Penelope Phillips, Chindrieux, France Member Since October 2006 Artist Statement Drawing for me is a way of taking hold of an interesting moment--an occasion where contours sweep graciously or vibrate with tension, swell with possibility, open with promise, pull apart decisively or ease off into memory. Painting turns up the music: distinguishes the motifs, brings out the accents, clarifies the timbre until the moment seems to rock with perpetual liveliness.
I’ve always thought in multimedia because I like to render a complete art object that offers an integrated experience. As a child I would draw several pages of characters interacting, then write that up as a play script, then recruit kids from the neighborhood for a backyard production. While majoring in English and minoring in art at Smith College, I won a Guest Editorship at Mademoiselle after submitting a dummy for a complete August, or College, Issue, for which I designed the clothes, wrote a short story and a long poem and provided photographic coverage and feature articles as well as designing the layout and writing the editorial copy. As an advertising copywriter for J. Walter Thompson and for McGraw-Hill, I took evening courses at the School of Visual Arts until I was given the opportunity to design direct-mail promotion. A few years later, while earning a Master’s in the Graduate Writing Program at Syracuse University, I wrote both the words and the music for several songs which I performed on stage while accompanying myself on the harp. Living in Europe during the past twenty-two years has stimulated me to work intensively on drawing and painting and to exhibit my work locally, throughout France, and as far away as Evergreen, Colorado--but I’m back at multitasking once again: writing a series of illustrated adventure stories for children.
Though I’ve spent a full eighteen months exploring digital drawing and painting techniques and would like to do more with those, they have also intensified my passion for watercolor. In the summer of 2005 I was fortunate enough to take a workshop in the Lot with the painter and illustrator Catherine Stock, and I look forward to further exchanges with fellow artists and friends of art.