Kirsten Sims’ characters weave busy narratives in colourful landscapes

12 December 2016

Cape Town-based artist and illustrator Kirsten Sims is a dab hand at creating sweeping scenes in beautiful, sumptuous colours. Kirsten’s busy paintings are chock full of narrative with multiple characters appearing on one illustration. Rather than chaos, the artist balances all the activity with soothing backdrops of trees, blue skies and sunsets.

It’s been two years since we last featured Kirsten’s work and her brush strokes feel bolder and more purposeful than before, with less of a focus on the final details. This freedom allows her stories to be conveyed much quicker but still retain the warm energy.

From beachy landscapes to looking in through the windows of a party, the artist’s paintings are charming but contain more surreal elements to keep the images fresh. In one image called Catophony, a man plays the cello to a plethora of cats and in another, a group of people dance under the moon and midnight blue sky.


Kirsten Sims: Catophony


Kirsten Sims: Avo on Toast


Kirsten Sims: Spectator Sport


Kirsten Sims: Soul are the eyes of the windows


Kirsten Sims: Mango Smoothie


Kirsten Sims: Hide and Seek


Kirsten Sims: The Parade

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About the Author

Rebecca Fulleylove

Rebecca Fulleylove is a freelance writer and editor specialising in art, design and culture. She is also senior writer at Creative Review, having previously worked at Elephant, Google Arts & Culture, and It’s Nice That.

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