For the first eight years of her life Geraldine Simmons lived in London, England and then settled in Australia in 1968.
As a child, the two activities that made her heart sing were riding her bike and drawing. Time spent alone riding her bike inspired her love of nature and deep appreciation for all living things. Observing nature helped enhance and develop Geraldine’s observational skills as well as the patience required to create detailed works for art.
Over time, Geraldine’s love of drawing has evolved into the detailed real-life portraits of wildlife that she draws today in either pastel and coloured pencil, or scratchboard. These mediums enable her to capture the true nature and essence that bring each animal to life.
Geraldine has exhibited both nationally and internationally receiving many invitations to donate her works to well-known animal conservation groups such as Humane Society International, Sea Shepherd and Borneo Orangutan Society.
Geraldine is a signature member of International Society of Scratchboard Artists.
Geraldine supports several animal welfare and environmental groups through donations of her works of art. Closest to her heart is Friends of the National Parks Foundation (http://www.fnpf.org) in Borneo, Indonesia, who focus on the conservation of orangutans and other Indonesian wildlife.
When visiting a national park in the remote jungles Borneo Geraldine got a close- up view of orangutans while they were rehabilitating in quarantine at NGO Friends of the National Parks Foundation (FNPF). One orangutan grabbed her hand and pulled her towards it. “It’s hard to put into words how awesome that experience was. There is so much intelligence, beauty and innocence that shine from their eyes. It made me realize how closely connected we are to them.” This was a defining moment for Geraldine to do use her art as a portal for raising greater awareness of endangered wildlife.
Inspired by this life-changing trip Geraldine founded the “Riding for Rangas” annual charity bike ride in 2009 (biennial since 2013) to raise funds and awareness for FNPF. Riders are sponsored to complete the challenging 300km distance in two days.
Geraldine donated her drawing “Sole Koala” to help raise funds for making the feature-length documentary “Milking The Rhino.” Made to raise awareness of African wildlife conservation. The film won many awards in several film festivals, including best documentary, best nature documentary and best cinematography.
In 2018, AFC member artists were invited to create one or more 8 x 8 inch artworks of any of the 678 endangered bird species for the Silent Skies super mural project https://festival.artistsforconservation.org/project/silent-skies. Geraldine chose the Cebu Boobook owl from the Philippines.
Since 2005 Geraldine has sold a number limited editions and originals for the benefit of Humane Society International, Borneo Orangutan Society, Silvery Gibbon Art Auction and Sea Shepherd Art Auction.
In 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017 Geraldine's artwork was selected for the virtual exhibit and companion hard cover book for the Art of Conservation- An International Exhibit of Nature in Art in conjunction with AFC annual festival in Vancouver, Canada.
AFC selects an artist each month for artistic excellence and extraordinary dedication to conservation. In 2010 Geraldine was awarded the AFC Conservation Artist Award for May.