Simone Tabone is a mother, an artist, and an art teacher. Her inspiration comes from the Maltese countryside, the sea, and her family. Although she loves painting, Simone is also very fond of teaching art, as she enjoys sharing what she has learnt, and she feels it is a way of keeping in touch with the world, as painting can be quite solitary. In 2018, Simone joined a local plein air group of artists. Apart from painting, Simone enjoys walking and swimming, from which she derives inspiration and ideas. Simone has recently joined an art group run by Tonio Mallia, a place where artists get to share ideas, and discuss and critique each other’s work. Simone has also attended workshops with Andrew Borg and later followed some plein air sessions with Anthony Weitz.
When and how did you get started?
As a school girl, my diaries were my first sketch books. I consider myself extremely lucky, as my parents always felt I had potential and encouraged me. As I grew older, I experimented with various mediums and styles, starting off with chalk pastels, watercolours, and later oils. In 1992, I obtained a Diploma in Fine Art from the Malta School of Art, Valletta and a few years later in 1999, I graduated with a B.Ed Hons in Fine Art from the University of Malta. During my university days, together with a friend of mine, I organized and participated in an exhibition of young artists, entitled Arti u Artna, which was a fundraiser for Torri Qalet Marku, in aid of Din l-Art Helwa. The following year, I held my first solo exhibition of watercolours in Mdina. I spent lots of time in Mdina, painting in the streets, unknowlingly my very first experience of plein air painting. Years later when I got married and had children my work became more stylised and bold. I owe this phase to the influence of my kids and their colourful world of toys, games and cartoons. Concurrently, I was invited to exhibit this series of paintings entitled Colour Visions, in Birgu.
What genre do you consider your work to be?
My favourite themes are landscapes and seascapes. However, I do enjoy still life and more recently painting human figures.
Describe your work in 10 words or less.
Colour, texture, mood, and emotion.
Where was your first exhibition held?
My first solo exhibition was held in Mdina, at Ciappetti Tea Gardens. I displayed a series of watercolours, depicting the countryside, beaches, street scenes, still life and portraits.
Do you have a favourite from among your own artworks? If so, why?
One of my favourite paintings is a child on a beach, a watercolour I exhibited in Mdina. Years later, I interpreted a similar theme but in acrylics. Many pictures that I painted were inspired by scenes in Gozo, as it is here that i spent some of the happiest days of my childhood.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on a small series of paintings of different themes such as still life, portraits and landscapes.
Which artist’s work are you most inspired by?
Some of my favourite artists are Turner, Monet, Van Gogh, Munch, and Emil Nolde. However, there are many Maltese contemporary and classical artists who I admire, a favourite of which is Giuseppe Cali.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
A photographer or an interior designer.
What is the epitome of happiness for you?
Being near the sea, travelling, and spending time with good friends and family.
What do you love about Malta?
By far I love the sea, our beautiful capital city of Valletta, and of course Gozo in its entirety.
What do you hate about Malta?
The ‘rih isfel’, the traffic, and the over developement!
Favourite colour and what it means to you?
My favourite colour is blue and all it’s different shades. To me, blue symbolises happiness, energy, and clarity.
What is your favourite indulgence?
Dessert! My favourite being a homemade lemon meringue pie or a chocolate mousse.