Monday, December 29, 2014

In the present moment.....grace


This watercolor on watercolor board was a a prayer. Specifically it is adressing something other than the great creator, yet more like all of creation. It is birth, death, birth and the tapestry of life here on the planet, delicate,strong, interlocking. It is a serious intention of gratitude for all of the grace I enjoy. It is respect and reverence. When I am mindfully aware of these qualities in a day I sleep with contentment at night. The quality of my life takes on a lightness. My art becomes an effortless flow. I am.

I want to wish you a happy new year. I wish you a year filled with personal grace in your life, all that you can hold in every present moment.


More to come.......

All art copyright Alan Phillips 2014

Sunday, December 28, 2014

In a silent way.......


"In a Silent Way" was the first piece I ever heard by Miles Davis. I was curious because I had read about him in a novel. The very cool main character, one that I would emulate listened to Miles. I gave it a shot. I was behind the curve as he was a generation or two in front of me and so while I could hear strains of the Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Grand Funk Railroad all enjoyable mind you I hung with Miles.

It is true that I often hear a musician and feel as if they know what I know. Secret stuff, ideas from another dimension. Play the notes between the notes....beautifully I might add. This was a new idea with Milestones, Kind of Blue, So What.

Occasionally I will include something from my studies. This is one. It was meant for a series. The series would feature 20 or more muscicians that I can't do without and my unique link to them often, with the art expressing something of the feel of the music.

It is pencil, ink, watercolor on paper. The story from the liner notes was written by Richard Williams. This is how I work on projects. First the thought, then the research, then the sketch and on to the finish with all manner of experimentation and exploration on the way. Perhaps like Miles, playing a note, hearing it and responding with a new note that follows but only in relation....modality improvised. Can you dig it?

Also from time to time I will mention what astounds me. Maybe it will inspire you too. The first is a duet on youtube of Yo Yo Ma and Lil Buck....where the dancer becomes the music and the music and the dancer transcend into the infinite. The second is a Painter named Ran Ortner, at one with himself,nature,art and life. Again, you may be inspired.

More to come.....

All art copyright Alan Phillips 2014

Friday, December 26, 2014

The girls of summer


Perhaps I need to look it up. Who was the designer of the sundress? Just want to know so I can say thank you!

Whether I am in the city, the country, the beach in the summer, each woman I see floating in a sundress down the boulevard, beach or dusty lane just brings an easy harmony to my senses.

You put a flowered straw hat on her and notice that she is going neither fast nor slow. She is completely aware that she is loveliness itself and is content to simply 'be' with the sunlit moment. (or so I imagine)

This one is 20x24 inches oil on canvas. Available $3,500.00 US plus shipping. They happened to be spectators at a polo match. There's an understated casual elegance in play here, don't you think?

Hope all of you had a healthy, joyful and happy Christmas. Those of you who celebrate it.

So far I have had the good fortune to have an audience in the USA, Canada,Mexico, Venezuela, Russia, France, Ukraine,Turkey, Columbia, Phillipines,Latvia,Australia,China,Malaysia,United Kingdom,Germany, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Japan,The Netherlands, Poland, Lithuania, Romania Denmark, Peru,Argentina, Egypt, Italy, South Korea, Brazil and India. Thank you for checking out my art. I feel honored that you take the time.

More to come.....

All art copyright Alan Phillips 2014

More to come...

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Well played....


Here's another from the polo series. Once the match was over the competitors and rivals were once again companions and ready to kick back in an hour or two and retell the tale of the day's adventure. This scene from The Greenwich Polo Club riding off the field to the holding area, trailers and stable hands.

This one is a 30x40 inch oil on canvas unframed. It is available for $5,000.00 US not including shipping.

When I look at this piece I get a feeling of serenity. I have ventured many times out on to the playing fields of sports (not polo,yet) and have lasting friendships both with teamates and opponents. In the end playing the game is the success.

More to come....

All art copyright Alan Phillips 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

18th street summit.....


Boy it's been a while, too long actually since I hauled out my Tim Chew 9 foot longboard and performed my walking on water ballet. More likely performing an unceremonious headplant, lol.

This was a small oil study 11x14 inches on canvas. It was sold. The original price was $1,000.00

Here is a spot that every local knows. It occasionally has a nice right break. Great thing is that it's a the top of the hill where this spot is and you can ride your bike,gravity board or your scooter to look down and see where the surf is at and whether or not you should paddle out. Though I did live by the maxim, "when in doubt, paddle out."

I liked the color harmonies in this. I liked that it said 'stop' and 'one way' and 'beach.'
'Bout sums it up nicely.

