Sunday, August 30, 2015

Left handed and right handed whelks


Who knew? You find out I suppose, the deeper you go into a subject. There are many kinds of whelks indeed. Lightening strikes! 

Listening to Randy Crawford live. The tune is Rio de Janeiro Blue. Sahmokin!  "The salt sea air, your windblown hair, reflections on a dream, thoughts of you with who knows who flowin through me like a stream, Brazilian serenaders linger on, help me lose my soul in your song, and I get a feelin that I've seen the last of you, Rio De Janeiro Blue." Just plain haunting. 

This was a magazine piece from  2007. Watercolor on board 15 x 20 inches. Sold. It was the first time I started really playing with neutral grounds and the subject and ground as foils. I see these shapes, the shells as sculptural objects when I travel on the beach. 

In terms of their influence on the grey ground and the domination of the space I liken them to pieces that remind me of Claes Oldenburg and Henry Moore They are little pieces of found art that decorate the sand.

More to come...

All art copyright Alan Phillips 2105

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Take Five.......


The first time I heard Brubeck and relatively Paul Desmond lyrically dancing around that 4/5 time signature...well, Desmond said he wanted to sound like a , "Dry Martini." So dry in fact he probably had the vermouth simply stare at the vodka for a few seconds. Crisp, deliberate
floating and certainly intoxicating for me. My mood elevates every time I hear the first few bars.

It is not just the sound for me. It is an idea about otherness inside the beat, their beat, my beat, earth beat and slipping in and out, over and under it....transcendental. I smile.

More to come....

All art and words copyright Alan Phillips 2015

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tacada Forte/ Peter Orthwein


In many of the sports I have played it is just a blast to get free from the defense long enough to generate some good offense! 

Tommy Glynn who was the guru emeritus at The Greenwich Polo Club in Connecticut back when I was attending matches in the early 1990s mentioned to me that polo was the most democratic of all sports. He was referring to the play, you know if you could ride, you were home free, included and welcomed no matter your standing in the world.

Yet I have to applaud the fact that it was also true in the stands, whether giving a nod to Stephanie Seymour or Peter Brandt or a wave to Peter Orthwein who is seen here about to crush the ball (I think Airstream was his team at the time) or a long conversation with Henryk De Kwiatkowski about women in polo. All were engaging and welcoming wherever I landed on the field and asked me no questions about my status in the world, only my interest in photographing the event. Love it.

This is an oil on canvas, the canvas is 30 x 40 inches and the image 24 x 36 inches approximately.

It is for sale at $5,000.00 US, unframed plus shipping and handling. Contact Monty at for payment, schedule for deliverey or pick up and details.

More to come.

All art copyright Alan Phillips 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015

August Rush...


Did you like the movie of the same name? I felt like my story was being told. Only, it was for music,art and writing. Oh, and the main character of the story was much more in tune with his gift. Once he had the right tools he was conducting the orchestra in a composition of his own in Central Park. Me,I was taking the long road home indeed. There was a whole lot of the world I had to digest before I could get to my oeuvre and multi opus concertos!

Another of my word/art painting studies. Acrylic, coffee ring and words on paper. I shall be making the final art a 3 foot square, oil on canvas. 

Today, everyday, I wish you more music, art and literature and the nourishment they provide than you can imagine. 

More to come.....

All words and art5 copyright Alan Phillips 2015

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Special Friends...


Hooboy, ever feel like there is someone watching? First of all I am listening to Michael Franks "Summer In New York" If you love New York City the way I did, I do...have a listen, it will feel like a letter from home. OK, back to the art. 

All my life I have felt a presence. I felt that way before I had words to express it, before I knew what supernatural or spirit meant. You know, my playmates! I have absolutely zero evidence of actual energies beyond you and I, what we can see and agree on as reality.

However I have also been the beneficiary of unexplained protection, connections,rescue, prevention and follow up that is beyond reason or even simple luck for that matter. It sure feels like a divine hand interceding on my behalf, frequently, gratefully I might add. Charmed? Possibly.

I have also felt as though there are other kinds of energies, dark ones, bored ones, mischief makers. In all I imagine they are ever changing shapes full of a kind of contained light that is moving within it. This is my take on it. This is sort of an elegy to them especially my familiars and of course the influence of the magnificent Robert Motherwell, just loving those negative shapes energizing the positive ones.

This is 20 x 30 inches black acrylic on paper with type laid in on the computer. The final will be oil on canvas 3 x 5 feet with hand lettered type.

More to come......

All words, ideas and art copyright Alan Phillips 2015

Monday, August 10, 2015



One of my greatest assets as an athlete is and was being quick footed, fleet, no I was not fast but I sure was quick. This helped me in track, basketball, hockey, boxing, surfing and a blessed talent for dancing. It is more than the feet though dear Mercury, it is a state of mind, HG atomically!

It is also having a mind that gets the joke before anyone else...before you are finished telling it, frankly. Always had the answer first in class, even though I sat in the back of the class and rarely if ever to speak or raise my hand. I am an idea man. They come fast and furious daily. It's fun and I feel blessed to have this capacity stocked as it is with full imagination and this word/art piece is to honor and celebrate it.

This work is about 15 x 20 inches acrylic on paper and words in computer type over the top.

More to come.....

All art and words copyright Alan Phillips

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Sound And The Fury....


Signifying he struts his hour upon the stage..for me, Faulkner
Shakespeare and you!

I do love Hemingway, Jack London, William Faulkner and Jack Kerouac all for different reasons however each to their own was close to the land and a universe of difference in how they connected to it.

I took many great journeys with these writers in the comfort of their tales and many more when I was doing editorial book art for the Easton Press when I was an illustrator.

This work was 30 x 40 inches oil on canvas, I sold it about 20 years ago but it remains one of my favorite literary portraits. It was for a collection of works by William Faulkner. I really dig the thin passages of washes juxtaposed with subtle opaques. I also like the echo of Bill's friend as well as the reference of the pose echoing the other great writer of the mighty Mississippi. I think that little Jack Russell senses something?

More to come....
All art copyright Alan Phillips 2015

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Double Overhead


Terrifying, fun, exciting, exhilarating, rough, smooth, glass, inside, backside and freedom are words that come to mind on one of my former favorite fun activities. I'm referring to surfing of course.

I learned to surf late in life, well, say compared to the 5 year old kids I see on the water starting with short boards in camps. I believe I got my own daughter up and surfing by the age of 6. 

My board was a custom Tim Chew 9 foot beauty with lovely rails that I called the 'sofa' because it was a comfy easy ride on days with good swells and clean water.
Mine were soul surfer rides with long smooth cut backs and gliding top to bottom with a minimum of effort. 

There were days I got smacked in the head and knocked off my board by an oncoming wave simply because I was mesmerized by the sunlight drifting towards the horizon in the distance. Beauty out on the water at eye level is a wonderful perspective.

This piece though refers to the that moment when you are paddling hard and you got in front and in the wave and you better have your balance, your rhythm in form as your soles hit the sex wax. You focus, you commit. If you don't, well, you are gonna have some serious collateral damage to deal with in the aftermath of going over the falls! 

The art is 25 inches by 25 inches acrylic on newsprint with type added once into the computer files. The future of this piece will be oil on canvas 4 feet by4 feet.

More to come......

All art and words copyright Alan Phillips 2015