Raised primarily in San Antonio, Texas, Phyllis has lived in Burlington, Washington since 2002. As a child she lived in much of the southern United States and countries throughout the Far East. As a result she attended eight schools by graduation. Her father’s military service provided opportunity to absorb a rich tapestry of visual information. Phyllis loved drawing even as a very young child but her initial foray into the world of paint and canvas began as an adult while living in Alaska. Her first love was the work of Sidney Laurence's huge landscapes of Mount McKinley. She is primarily self-taught and “learned to see” by reproducing copies of Laurence’s paintings in black and white.
Phyllis began exhibiting her work in 2006 and has exhibited regularly in group shows and private venues since. She is a founding member of the Whatcom Art Market, a cooperative gallery in Fairhaven, Washington. Her work can be seen in local venues and regularly at the Whatcom Art Market.
Phyllis works in a variety of media and styles. She excels in graphite and color pencil, normally producing photo realistic works featuring wild animals. In her vibrant and dramatic, experimental mixed media work, she creates texture by incorporating acrylic mediums, specialty papers, and “bits” (jewelry, hardware, wire, etc.) to produce appealing tactile surfaces. She layers transparent washes so previous hues shine through to the surface, providing rich saturated color.
“I am a devotee of acrylics! I love them because they allow me to paint in the windows of time when I can. With a busy schedule stealing away to my studio for just a few moments to apply another coat or attach another thing and leave it to dry as obligations call me away, gives me the ability to create in spite of time limitations. Using acrylics also allows me to be free to explore, try, fail, or just change my mind.”
You can find Phyllis' work on display year round at the Whatcom Art Market located in Bellingham's historic Fairhaven district at 1103 11th Street (open Thursday - Sunday, 10am - 6pm). Prints of her artwork are available in a variety of sizes through ArtXpressions by Phyllis and Fine Art America.