About Phil Hill
I sold my first work over 60 years ago for 25 cents. It was a small drawing of the local duck pond, and a neighbor thought it was charming. Today I live and paint in West Chester, PA. My wife and I moved here after many years in New York City where I worked in an office, and together we raised two daughters. But I always found time to paint.
Over the years, I studied at The Arts Students League in New York and at the National Academy also in New York, taking classes at night or on weekends. I also walked the galleries of the great museums gathering inspiration from the masters. I spent countless hours viewing the work of artists on the internet. To
develop my skill, I copied the works of artists I most admired, sometimes taking months to get it right
The artists that influence my work are too numerous to list, but I am particularly indebted to the old masters for their skill and vision. I admire the 19th century painters for their interpretation of light and use of color. The 20th century and contemporary artists give me courage to explore new aesthetics and dimensions in my art. And although not often evident in my paintings, I gain an artistic perspective from African tribal art.
The subject of my paintings is varied and includes landscape, portraiture and still life. I am most moved by beauty and people. In my work, I hope to communicate an emotion that touches you. Through my painting, I often seek to convey a sense of the familiar or a common experience. In many of my landscape paintings, I include people to add a human interest and narrative to the scene. In my portrait paintings, I like to place the figure in a setting that describes the individual’s personality, interests, or what makes the person unique. Still life painting gives me the opportunity to imagine and compose an arrangement that
makes a statement or strikes a mood.
I work primarily in oil, but sometimes use pastel or watercolor. Each painting represents a journey. Usually I start with a photograph or several photographs of the subject. I spend time thinking about how I will make the painting and what I want to say in the painting. As I begin to paint, I gain a deeper understanding of my subject and may change course. Sometimes a summer subject becomes a winter painting, or a daytime scene turns into night.
I might add people, or subtract or change certain elements to enhance the painting. I let my imagination guide me in reaching my final expression. And at the end of the journey, I will have achieved my goal if in this often confused and crazy world, I can transport the viewer to a joyful place.