and showing Art(s) . . . no pressure “to buy”, (as in “galleries” today), just to ‘experience’ the talents on display.

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Click icon to enlarge picture  

Introducing my Virtual Gallery . . .

NOW - - - I am creating a similar “idea” on the Web-site - - - a “virtual” Exhibition of the many, many works painted by SIMBARI, in his amazing and long career . . . so many of these works will be in the homes and collections of “you”, who have supported him throughout the years.

After receiving emails and messages from early collectors, I am researching information from my files, dating back to the late 50's and early 60's

So my "Virtual Gallery" will be posted VERY SOON now. !

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Carnevale Icon To SIMBARI Collectors - - Past and Present
A Special “Letter” - - -
Posted by Elfrida...
13th Nov 2012

As I was reading through Nicola’s (SIMBARI) amazing list of Collectors, from the “past”, in The Simon & Schuster SIMBARI Book (Published by them in 1976) . . . I wondered how many more Collectors would there be TODAY !!!


Help me to revive his enduring “Magic” - - -

His ART has never been “trendy” . . . or, “on the ‘lips’ of the latest “art critic of-the-day” . . . just “LOVED” and “ENJOYED” !!!

His list is the biggest Compliment any Artist

could  “aspire” for . . . !

The Simbari collection, 1950/83
Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Selene ( 1983 )
Language: English
SIMBARI by Nicola Simbari, 1975
ISBN 10: 0671220977 / 0-671-22097-7
ISBN 13: 9780671220976
Hardcover: 360 pages
Publisher: Simon and Schuster ( 1975 )
Language: English
Amazon link Amazon link

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Carnevale Icon “Dear Friends and Darling Romans”
Posted by Elfrida...
2nd Oct 2012

and "To Rome with love" . . .

Dear Friends and Darling Romans - Illustrated by Nicola Simbari
Author, Mary Chamberlain,
An entertaining book published by J.B. Lippincott, in 1959

Illustrated by Nicola Simbari

“La Dolce Vita” was “my” discovery of Roman Life - - -it was electric and eclectic!! Not quite like the film (!!) - - - but very different from London (of ‘then’, and now) !!!!

“Piazza del Popolo” “La Vespa” “Il Café”
©Nicola Simbari   . . .   “Dear Friends and Darling Romans”   by Mary Chamberlin

Now - - with Woody Allen’s  recent film “To Rome with Love” - - - I am “alive”, and reminded of the fascination this ancient and Eternal City has for those who “come to visit” . . . NOT the “Ruins”, NOT the Vatican - - - ROME IS ! - - -
An instant “love affair” with the crazy, lazy,  Roman way of LIFE - - - where their favourite word is “Domani” (tomorrow) !!  You "become" “Roman” - - - As many have for centuries - - - Not Italian. . . 

“Traffic” may be ‘crazy’, but “Romans” never seem to be in a hurry !!

If you have ever been to Rome - - - did you put your hand in
“La Bocca della Verità” (the mouth of truth - - if you are a ‘liar’ you may lose your hand !) . . . I have never had the courage !!!!! so I still have both hands!

“Do as the Romans DO”

ENJOY LIFE (in the Now)!!

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Carnevale Icon Cyclists - - - then and now !
Olympic Inspiration . . .
Posted by Elfrida...
08th Sept 2012

Now that the Olympics is ‘over’ . . . and we have been wow'ed with the amazing Paralympics

- - - I am reminded of Italy and the Olympics  . . . A SIMBARI painting (of back then) . . .

  Ciclisti - Copyright Nicola Simbari
“Ciclisti” tempera on canvas ©Nicola Simbari

Didn't Fausto Coppi win and become the great champion of that era. ! ! !

Now the bicycles may have become the last word in “modern”, but the concept is the same !!!

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Lily Icon LeRoy Neiman
Thanks for your Inspiration . . .
Posted by Elfrida...
28th June 2012

Once again an artist friend from “our story” has ‘gone’ - - - The noted Hungarian Sculptor, Amerigo TOT, who was so influential in Nicola’s early years as a “emerging” Artist on the International “stage” . . . a constant visitor to our Villa/Studio in the early ‘60s’

- - and then there was Mimmo ROTELLA (a fellow Calabrian!) who came to London with Nicola in September 1957, and was his “Best Man”, at our marriage, in 1957 . . .

