Friday, March 25, 2016

Spotlight on Phil Boatwright, Texas Top Ten 2016

"Caroline", 30"x 20", Oil on Linen

Name: Phil Boatwright
Current City: Mesquite, Texas

1) When and how did you first become seriously interested in Art?

I first became interested in art when I was a kid. My Dad was a part time artist, so it probably started there. It's all I've ever done and wanted to do.

2) What is your training, and what medium(s) / subject matter do you work in?

Going way back, I first started taking oil painting lessons at the local art and frame shop when I was 13. I studied with Bruce Greene, the western artist when I was in high school in the late 70's. We're from the same home town. I majored in illustration at East Texas State University which is now Texas A&M Commerce and was a freelance illustrator for 13 years before I discovered commissioned portrait painting, which I do full time now. I'm somewhat self taught, but had the opportunity to visit with Joe Bowler on a couple of occasions. He taught me more in two hours than I had learned the previous 25 years. I work primarily in oils. Most of my time is spent painting portraits, but recently have been doing more of my own painting. (Landscapes, old structures, cows and horses)

3) What do you try to express in your work?

I try to express or capture the essence of the subject I'm painting.

4) What artists/professionals have been your biggest influences?

My biggest influences are Rembrandt, Velazquez, and Andrew Wyeth. Their work really moves me. The way they use abstraction and interesting surface textures to create a very realistic image is what I'm after.

5) What do you do to gain new inspiration for your work?

Inspiration comes from a lot of different sources for me. I pour over art books a lot, study hi res images of paintings I like on the internet, art museums, even music videos and old photography. I spend way too much time on Facebook discovering new artists I like.

6) What would you like to be doing with your art ten years from now?

In ten years I hope to be painting more for myself, and less commissioned portraits.

7) Do you set goals for yourself concerning the making of your art?

The only goal I have as far as the making of my art goes is: Strive to make the next painting better than the one I just finished. I love to discover new things that I think will improve my painting.

8) Are you happy with your job choice as an artist? Do you have any regrets in this career choice or things you would have done differently?

I'm very happy painting commissioned portraits. It's a great way to make a living as an artist. No regrets.

9) Any fun or interesting facts about yourself that you'd like to share?

Years ago I was attending a Portrait Society Conference in New York being held at the Met. I got lost one morning in Central Park and missed Simmie Knox's presentation on painting Bill Clinton's official portrait for the White House. No iPhones back then.

10) Best piece of advice for other artists?

Have an insatiable thirst for knowledge about art and painting. That's how you grow.

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