Early in 2014 Simonson finally decided where he would settle next. He moved to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico at the end of October, and quickly found a small apartment and set up a temporary painting studio in his bedroom. It was cramped but he loved living in a new place and immersing himself in a new culture.
Then about 6 months after his arrival, he made a wonderful discovery: a place called ArtVallarta ArtVallarta, says Simonson, is like a Puerto Vallarta version of Lincoln’s Parrish Studios. It’s a community of artists and art lovers, with studios for painting, pottery, creative cooking, and classes of all kinds. When he met the owner and director, Nathalie Herling, the two hit it off immediately. Simonson refers to Nathalie as “The Patron Saint of Puerto Vallarta Artists.”
Simonson has become an ArtVallarta Artist-in-Residence and paints there daily. He’s begun teaching a painting class one day a week.
After 35 years of painting professionally, Simonson is operating at the peak of his powers—so far. The latest work coming out of his ArtVallarta studio is clear evidence that he’s still growing, still exploring, and still producing powerful, and powerfully beautiful, art.