Such a unique ‘influence’ in Italian Contemporary Art of the 1950s and 1960s . . . and in our early ‘married life’ !!

LeRoy Neiman

The Guardian - "LeRoy Neiman dies aged 91"
Now, LeRoy NEIMAN - - - It is sad to realise that he is no longer going to be giving us his "View of Life" - - - he has so obviously enjoyed Life to the full !

In the 70's LeRoy visited SIMBARI, at his Studio in Italy, many times - - -they seemed to be like "long lost friends" - - - they would disappear into Nicola's "beloved studio", with their cigars and a carafe of Nicola’s wine, from his vineyard - - then followed lots of laughter . . .
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finally, they re-appeared , when hunger overtook them and off we would all go to the famous “Il Fico” restaurant . . . and more ‘laughter’ !

Thank you for these memories . . . LeRoy!

Both men painted LIFE, not trying to be "accepted" by the "Art World"
- - - (no “ism” to their “Art of Life” - - - just “being” and “living” !!)

and THAT was their "MAGIC" - - -

Both of them will be missed !.

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Lily Icon Crazy Horse - - - Crazy Going Ons
Or "Tops stay on!" . .
Posted by Elfrida...
22th May 2012

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Crazy goings on at the “Crazy Horse” – Paris’ leading “night life” club on Avenue George V.

I remember when Nicola and I met Alain Bernardin in 1976
London Metro - Thursday 17th May 2012

Now – The “Artistes” are on strike with a “Tops on” policy.
See - [ theweek.co.uk "french strippers strike dancers crazy horse want more pay" ]

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Poor Nicola - doing his "duty" ! ! !

Nicola painted a ‘clamourous’ series entitled
“Le Crazy Horse” and what a fabulous collection of work that was.

First seen in a Paris gallery, with an Opening Evening where “Touts Paris” was present - - - then in a 57th Street Gallery [New York] . . .  
then, Palm Beach , Fla.  and also in Los Angeles

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dans les coulisses Moucky Walker La Sylphe Prima Symphony

What a vibrant and unique collection . . . leading to the unique “Formula One Collection” and “Audi Rallye Cars” . . . Men - - and their ‘toys’ !!!

Now the great news: See: Newser: Tops off again !
What a great victory for these Artistes - - - having seen this Show many times I consider ‘les Girls’ to be ARTISTS . . . never vulgar - - not ‘just strippers’ !

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Lily Icon Otis Redding song . . .
Painting by Simbari . . . .
Posted by Elfrida...
28th April 2012

Sitting in the morning Sun
I’ll be sitting when the evenin’ come
Watchin’ the ships roll in
And then, I watch them roll away agin . . .

I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay . . .
Watchin’ the tide roll away
I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Just wastin’g time . . .

Sitting in the morning Sun
I’ll be sittin’ when the evenin’ come
Watchin’ the ships roll in
And then, I watch them roll away agin ...

I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay . . .
Watchin’ the tide roll away
I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Just wastin’ time . . .
Greek Harbour - Nicola Simbari
   “Greek Harbour” acrylic on canvas ©Nicola Simbari

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Lily Icon The Dreamer . . .
“reflections on Nature’s gifts” . . . .
Posted by Elfrida...
21st April 2012

One of the main reasons Nicola moved from the ‘bustling” and chaotic Rome, to the Castelli Romani (the name for the towns encircling Rome, in the Alban Hills) was his desire to have Nature “at his door” - - - [I wanted to remain in the centre of Rome and be a ‘part of Roman Life’ ] - - hey-ho ! Nicola won . . . again!!!!

The Villa, in Grottaferata, looked across vineyards, towards Rome, and, on a clear day, we could see St. Peter’s Dome - - - My “job” [Nicola’s words to me “You are English . . you love to garden.” . . .???] to make an “English garden” - - - soooo! - - ‘up’ came the grape-vines, behind the house, and ‘down’ went the shrubs and trees and roses, roses, roses ! - - - ALL this with the help of the wonderful Bottoni family (how would I have done anything without them!), who lived locally - - -

“Grand Bouquet ” - ©Nicola Simbari
Dahlias and colour . . .
from the garden

picked by me, to arrange in the house . . .

