Inside The Mind Of Phil Laughlin!
I live and work in the beautiful state of Vermont. After 25 years as a technical illustrator I am now retired from commercial art and devote myself full time to fine art painting. No denying illustration fullfills an important function in our society but, speaking as an artist, it has a short lived, one and done feeling to it. Though there is undeniabley some overlap, fine art painting has value by virtue of it's broader relationship with history. At the end or the day, making a really good painting leaves me with a better feeling than a product driven illustration that vanishes with the next development cycle.
Education & Work Experience
ResumeI was formally trained in the studio arts, painting, drawing and sculpture. Suny at Stony Brook, Worcester Museum Art School, Yale University and The Art Students League all appear on my resume.
After completing undergraduate college, I moved to New York City where I studied applied arts and worked as a graphic designer. The opportunities presented in New York, exposure to exciting new ideas and high standards of artistic professionalism had a deep impact on my development. Those experiences were of great value to my work as an illustrator but applied equally well to fine art painting.
In 1986, after many years working as a freelancer in NYC, my family and I moved to Vermont. A couple of short stints with local design firms and I moved on to build my own design business, utilizing the emerging desktop computer technology in the 1990's. It was all fun, new and very exciting to ride the wave of technological advancement . Unfortunately though, not where my heart was at.
Through years of career demands and family responsibilities my commitment to the studio arts never wavered. Any time there was space I filled it with painting and drawing activities. My attitudes and internal responses changed over the years, most significantly from following contemporary art trends to finding a more personal path, All that time I was collecting, processing and refocusing it all into my painting.
Making sense of and organizing a lifetime of work into a small website is no easy feat. I was singularly passionate about pastel painting for many years but switched to oil paints a few years back so that's what I am showing now. As a matter of opinion I believe pastels exhibit a superior brilliant scintillating surface whereas oils allow for a more comprehensive exploration of color and composition. All works represented on this site are oil on canvas paintings done within the last few years.
The locales, subjects and seasons vary widely. They cover a regional range from gentle sandy beaches along the coast to towering mountains in Vermont. Inseperable from the specifics is the greater awareness that all things are intricately connected. Everything reflects the universe conceived as a whole.