phyllis with brushes

I believe our lives become a portrait of our unique personal experiences. My high school years coincided with the transition from the rock and roll music of the 1950’s to the beginning of classic rock music. The initial American tours of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones linger in my memory as the first live rock concerts I ever attended. Woodstock Music Festival took place during the summer after my junior year in college; Rolling Stone magazine published their inaugural issue my sophomore year of college. The Vietnam War raged and my generation joined together in protest. A worldwide social and cultural upheaval began which I saw, felt, understood, and absorbed firsthand. Events, feelings, and the unity within my generation will be chronicled forever through rock music.

I earned my Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from the University of Wisconsin in 1970. My senior year concluded with the National Guard stationed on campus to contain student antiwar protests. I analyzed my experiences from college and internalized a perspective of society that I wanted to express through visual art in the same way that singers/songwriters excite listeners through words, instrumentation and melodies. After taking art classes at six different universities, I became a couture fashion designer creating unique embellished evening gowns for art patrons and the sophisticated elite. A natural, creative progression led to exploration of a different genre: painting.

Self Portrait

Self Portrait, Acrylic 1997

In my studio, time, deadlines, and responsibilities must disappear for my individuality, energy, and ingenuity to triumph. The mood, rhythm and ideology of rock music compel me to paint a new artistic language. Self-knowledge dictates that I must express through creation as opposed to recreation. Independent and free by nature, I explore only uncharted artistic territory. Hopefully, my new language will engage a viewer in a dialogue between my artwork and personal identity. My art ignites human imagination, a place where boundaries and restrictions do not exist. To me, this embodies true freedom. True freedom emancipates my soul.

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