Simon Atack

Photo of Simon Atack

A Photo of Simon Atack

SIMON ATACK was born in 1957 into a musical family father is a jazz pianist and both brothers successful musical directors in film and TV, Simon Atack always had his sights on becoming a painter.

Simon Atack began drawing aircraft and warships at a very early age, his sketches mysteriously appearing on the end-papers of his parents hard back novels, nursery books, and any other clean white surface he came across. Invariably using biro still one of his preferred sketching instruments today his efforts were indelible, if not always appreciated at the time.

At about 8 years of age Simon Atack was given his first set of oil paints, possibly to save the family library, and has painted with little else ever since. After regularly winning the school art prize it became obvious to all concerned with his education what his next step should be, and at age 16 Simon Atack commenced formal training at Wakefield College of Art. There Simon Atack studied graphic design, illustration and life drawing, all of which matured his ability to sketch into a disciplined skill. Though grounded in the disciplines of art during this period of training, his skills as a painter in oil are however largely self-taught.

After leaving art college, like thousands of other art students, a young Simon Atack found it impossible to get a job where he could employ his skills. Though the agencies he approached liked his portfolio, without the practical experience Simon was always left to try his luck at the next interview. Recognizing the need to find an alternative line of work, and with his interest in aircraft still very much alive, the young Simon Atack joined the Royal Air Force.

Following training, upon arrival at his first posting, by a stoke of good fortune his new Commanding Officer noticed the word artist on his file, and asked Simon if he'd like to Produce a few airplane pictures to cheer the walls up a bit! It was an opportunity the ex-art student, now professional airman seized with both hands. Simon Atack's first pictures soon led to commissions for other Units, Squadrons, and individuals throughout the RAF, to such degree that in no time he became an unofficial military artist for the Service. However, his RAF days were not long to end and his success had given him the encouragement to pursue a career as a full-time professional artist upon his return to civilian life. Throughout the 1980s, like any young artist making his way, Simon Atack would draw and paint the wide variety of subjects that clients asked him to tackle. Flora's proved popular, with daises in particular demand! Two of Simon Atack's large examples being exhibited at the 1989 Paris Salon, which brought commissions for similar works from galleries and corporate clients all over Europe. Landscape paintings were published as prints, a series of paintings for greetings cards was commissioned, and at last the fledgling professional artist began to feel he was starting to make his mark.

Working from his studio in a haunted 18th century farmhouse in Yorkshire, by the mid 1990s he returned to his favorite subjects, painting aircraft, ships and the sea. Much influenced early in his career by the aircraft and ship paintings of Roy Cross, Simon Atack remembers slavishly copying this artists paintings in an effort to get some idea of how they were constructed, even spending his spare cash collecting aircraft model kits solely for the Roy Cross artwork on the boxes! Simon Atack credits much of his inspiration today to this artist. In common with many aviation artists, he also much admired the work of Frank Wooton, particularly the beauty of his cloudscapes and his rich use of color.

Today Simon Atack's art has achieved the kind of recognition that his blend of natural talent and studious application deserves. His original paintings, always in great demand, have great impact and dimension. Now published by the Military Gallery, his fine quality work is available to a wide audience where his talent will be easily recognized by those who appreciate the finer points of aviation and maritime art.

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