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Simon Aberle - Pumpkin

“…there are so many beautiful places in SA that are worthy of creating art from…”

4199fc_305eb03f62dda66d4bd86de22a23fc2bI have been artistically inclined from an early age. As a child I would create things out of cardboard, paper, and anything else I could find. Quite often my parents would find me sitting on the laundry floor, or under a table somewhere quiet ripping off pieces of sticky tape with my teeth! I was always mesmerized to watch my father drawing or painting, and it inspired me to be creative in as many ways as possible.

In my teenage years I spent most of my work time creating elaborate headers for my assignments, which consequently left me with very little time for actual theory work. I was a silly boy, a joker, and not interested in anything serious, especially school. I failed year ten twice due to running amok and procrastinating with my studies.

One of my high school art teachers told me once that I had such talent and potential, if only I would just apply myself. At the time I didn’t realise the gravity of what she was trying to tell me. I left school uncompleted it when I was seventeen, worked several undesirable jobs and had three children very early. My art took a back seat to my child rearing and song writing throughout my twenties. At age thirty my first marriage ended, so in March 2008, after a year of post-separation depression, I started drawing again. I realised what my life had neglected and it started a whirlwind of pencil sketches, acrylic and pastel paintings and photography. I was certain that I wanted art to become my career so in 2011 I began studying for a Bachelor of Visual Arts degree at Adelaide Central School of Art. I had to then defer my art studies due to family life and band commitments, but I still continue to create and promote my art. I now live in beautiful South Australia.

Q.  Have you lived in South Australia your whole life?

A. Yes


Q. How has South Australia influenced your art?

A. It’s the only place I’ve ever lived, so I don’t really know any different. Although there are so many beautiful places in SA that are worthy of creating art from, so why would I want to live anywhere else?!


Q. When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

A. I don’t know really, I have always been artistically inclined. It just comes naturally. However I really got serious about making a business out of it when I was thirty one and people started to really enjoy my art.


Q. How would you describe your art?

A. My signature style has been photo-realistic drawings up until now, but I want to expand my horizons and not be a one trick pony.


Q. Is your art based on any particular themes &/or ideas?

A. Basically, I used to watch my father create drawings and paintings when I was a child, so I guess I just followed in his footsteps in regards to style. My theory is that I just draw what I see. I see things in extreme detail, and I have been given the gift of making my hand do what my brain tells it to.


Q. Where did you start your journey as a visual artist? (formal education?)

A. I studied at the Adelaide Central School of Art part time a few years ago to gain a more extensive knowledge base and skill set, but I had to defer it due to family and time constraints. The majority of my art is self taught through trial, error, and reward but I did pick up a few pointers from my Dad.


Q. Who has influenced your style, during either formal education or personal experience?

A. My father has been my biggest influence certainly, but I have been inspired by many artists either through artist social websites or through art galleries. One day I would love to paint in the renaissance or pre-Raphaelite style, and I would also like to paint landscapes, and abstract. I love it all!


Q. Who inspires you &/or who are your favourite artists at the moment?

A. I am loving Colin Davidson and Leonid Afremov’s work right now!


Q. Are there any other media that you enjoy working with?

A. Yes I love oil paint as well as my go-to mediums, graphite pencil and soft pastels.


Q. What projects are you currently working on, if any?

A. I have a few portrait commissions on the go.


Q. Are there any aspects of your art that you find particularly challenging?

A. No, not really. I guess only scheduling time to get the work done, along with my day job, band and family life.


Q. Which is more important to you, the symbolic meaning of your own work or the visual presentation?

A. The visual presentation. I like the ‘wow’ reactions, I’ll admit it.


Q. Do you have favourite pieces from your portfolio? Why?

A. ‘Milo’ is probably my favourite, but I have many others I am really proud of. The ones that are the most detailed and lifelike are the ones I call my best.


Q. Describe the ideal environment for your creative process.

A. A nice clean, non cluttered environment, music playing in the background and some good strong light.


Q. What does a typical day at work look like for you as an artist?

A. I work at a day job full time, so I only really get to work on my art at night and the weekends, when I have time. So it’s usually only a couple of hours at a time, and only maybe three or four sessions a week.


Q. How has media (traditional or social) influenced your art?

A. Social media and the internet has given me a means to not only show my artwork to the world, but has given me inspiration and information as well. I would not be at all successful without it.


Q. How would you describe the visual arts scene in South Australia?

A. It’s vibrant. Everywhere you look there are sculptures on the street, and paintings in restaurants. It’s a great place for artists.


Q. Do you enjoy collaborating with other artists?

A. I haven’t really done much of this, but I would like to. I think I would enjoy it a lot.


Q. Are you able to make a living as an artist?

A. I wish!!! Not even close unfortunately. It is just a bit of play money right now, but I plan to really get it going in the next few years.


Q. What advice would you give someone who aspires to a career in the visual arts?

A. Don’t try to copy anyone else’s style, and don’t listen to any negativity. Art is about personal expression, and no-one else is you. Show the world who you are.

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Wine Label painting for Wirra Wirra Vineyards, McLaren Vale, S.A.

Cover for Surf Livesaving in South Australia

CD cover for ABC Classics, featuring music by ASO’s principal tuba player Peter Whish Wilson

Cover for ‘I met God in Bermuda’, Author Steven Ogden.

Painting for the ACH group

United Nations Association of Australia, painting for official envelopes

CD cover artwork for Lithuanian Pop/Rock band Bet Bet

Magazine cover art for Dialogue UK


Semi-Finalist 2013 Doug Moran national Portrait Prize

Finalist 2012 Mortimer Art Prize for Surrealism

Finalist 2011 Nora Heysen Art Prize for Still Life, SA.

Finalist 2009 Whyalla Art Prize.

Finalist ANL Maritime Art Prize, Vic.

Finalist 2008 Fleurieu Peninsula Vistas Prize, SA.

Finalist 2008 Corangamarah Art Prize, VIC.

Finalist 2007 Whyalla Art Prize.

Finalist 2007 Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize.

Short listed for The Adelaide Fringe 2007 Poster Competition.

Finalist 2006 the Fleurieu Peninsula Water Prize.

Finalist 2006 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize.

Finalist 2006 Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize.

Cathedral Art Show 2005 Winner Best observation of human nature.

Finalist 2005 Heysen Prize for Australian Landscape.

Finalist 2005 Spirit of the Outback Waltzing Matilda Art Competition.

Finalist 2004 Doug Moran Portrait Prize.

Finalist 2004 Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize.

Finalist 2004 Fleurieu Peninsula Biennale Art Prize for Australian Landscape.

Finalist 2004 grey masts Art Prize. (highly commended)


ANZ Bank,Singapore

Australian Embassy Rome, Italy

Adelaide University (Roseworthy College)

Advertiser Newspapers

National Foods

South Australian Department for Emergency Services

Smorgan Family Melbourne

St Hildas Anglican Girls School, Mosman W.A.

St Aloysius College, Adelaide S.A.

Nichi engineering, Malaysia

ACH Group S.A.

Government House S.A.

United Nations Association of Australia A.C.T.

Common Ground S.A.

Holstein Australia VIC.