Just a reminder, if you have a favorite coastal spot you want to capture for eternity for yourself or a gift I am open to discussing your ideas to make a fine art oil painting that will be a legacy to future generations. I'm the artist you call when a one of a kind is what you had in mind. You can reach me quickly at

More to come....

All art and images copyright Alan Phillips 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

What ever kindness you show to the least of these.....


Nature humbles me.

It especially gives me perspective when I see small creatures who make their way in the world in the wild with far less resources than me to be safe, fed, and enjoy the day. They do this without complaint as far as I know, they endure and persevere, looking so beautiful doing it.

They are experts at being what they are, where they are and who they are.

This was a magazine piece for the magazine Water's Edge. The author of the story found this beautiful little turtle by the side of the road and then decided she would like to have it as a member of her family and spoke to me with great affection for it.

Lucky turtle as it was now certain to have the security of food, a safe haven and happy people to look!

The painting was sold to author. It was a 15x20 inch watercolor on watercolor board.

Also, I want to say thank you to all of you who check in, view and appreciate my work each day.
Thank you.

More to come.....

All art copyright Alan Phillips 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014

A New Day, A New Dawn.....


It's a new life, and I'm feelin good. Now imagine you see me at 7 years old and I got the old turntable going on the family stereo and found Nina Simone singing this tune, I am singing along like I am on stage with as much soul and style as a 7 year old boy can muster......and I'm feelin good.

I get the same feeling each time I take my fresh brewed mug of Seattle's Best dark roast coffee and walk the path down to the beach just as the sun has lifted over the horizon. The air smells fresh, it's quiet and it's a chance to give thanks for another day.

This one is oil on canvas 12x14 inches and is sold. $1,000.00

Got a view you adore? Got a place you always wish you could have a view of in your living room? Thinking about a  project that is just speaking to you for coastal art? Then get in touch! I am available for commissions and happy to discuss particulars if you have a coastal theme in mind. Simply contact me at with a brief idea and your contact information. Residential or Corporate. I will respond within a day.

More to come....

All art copyright Alan Phillips 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Choices We Make.....


Thank goodness for the people that grow food, right?

I eat mostly whole foods fresh as I can find, grown locally and organically, grown on land that is cultivated and sustained in a healthy way. That is a choice and my body thanks me for it daily.

 I like art that is itself unto itself yet also can be a metaphor in a narrative. Most of my art has a spiritual meaning and intention beyond what is on the surface disguised as a genre painting. This one is an example. Editing, culling discovering what to keep, what to discard are questions I ask myself daily.

Along with coastal and estuarine venues, farms and orchards are favorite haunts for me both as a pleasureable experience and as fodder for my camera and canvas.

This one is a watercolor on watercolor board and is approx 15x20. It is for sale @ $1,500.00 US plus shipping unframed. If interested contact me at

More to come.....

All art copyright Alan Phillips 2014

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Ride like the wind


I probably saw my first polo match when I was 8 years old. It was at the Myopia Hunt Club in Hamilton Massachusetts. Have you been to a match? Fantastic isn't it?

Grace,power,speed,strength and skill in action make it a thrilling way to spend
a few hours on a Sunday afternoon.

As an artist there is color, figures, depth, landscape, beautiful horses and people a sense of excitement in an almost festival atmosphere, not to mention delicious picnic goodies that people bring to the spectator grounds, fun,fun,fun. It's even more fun to make the art of polo into the art of the artist!

This one was at The International Polo Club Palm Beach, Florida USA. It is from a series of 6 the other five are scenes from The Greenwich Polo Club in Connecticut, USA.
oil on canvas 30x40 inches and is available at $5,500.00 US. unframed Contact Alan Phillips @ if interested.

More to come......

All art and images copyright Alan Phillips 2014

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Now and then.....2-22


This is a portrait of my daughter Haley at age two and now at 22, this study done this morning of a shot I took on Thanksgiving Day. Very hard to capture beauty with a few lines and I am not sure my drawing defines that exactly but the essence of her personality is point on. Smart, funny and great to be around. The top one is watercolor on watercolor paper and the bottom one pencil on sketch paper.

 I love being an artist. Only one thing was and is more fun, more rewarding, more interesting, more work, and more satisfying and that is being a dad. Her dad more precisely.

She recently commented on a photograph of me holding her in my arms hours after being born. "Looks like you are in awe, dad." she said. Worried beyond compare was more like it, I must have checked her breathing 12 times a night when we brought her home. By George I'll make sure I keep this child alive or die trying...I thought,lol. Right. No question. I remain in awe to this day. So perhaps I'll declare December 7th honor and appreciate your kids day. They are in every way a miracle. We all are.

Much love to you Haley girl from dad.

More to come....

