The sky was cobalt blue and as clear as the air I inhaled that morning as I explored the early autumn cornfields. My boots sunk low in the red Alabama dirt as I tried to get a better view of the bluebird on a barbed-wire fence. With colors and paper in hand, I slowly moved in closer to get a better feel of just what kind of blue I could mix together to imitate what I was seeing. Even though having 64 crayons was a dream come true for a 5 year old, I just didn't seem to have enough blues to show the brilliance of the bluebird's back in the morning sun. I suppose that's when I began to think of myself as an artist.
Art imitates Life, they say. Yes, but what is Life? I heard a line from a song, 'I want to be a living man, a living man, I just want to be a living man'. It was the background music for a film about the last few seconds of a man's life. There he was with a noose around his neck, his eyes closed in prayer and then everything was paused as he 'started living'. He heard the mocking bird, the cricket, the wind in the leaves. He could see the sun coming through the branches as the trees swayed back and forth. He could feel the water as he swam down the rapids and then he came up out of the water and breathed deep fresh air as if he was just born. He saw flowers like it was the first time and struggled to get close enough to breathe in their fragrance.
As an artist, I want to be a living man, to really see what God has created and enjoy it. I don't want to just see and enjoy or even to see, enjoy and imitate. I want to breathe deeper. I want to know in a fresh new way, the One who created all. I guess that's a bit of an uppity goal, but I don't think that's putting the capital 'A' on the artist, since that is what Jesus taught us all to do, I mean to know God, to love God and enjoy Him forever.
I don't feel any need to settle down with a particular style, method or plan of doing art, so I'm open minded in my approach. For decades I've studied mostly art from America and Europe, more recently after living in China I began to notice an Asian influence in my work. Realism, Impressionism, Abstract, etc., I see it all as colors, shapes, textures and ideas that have their foundation in His creation. I would like to make some sort of art that hasn't been thought of before, something really new, something with meaning, something my children's children would appreciate. Are all the good ideas already taken? I don't think so.
Robert Gregory Phillips was born in 1955 in Alabama, USA. He received his B.S. in Painting from Troy State University in Alabama. His work is owned by private collectors and galleries in the United States and internationally. Group and solo exhibitions in both the United States and China.
Other interests include: Software Engineering, Poetry, Bible, Photography, Film, History, Discovery, New Technology.
Currently he lives in Austin, Texas USA with his wife. They have three children and two grandchildren.
There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect. G.K. Chesterton