Sun . . . Sea . . .and Boats

Certain works, through the years, have special importance for me - -
they bring back memories and scenes, often long forgotten - -

in a fast changing
world, Nicola (Simbari) has given them Timelessness - -

What Talent - - - !
What Magic - - - !

To be able to capture
‘The Moment’
forever - - -

“Cobbler’s Cove”
Acrylic on Canvas

A Christmas Holiday to Barbados, with Jenny - - - carefree and joyous ! Many paintings came from this time . . . the feel of the Sun and warmth, and the blue Caribbean . . . Or, a quick drive to the sea, from our ‘villa’ in the Alban Hills (just outside Rome) to - - - Ostia or Fiumicino - - -

watching the fishing boats
come into the little port
with the day’s catch - -
eating at the small
‘trattoria’ overlooking
the jetty . . .

. . . no need to hurry . . .
no worries to upset the
beautiful day . . . no cloud
in the sky!

Just Sun and the Sea . . . the warm sand . . .
and Boats . . .
“Ostia Beach” Oil on Canvas © SIMBARI

One of our favourite trips was to Venice . . . we would travel up the Adriatic coast, or, visit Florence and Verona (superb cities, so full of history and atmosphere)

- - - our first stop,
once in Venice,
was to Chioggia,
the charming
fishing port,
by taking the
‘vaporetto’, . . .
stopping at
the Lido . . .

There is something
special about this
busy, colourful
town - - -
“Sails in Chioggia” Acrylic on Canvas © SIMBARI

Perhaps it is his BLUE, that I associate most with a SIMBARI painting !

Whilst Jenny and I braved the January grey in the Paris cold . . .
Nicola went to the Seychelles! . . .

The painting “Azzurro” is
breath-taking - - -

It is very difficult to explain
how I felt, sitting in my New York ‘Atelier’ gallery, on a cold winter’s day,
admiring this work - - -

Suddenly the snow and ice
disappeared !
I could smell the scent of salt-sea air, hear the water lapping on the white sands - - - !
“Azzurro” Acrylic on Canvas © SIMBARI

Magical !
Magnetic !
Enthralling !

Acrylic on Canvas

“The Falcon”
South-West Collection
Acrylic on Canvas

as seen in L’Atelier,
New York 1989

Simbari decided that no one could reproduce his colours in silkscreen better than he himself. He set up his own graphic studio, in Frascati
- - - He visited Fabriano to get the best cotton-rag paper available - had his name put into the paper, so there could be no ‘copies’ made - Bought the best printing press from Germany – Hired a young printer and proceeded to create his own ‘style’
- - - Hence, the words ‘retablo in silkscreen’ - - - (meaning ‘a painting’ in silkscreen). Some of his subjects he also printed onto canvas. . . they ARE prints (not paintings) - - - though they may look like paintings.

[I have heard people tell many ‘myths’ about the canvas pieces !!]

Retablos in


in his studio
“Astura” “Settembre”

Simbari’s passion for the sea, and the warmth of the sun are in every painting on this page, yet no reproduction will ever catch the full vibrancy of colour and texture, which bursts upon the senses in every painting. My ‘display’ of the works I love can only be, at best, a poor second to the real thing . . .

It is the blues that I associate with Nicola most
 . . . sombre and pensive, smoking his cigar, eyes half shut
. . . exploding with electric pinks when exhilarated
. . . fused with white, bringing the noonday sun, with his smile . . .
. . . yellows to give a unique Mediterranean warmth when he is happy . . .
 “Blue Marina” Retablo in Silkscreen © SIMBARI

- - - and then, there is the ‘question’ of the laundry, in so many paintings of Southern Italy ! - - - on what is the washing hanging? ! and yet, this gives the feeling of the breeze and ease of ‘life’ by the shore . . . and boats

Simbari Boat Sketch
Retablo in Silkscreen

When driving south to his favourite beaches, Nicola would stop to ‘record’, with his “trusty” camera, scenes of his childhood memories . . .

there were often young boys
who were part
those scenes . . .
I always think of them
as “him” . . .
with boats,
on the beach,
on a bicycle,
on a seawall,
running down a street . . .

“Praia a Mare”
Retablo in Silkscreen

Looking through these pictures of paintings and prints, I realise how they resemble the wonderful Neapolitan songs, sung in the streets and in ‘trattoria’ s all over Italy, recalling scenes of ‘home’ . . . somehow nostalgic . .

proud of
the simple
to enjoy
Sun . . .
Sea . . .
and youth !

“Nettuno” Retablo in Silkscreen © SIMBARI

Nicola’s enormous vitality and imagination, and his total dedication to his Art, his zest for Life, his undeniable charm, and his lightening moods are a challenge to all who know him . . . and love him.

love his work is to understand the Man and recognise the Artist . . .

Nicola’s focus has
always been about
Discovery . . .
Daring to try
the new
whilst respecting
the technical
knowledge of the
the centuries . . .
“Aegean” Retablo in Silkscreen © SIMBARI

I have been so very lucky to be an intimate spectator of the craftsmanship of this gifted Artist . . . and sharing in his delight when seeing a “subject” for the first time . . . Now, I hope that I can share this ‘adventure’ with others, through the Images which may give an insight into a great Artist of our Time.

Diaries of our life
together as he
followed his path. .

Retablo in Silkscreen

One last image . . . !

The painting and retablo in silkscreen are entitled “Lily” . . .

This is my view of “me” waiting for Nicola . . . “ I’ll be back in a few minutes”
he would promise me . . . as he ventured off with his trusty camera . . .
what seemed like hours later he would return, with many reels of film and an excited step . . . “Sorry, but it was too interesting to stop” . . .
On the way home, or back to the ‘pensione’, he would tell me stories of his latest adventure - - - soon to be painted!

“Lily”    Retablo in Silkscreen © SIMBARI

What a privilege . . . though I didn’t always think of it as THAT, then!!!

© Elfrida 2010

Back to the top back

New !






Again ?



Are They?