All art copyright Alan Phillips 2014

Friday, December 5, 2014

Farewell to Beebe...wooden ships on the water


If you smile at me, I will understand for that is something everybody everywhere does in the same language...I love that line by Crosby, Stills and Nash in their song "Wooden Ships."
This could have been Beebe's theme song.

In our lifetimes there are those that appear for a moment, a season or a lifetime. My friend Barbara Tenney set sail on a new journey two days ago. I was fortunate and blessed to have known her, been inspired by her and the recipient of her resources, time and love. In my heart and mind she will always have a presence and so it is for a lifetime. Thank you.

 I send you off with joy for your journey. May you have bright beautiful skies and a gentle but firm breeze and relentless happiness on your journey to the next harbor, your next destination or the four winds and the heavens take you.

And it's a fair wind blowin' warm out of the south over my shoulder, guess I'll set a course and go..... (CSN)

With gladness,sadness,respect,love and admiration, farewell my friend.....


All art and images copyright Alan Phillips 2014

Thursday, December 4, 2014

wabi-sabi, a humble approach.....


Wabi-sabi is a new term to me. The concept in my being as wabi-sabi is as old as I am. It was evident to me sitting on a concrete sidewalk as far back as I can remember, running my fingers over the grains feeling the texture and the warmth of the sun touching the surface, split, cracked, worn, functional and beautiful.

Spiritually speaking; it is older than time. My introduction came by way of an article written by David Netto for the New York Times about The Tribeca Penthouse of The Greenwich Hotel which was titled "The Luxury of Humility."  Ira Drukier and Robert De Niro are among those with the vision to embace such a beautiful enterprise.

The visionary to promote the idea of this Japanese aesthetic of acceptance, transcience and imperfection for the construction and interior design was Axel Vervoordt. As it was explained, wabi meaning sober refinement, sabi meaning patina.

What carries this message more than a simple clam shell and a few strands of sea grass in a small patch of beach, lit by the summer sun? It is interesting to me in the art that I make to observe those who observe. So many responses are available. Most people walk right by this little 10x10 inch oil on canvas painting in my studio. A rare few stop to ponder. Those who I consider sharp ask, "Why would Alan, who can paint anything vast and majestic pick a subject so simple and humble?" Why, indeed? Look at the texture, imagine the warmth of the sand, the coolness of the shell to your touch.

When I first viewed the beautiful photography by Francois Halard of the space in the penthouse I thought to myself, "Boy, I could really get some work done there."  One of the aspects that the directors of this work of art asked is, "Would the uninitiated get it?" A key aspect of the Wabi in the well designed space is psychological well being of the occupant....this is what I meant by getting work done there. It is a space for clarity of being.

I would love to find a project like this to be involved with for my work. I do feel, as it is with most of my large scale paintings that this particular interior could use a counterpoint, something lush with understated color, sensual, harmonic as I walk about in sober refinement with know..playfully!

More to come....

All art and images copyright Alan Phillips 2014

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Just wanted to drop you a line or two......


Although most of what I do feels like play most of the time it takes a great deal of time, planning, calculation, legwork, thought, concentration, perspective,dedication and preparation to make a 'finished' work of art and this includes realism through abstraction.

I cannot speak for any artist but me and this is my process every time. Yet when I have the free time which means not on deadline or needing to get to paying bills and I have a moment to be in the studio and just 'play' experiment you might say and not focused on the outcome. I like to have fun with the materials. In this case pencil on paper 16x24 I believe.

Here, I think you can feel the energy, directed but not controlled, loose but not chaotic
dimensional but not rendered, suggested with flow and restraint at the same time. It reminds me of some of the stuff Bailey shot in the 60's...which I still think is some of the best fashion work ever done. Please add Richard Avedon, Horst P Horst, Irving Penn to that list.

Remember to visit and search under sunnybeachman for my watercolors on a huge range of items that would be perfect gifts for the holiday season.

More to come....

All art and images copyright Alan Phillips 2014

Monday, December 1, 2014

Sanctuary is a state of mind....


Well, for me it's also the state of Florida, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, South Carolina, get the idea. There are so many wonderful places on this planet where one can go to just be. I have only seen a few. A place where your 'smart' devices are irrelevant. Imagine that.

This particular place was in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida and for a few hours I just took deep breaths of the ocean air, wiggled me toes in the sand and listened to the waves. I had a dialogue going with the waves, the gulls, the trees and the shells. Sometimes I just like to go and let the elements 'have me' and when I walk the path that leads out from this place I have been transformed into a healthier, happier human.

This was an oil on canvas, 11x14 inches sold

More to come....

All art and images copyright Alan Phillips 2014