- - how many paintings were inspired by the gorgeous flowers in our garden !!!
   “Grand Bouquet” oil on canvas ©Nicola Simbari

Nicola was blissfully happy - - - HIS “domain” - - - having studied Architecture at Rome University, HE designed and built his OWN studio with the help of his father, (who had been Master-builder for the Vatican) . . .

- - - Looking at photos of the Studio, a few days ago, I had an “Ah-ha” moment . . . Nicola had ordered beautiful hand-painted tiles, in Vietri (south of Naples), in light blue/green for the floor, where he worked . . . Nicola Simbari's Studio in Frascati That colour has become known as
“Simbari Blue” !!

With ALL the years I have sat with him, as he worked, IT NEVER OCCURRED to me !!!!
(until now!)

I did not ‘ask questions’ to do with his ‘Creativity’ . . . For me, Nicola was a “Magician” . . . creating MAGIC out of a blank canvas . . . ! everything just ‘was’ !

- - everywhere - -

was ‘there’


of Light and Colour”

acrylic on canvas
© Nicola Simbari
La Trasimeno - ©Nicola-Simbari

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Lily Icon “The Prophet” . . . text-align: center;. . . .

              words - - painted”  by Kahlil Gibran - -
Posted by Elfrida...
12nd April 2012


“Then a ploughman said, “Speak to us of Work.”
When you work, you are a Flute, whose heart,
the whispering of the hours, turns to Music . . . “

“And what is it to work with Love? . . .
It is to Weave the Cloth, with Threads drawn from your Heart,
Even as if your beloved were to wear that Cloth.”

“It is to charge all things you fashion
with the breath of your own Spirit . . .”

These inspired Words, “Paint” for me, the MAGICAL Qualities of
a SIMBARI work of Art - - - !

clamourous“Grand Canyon” - ©Nicola Simbari
   “Grand Canyon” acrylic on canvas ©Nicola Simbari

Undoubtedly, the small Collection of paintings dedicated to Nicola’s visit to the American Southwest, is the most ‘spiritual’ of his works. He was “captured” by the “Grandness” of the scenery . . . 

He once said, about his experience there; “I KNEW I was “meeting God”
- - it was awesome !”

Few people know of this ‘collection’ - - - I wonder how it will be ‘seen’ ??

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Lily Icon “Il Calvario” . . .
an extra-ordinary inspiration
Posted by Elfrida...
2nd April 2012

Holy Week is upon us . . . and then Easter Week-end - - -

In the bustle of our lives it is hard to ‘remember’ that this is a
very important “celebration” in the Christian Calendar - - -

A painting that needs no words . . .

“Calvary” - ©Nicola Simbari
“Il Calvario” acrylic on canvas ©Nicola Simbari

Nicola’s beginnings were in Southern Italy . . . in a small village, where the Church was a central part of daily life.

Detail from “Il Calvario” - ©Nicola Simbari His early works were often of Procession and Celebrations of Saint’s Days . . .

and when his father worked as a “Capo-Mastro” (head-builder) for the Vatican, Nicola would spend many hours in churches around Rome, sketching some of the fabulous Art in ‘holy buildings’ . . .

which included Michelangelo, and Titian, and , and . . . the list is long !

Christ Detail from “Il Calvario”
©Nicola Simbari

Any wonder Nicola was inspired - - !

Who will become its “parent” - - -
for surely this is the ultimate of SIMBARI’s “children” - - -

[ PS.    I have recently spoken with the current owners, by the way, a lovely Church, based in New Jersey, and have noticed that this Masterpiece is available for sale at ArtBrokerage.com ]

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Lily Icon The LIPS !! Posted by Elfrida...
28th March 2012

Posters were made of “them”, to announce the Paris Show, “Crazy Horse Saloon” as seen by Simbari . . . in 1976
. . . it was a clamourous success and “tout Paris” was there . . . and, of course, Alain Bernadin and his “girls”.
“Lova More” was the leading dancer/showgirl, and Alain’s beautiful wife . . .
WHAT an evening it was !! . . . with pictures in L’Officiel, the leading
French “fashion & life magazine” . . . .

