Born in 1965 in The Hague, Netherlands, and currently living in Rotterdam, artist Simon Balyon developed a passion for painting at a young age. The youngest of seven children, Balyon grew up in an artistic family. His brothers are highly esteemed artists and graphic designers.
Balyon is able to express various seasonal moods on canvas or panel, both in his studio and in nature or on the coast. His love for nature is reflected in his paintings. His compositions of winter landscapes, summer landscapes, and beach scenes represent the beauty of nature in a special way. Balyon’s paintings are well-balanced, radiating peace and quietude. The painting style of Simon Balyon is strongly influenced by the schools of impressionism and romanticism. Having studied paintings by famous masters from many different museums, Balyon is particularly interested in the style of The Hague School.
Simon Balyon’s mother was from Scheveningen, and her father has always sailed on a barge. Taking influence from this, Balyon often paints the coast of Scheveningen with barge boats in his compositions.
An Interview with Simon Balyon
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Simon Balyon. I am a Dutch painter who works in Dutch sea and landscapes.
Why do you do what you do?
I enjoy painting traditionally Dutch scenes because this is where I live. The sea and landscapes of my home country have a great impact on me.
How do you work?
Typically, I will create small sketches outside, in situ, then work out the painting in my studio later.
What’s your background?
I began painting when I was sixteen. At the time, I was also a carpenter. But by the time I was eighteen, I was a full-time artist.
What’s integral to the work of an artist?
As an artist you try to understand the colors of nature every day.
What role does the artist have in society?
My role as an artist is to give people an image of how Holland was in the early days.
How has your practice changed over time?
My practice has changed through the years. I’ve always tried to get closer to nature and the old Dutch masters.
What work do you most enjoy doing?
I like painting Dutch sea and beach scenes because that’s where I grew up.
What themes do you pursue?
Thematically, I want my work to achieve the Dutch impressionist style.
What’s your favorite artwork?
I do not have one favorite artwork.
Describe a real-life situation that inspired you.
My inspiration comes while I take walks on the beach or through the fields and forests. I try to remember the colors I see and recreate them in my studio.
Name an artist you’d like to be compared to and why.
I would like to be compared to the Dutch Hague School
What is your favorite or most inspirational place?
My most inspiration place is my country, The Netherlands
Professionally, what is your goal?
My goal is to create paintings that people recognize as mine. I want them to say “that’s a Simon Balyon painting.”
A Painting’s Backstory with Simon Balyon
My favorite paintings in the gallery are of the Dutch boat/coast scenes. In the early days, my great grandfather was a fisherman on those old Dutch Bomschuit boats. The boats used to shore anchor on the beaches. Horses would pull them aground and many people would work to prepare or unload the boats. Unfortunately, the Bomschuit boats don’t exist anymore. The last of them were destroyed after a large storm at the end of the 19th century.