Thursday, November 17, 2005
Phil Wright's paintings unfold in front of you. Your eyes peel back the layers one at a time until you find yourself deep into the landscape.
That movement is what sets Phil Wright paintings apart from so many other landscape paintings popular in this area.
¤ Paintings by local artist Phil Wright
¤ Lobby of Alpine Bank, 1901 Pine Grove Road
¤ Call 871-1901
His composition usually follows a dirt road or the curve of a meadow, causing the viewer to imagine what lies around the corner.
Wright's work is on display in the lobby of Alpine Bank as part an ongoing partnership with the bank and Steamboat Springs Arts Council to display a rotating exhibit of work by local artists.
Wright moved to Steam--boat three years ago. His work was part of "The View From Here" show last year at the Depot Art Center. It also was displayed at SummerArt 2005 and at this year's "12 by 12" show.
Although Wright has painted for 30 years, his business career often kept him from the easel.
"I didn't have the time. I'd probably make a painting a year," he said. But making art was always in the back of his mind. He took workshops from artists such as Scott Christensen near Jackson, Wyo., and at the Fechin Institute in Taos, N.M.
"It's something I have to do," Wright said. "I can't explain it. There's just something inside me."
Almost all the paintings on display at Alpine Bank began as plein-air paintings completed on location. He then brings the original painting to the studio and adds to it or reproduces it with greater detail.
In the exhibit are three paintings depicting the same location at three times of year -- April, June and late fall. The paintings capture the dramatic view of the Zirkels as seen from Seedhouse Road. He chose the spot for its texture and the sense of distance in the landscape. The meadow leads the eye to a grove of aspens, and the aspens lead the eye upward to the mountains.