Simon Combes (1940 -2004)
In 1940 Simon Combes was born in “Wilderness Cottage”, in Shaftesbury, England, and from that day in June, the Wilderness always attracted him. His first adventures began early when in... Read More
About Simon Combes
In 1940 Simon Combes was born in “Wilderness Cottage”, in Shaftesbury, England, and from that day in June, the Wilderness always attracted him. His first adventures began early when in 1946 when his parents moved onto farming Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, a magical place for a young boy.
Simon loathed his years at boarding school in Nakuru and at Duke of York in Nairobi, always longing for the freedom of the bush. While managing a 2,000 acre farm when he was seventeen, he was drafted into six months compulsory military training after already applying for appointment in the Kings African Rifles. He was accepted into 4 KAR but having just finished his training was sent to Uganda where one of his duties was to teach basic etiquette and rugby to a young Idi Amin. In 1964 he was chosen to train 250 soldiers as Paratroopers. They all attended parachute school in UK. Simon translated all the instruction into Kiswahili. When all the men were qualified, he became their first commander in Kenya. Immediately they were involved in the Shifta war in the northeastern province. It was during this time Simon started to draw and paint as a hobby to occupy his spare time. His subjects were the Somali and Boran people and the landscapes of the North. In 1969 he had an exhibition in Nairobi and sold all the paintings. It was then that the idea of painting full-time started. However, he was refused release from the army and was moved to army HQ as staff officer in charge of all operations and training. He performed the duties of a Lieutenant Colonel. Finally, in 1974 he was released from the army and started life as a professional artist. Best known for his stunning images wildlife in the African bush, he achieved worldwide success and acclamation through many prestigious awards. His paintings hang in private and museum collections around the globe.
Not only a man of the Arts, but also an avid conservationist, Simon was appointed Kenya Representative and Project Director for Rhino Rescue Trust. He sat on the boards of several wildlife conservation organizations and raised, through his art, many thousands of dollars for their causes.
On Sunday, December 12, 2004, atop a beautiful ancient volcano near his home in Africa’s Great Rift Valley, Simon’s life was tragically taken by one of the wild animals he so lovingly portrayed in his paintings. He never “gathered moss” and now he has come home. We shall remember Simon well.
Original Art Sold
8.5" x 12" / 20.32cm x 30.48cm