J. K. Phillips' Artist Statement

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My art has been labelled super-realistic, neo-realistic, metaphysical and surealistic.
I like showing unusual juxtapositioning of things that elaborate an idea or words.
I like creating visual parables, word and image puns.
Like M. C. Escher I see patterns of shapes and enjoy showing similarities in objects such as the way a hill and a curling ribbon are painted. I like the homophonic nature of some words such as currents/currants and the imagery they trigger. I like exploring the words that trigger shapes and shapes that trigger words, such as "a bold hold" and "word mould/mold" and how the roots of a tree are moulded by objects in the environment, which in turn are moulded by the roots.

I have been influenced to make art as a response to beautiful images: "If only I could hold that image in my mind."
I have been influenced to make art as a response to unusual images: "Who would believe this if they had not seen it".
I have been influenced to make art as a response to poetic words and truths.
I have been influenced to make art as a response to revelations and understandings of the Christian Scriptures.
I have been influenced to make art as a response to curiosity: "What would it look like if... What would it signify if...."
...and I want my art to make a positive difference to peoples lives.

For me making an art work is a like a journey. Sometimes I begin with a completed image in my mind and have all the required skills to execute it. Sometimes I start with a small kernel of an idea or a desire to draw a particular object, which requires the gathering of information / research and the learning of new skills such as finding out how the light affects the color / shape of the object. Sometimes my art develops from doodling with the tools such as pencil or paint.

Digital Art: To begin with I took photos and manipulated them using the computer software tools and mouse like an artist's brush to add highlights, shadows, shapes, colour and distortions. Now I no longer need the photo but can use the mouse to draw the images.
Some of my digital art looks like a photo but I have created it using software that allows settings for shapes and colours to be manipulated and photos and images to be added as overlays to terrains that I create. I use Photoshop, 3ds Max, Terra Painter, and Terragen to create 2d and 3d environments.

As a child I loved making Art. My preschool teacher told me I had done a lot of painting and needed to do something else. I told her I hadn't! I loved the fesh clean colour in the paint pots and wanted to keep painting.
When I was 6 years old my teacher asked me to make a plasticine model, which she entered into the open section of the Hokitika District High School competition. I made a model of a man fishing and won second place in the girls open section.
When I was about 7 I asked my mother for an easel for Christmas. My mother bought me a blackborad easel and I was dissaponted as I had meant a painting easel!
I entered competitions and won prizes for my work and had some published in news papers. In 1969 I moved from New Zealand to Australia where the landscape made a deep impression on me. While in Australia I was recognized as a gifted artist, achieving the highest possible marks for the state Art exams and with the encouragement of my high school art teacher began a junior art group. Much of my spare time was spent in reading all the art books in the library and making art works. At the age of 17 I returned to New Zealand where I completed 3 years at Teachers College majoring in Art and eventually gained a degree in Education for which I was awarded the title of Massey Scholar for graduating in the top 5%.
In 2000 I emigrated to Australia. In 2004 I made my first piece of digital Art and have since received awards for some and exhibited and sold others.


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