Interview: Phil Barlow – “Colorist”

How did you get started doing what you do?
I always seemed to have an ease in drawing as a child and discovered I had an imagination at an early age. One thing lead to another and after studying I became a full time painter. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else right now.

How would you describe your creative style?
I would say my style is semi-abstract figurative landscapes. Obviously with a strong photographic leaning yet having a certain and obvious sense of abstraction.

Interview with painter, Philip Barlow on Jung Katz

Interview with painter, Philip Barlow on Jung Katz

What’s your inspiration?
I find I have a number of inspirations. When going out to find the reference I am really inspired to find images that carry a strong sense of the mystery which I find exciting to then take back to the studio and paint. I am blown away by creation. The strong design that exists within the makeup of all things, from the cutting open of an orange to the marvel of the human body. The Maker of all of this wonder is my ultimate inspiration.

What is art to you?
Art effects culture and in so effects life. Good art does good things in culture and bad art the reverse. I feel as though good art should reflect something of a ‘lifting’ of us to see other ways. To touch the soul in a way that brings ‘life’ to our lives and not increase the despair that so easily entangles us. Sadly a lot of art leaves a large percentage of people in a place of misunderstanding, not understanding what is before them. Good art connects with people.

Interview with painter, Philip Barlow on Jung Katz
Interview with painter, Philip Barlow on Jung Katz
Interview with painter, Philip Barlow on Jung Katz

How do you keep motivated?
The hunt for paintings that can truly transcend and cause great delight within the hearts and lives of the onlookers. Continue to discover the vast plane of the color world.

How have others reacted to your work?
I had the opening of a show last Thursday here in Cape Town. What I love about this profession is the impact one can have when you actually never really thought it possible. Another artist approached me and mentioned that he gave up his day job because of me and another artist he knew. This makes my day when reactions like this occur. Others at the show where truly effected and moved in their responses.

What do you want others to take away from your work?
That this is not all that is. That there is another realm that is more real than this. To have the same delight that I find in color and marvel at how color has the power and impact that it does.

Interview with painter, Philip Barlow on Jung Katz
Interview with painter, Philip Barlow on Jung Katz

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Work hard and don’t give up. I know I need to put it in place but take a day off every week and just ‘play’ with paint and explore other subjects.

Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
Find out what you love. Try not to listen to others who don’t think it will work. Run with what interests you and work as hard as you can to achieve it.

Interview with painter, Philip Barlow on Jung Katz

What are your thoughts on art school?
I think art schools are great however the students attending must know what the schools are about. I think it’s always a good idea for students to not necessarily attend art school straight after high school but to really investigate the medium and style they would like to study before committing.

What art supplies do you use?
I use Michael Harding oil paint which, when it comes to color, have a serious pigment and power which are a pleasure to use and I would hope effect the final finish.

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