I see it has come up for sale on an on-line Gallery site ! 
It is a spectacular SIMBARI - - -
Reminding me of a memorable luncheon with a shoeless David Carradine - Kung Fu - and Nicola at La Coupole in Montparnasse . . . Total Madness !!!
( David had a fabulous collecton of Nicola's Crazy Horse Paintings )

Imagine it hanging in the boardroom of a Cosmetic Company (like Revlon !?) . . .
does anyone have the “courage” !!! - - -

“Lova More” - The Lips Series - Crazy Horse - ©Nicola Simbari
“Lova More”
The Crazy Horse Collection
acrylic on canvas ©Nicola Simbari

and there is “Vanilla Banana” . . . the South American beauty, also dancing at the “Crazy Horse” , then . . . she is one of “my children” !

“Vanilla Banana” - The Lips Series - Crazy Horse - ©Nicola Simbari

“Vanilla Banana”
The Crazy Horse Collection
acrylic on canvas ©Nicola Simbari

SIMBARI - - - “with a difference” !!!

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Lily Icon Purple Rain . . . or ‘PRINCE’. . . Posted by Elfrida...
24th March 2012

To my amazement, a new friend, told me how much she ‘loved’ Nicola’s painting “Cavaliere - Prince” !

I love the drama in this work and have ‘hung’ it in L’Atelier, in New York, in the window . . . but I am aware that the subject matter is not a ‘typical Simbari’ !

Actually - - it IS - - - Nicola loved the Circus and the Theatre . . . as in “Crazy Horse”
. . . and before I knew him, he ‘did’ many theatre sets and costumes for Italian Theatre and Musicals (in the ‘50s).

Prince - Purple Rain - ©Nicola Simbari
“Cavaliere – Prince” acrylic on canvas ©Nicola Simbari

I don’t know if Prince and Nicola ever met (in Paris?) - - -
If they did - - - I wish  I had been ‘a fly on the wall’ !!!

Two UNIQUE Artists, of their “time” - - -
exchanging ‘visions’ - - - WOW!

Circus Time - With Nicola and Elfida Simbari Nicola . .

The “performer”

at his Circus show
in New York

- - - with Elfrida

Photo from an article
in the New York Times.

The reason I am attracted to this work. . . ?
    it expresses, in paint,
        Simbari’s admiration for another Artist in another field . . .
            NO commercial aspect . . . by the way,
                it is still one of my special “Children” !

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. . . “never going to Grow Up !”
Posted by Elfrida...
19th March 2012

I am watching the First race of 2012 . . . in Australia . . . I am “hooked” !

When Nicola agreed to paint a small ‘group’ of paintings of the 82 / 83 Grand Prix for major backer of this sport, Mansour Ojjeh . . . I thought he was “crazy” !!!! Why? - - -

Last Lap - ©Nicola Simbari
“Last Lap” acrylic on canvas ©Nicola Simbari

Who will win, this year ? There are many “new” names . . . exciting !

I’ll be watching . . . holding my breath !!       What about you !? . . .

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Lily Icon Elfrida . . . [ Simbari ] . . . Posted by Elfrida...
10th March 2012

Now that Nicola [ Simbari ] can no longer “speak for himself”, having had several Strokes over the past 15-20 years, I feel it is important for me now, to speak of
my part in his amazing Success Story !

In no way do I wish to ‘lessen’ his extra-ordinary Genius – his Love of Life – his wonderful Inspirational Art . . . on the contrary - - - !

In Today’s world of “glitz” and “celebrity-ism” and “media attention” it might be forgotten how EVENTS have molded and Inspired this incredible Modern-day Genius – and “Master of Colour and Light”

He loved people - - - when not working in his studio, for a Show or a Client, he would invite ‘everyone’ to come and enjoy our beautiful house, just outside Rome ! I spent much of my ‘time’ “cooking” for all the unexpected guests . . . or we would go to Il Fico (his favourite ‘local’ restaurant) . . . laughter and ‘arguing’ and music (many of our friends were Composers and Musicians) . . . AND beautiful girls !!! Many of the dancers from the then-famous troop, “Les Bluebells” would ‘grace’ the pool !

