Phillip Philbeck is among the finest artists of his genre- a landscape artist of the Old School variety- if you will. A professional since 1992, his collectors cover the spectrum from every day "salt of the earth" to some of the most eminent individuals in the country. Phillip comes from an artistic lineage; many members in the tree were/are involved in art, whether music or painting. His father was an artist who studied under famed portraitist Edmund Archer at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, where Philbeck was born in 1968. At a very early age, Philbeck moved to North Carolina where the fire for his artistic view of the world was first ignited.
In his mid-teens, however, the specter of death loomed as Philbeck managed to fight off, and defeat Hodgkin's Lymphoma - cancer that, had he developed only a few years earlier, could very well have produced a different fate. The advent of new treatments in those years helped make this possible. As only those who have fought this battle know, the world will never look the same again, but the experience can be used to inspire greater things. Even in sickness, not a moment was wasted in Philbeck’s artistic journey. His family often recounts him sketching from his hospital bed. How many times have we seen artists in this world, whether they be musicians, actors, or painters, fight dark battles yet produce works that are happy opposites of their own experiences? He has been at various times in his career a realist, a regionalist, and a romantic or a combination of the three.
Phillip began his career as a realist portraying the world in which he grew up mostly the bucolic farmscapes of western NC. He always had a love of the old American masters with their dramatic, powerful landscapes of the early United States, leading to a slow evolution of subject matter, from barns and quilts (inspirations from his southern upbringing), to the grand vistas of the Appalachian and the Rocky Mountains. For the past decade, this has been his focus. Being an artist of the old Romantic School at heart, Philbeck seeks to portray the landscapes of this country in the most sublime light. For the uninitiated, we're not talking about romance novels romantic but rather the artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement that was at its peak from approximately 1800-to 1850. Artists of old like Bierstadt and Church sought to capture the wonders of a young and newly forming country and Philbeck sees himself as one of these old school artists but born in a different time. We still have a land of great wilderness and beauty and it's all so accessible! If a person these days feels a little jaded to their natural surroundings, a trip to one of the numerous state or national parks can bring us all back to reality. It is "holy ground" to be preserved and revered for all time. Parks are found near most folks, and unlike years ago, a car can get us there in a few minutes! One has to only go back 100 years to see how totally different things were fewer roads, means of transport and parks. Can you imagine if the Old Masters had the same access to these things as we do now? If they only had access to more modern printing techniques such as offset lithography, inkjet, and laser printing, too! Great art is now so easily accessible. Philbeck currently resides in western NC and travels the country seeking new and inspiring landscapes.