Steven Allen Simpson was born in 1958 in Beverly, Massachusetts and was raised in Danvers. His parents grew up in Essex and attended Gloucester High School where his maternal grandfather taught. Growing up on Massachusetts’ North Shore, his backyard was New England’s woods and coastline. A love of the land and sea was passed down to him from his parents.
Simpson showed a talent for the visual arts at an early age, enjoying drawing, watercolor, woodcarving, and photography. He thrived artistically in the newly enriched art program at Danvers High School in the early 70s, winning a Gold Key Award (the highest honor) at the Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards in 1976 for a pen and ink drawing.
Steven entered the art program at Salem State University and received his BA in Fine Art (with a minor in cartography) in 1982.
He began his career in the graphic arts at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute on Cape Cod as a cartographer for the book “Georges Bank”. After a year at Woods Hole he took a position as technical illustrator for Sky & Telescope magazine in Cambridge, Massachusetts where he would spent more than twenty years as illustrator, graphic designer, and eventually art director.
In 1997, Simpson discovered the burgeoning “new” field of plein aire painting. This inspired him to take up the brush again and paint earthbound landscapes in oil after many years of illustrating exploding stars and planets for the magazine. His paintings’ subject matter is most often the New England landscape from the coast to the mountains. He is attracted to scenes that display a strong design of color and geometry, which he paints in a loose, bold, and straightforward style.
He developed his realist painting style studying under Stephen Mishol at Massachusetts College of Art and with Kenn Backhaus of the Plein Aire Painters of America, among others.
Steven is an artist member of the Copley Society of Art in Boston and the North Shore Arts Association in Gloucester, Massachusetts.