And, of course, some of the famous actors making films at Cine Citta . . . John Gavin, Anita Ekberg, Anthony Franciosa - - - and so the list goes on . . .
To SHARE his Love of Life with the "world" is what make Nicola an amazing "inspiration" - - -

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Lily Icon Finding Jenny . . . Posted by Elfrida...
26th February 2012

. . . a wonderful friend [and ‘patient’ daughter] - - -

After watching “My Family and Other Animals” (again!) and then being given a tape of “Mamma Mia”, the nostalgia of the chaos of Life in the Simbari household, flooded back !!

Only IF you have lived IN it, can you truly “know” the ‘mess’ (a favourite Jenny-blogs words!!) . . . these 2 films may have taken place in Greek islands, but, southern Italy is a “parallel universe” !! It must be the Mediterranean Air !!

Jenny went off to ‘live’ her OWN (“grown-up”) Life ! Maybe she was right to ‘abandon ship’ ?? Does she know the EMPTY SPACE she has left? It can never be ‘filled’ - - - aaaah memories !?

With her excellent help I was able to ‘run’ the Simbari gallery (L’Atelier), in New York . . . she is a natural organizer and ‘people-person’ . . . AND her father’s daughter . . . artistic and “unexpected” . . . Could she / would she help me again ??

It would be one of my Dreams come true !!

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Lily Icon The little Elfin . . . Posted by Elfrida...
20th February 2012

Looking through photos of ‘family past’, which I have found in my “mess” . . . .
[oh dear ! I must tidy it up !!] . . . I found a professional photo, taken in Japan, when I was 3 (?) . . . IT says it all !!! . . . “such a ‘good little girl’ ! - - -
until you look at the crumpled dress and untidy hair, with a silk ribbon, which has become a ‘piece of string’ !!!!      “Bless !!!! “

Japan . . .
Nagasaki 1934

Little Elfin - -
“Flea” - -
or E.J. - - -

Or - - Elfrida Jane (if I was naughty)
Elfrida-Simbari: at 3 years “Sit still“ - - - “stop fidgeting“ - - - “pay attention” - - - I know them all ! - - - and then Nanny (yes, I had a “Nanny” ! ) used to say ALL the time “You’ll never find a husband !” - - - “husband”

WHAT was THAT  ? and I didn’t care ! - - -  was going to meet ‘a handsome prince’ and ‘live happily ever after’ (like Snow White) . . . ?! or . . . maybe “kiss a frog” who would become ‘a handsome prince’ !

I would be reminded of “Fidgety Phil” (“who couldn’t sit still”), from ‘Struwwelpeter’, and look what happened to him !! - - - but my ‘favourite’ was:

“There was a little girl, Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her “forrid” (forehead),
When she was good, she was very very good,
BUT when she was bad, she was horrid !”

I seemed to be “horrid” a lot !!! . . . and ‘sent to my room’ to “think about how naughty I had been” . . . so I spent a lot of time reading Fairy Tale Books . . . and yet, my beautiful Mother seemed to understand me, so THAT made everything all right . . . well, almost!

Have I changed ? well - - - um . . . not really !!! I love to laugh and have fun! - - - not at anyone’s expense (maybe ‘mine’ ), but Life is for enjoying and if we are always glum - - - where’s the FUN !

25 years later . . . is she now ‘serious’ and ‘sensible’ ?- - - WELL !!!!

Sooooo . . . this is the young actress-singer Nicola married ! Not taking Life ‘seriously’ - - - and talking about ‘tomorrows’ . . . happy to enjoy it, as it presented itself . . .

WHY did Nicola chase me to London, insisting “we MUST get married . . . “I ‘need’ you in my life” . . . and so it was !! - - - 

lon1  lon1
The wedding reception at the Basil Street Hotel, London.

Elfrida and Nicola toasting with Actress Joyce Carey And Italian Restaurant owner Enzo Appicella

    Elfrida Simbari Wedding Reception at Basil Street Hotel

If my Life was to ‘change’ (hadn’t it always been ‘constant change’ since year one !?), SO did Nicola’s - - - dramatically !!

Elfrida © 2012

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