Jeff Phillips-Strain - One Scoop or Two? Jeff Phillips-Strain - One Scoop or Two?


Artist Statement:

“I had tightness and preciseness drilled into me for decades so I think I subconsciously gravitated to a media that demands a relaxed, process approach.  I love working with pastels because it’s like working with big stubby crayons and it forces you to stay relaxed and into more of an impressionistic quality,” explains Jeff.

The tightness and precision that Jeff refers to is his 30 years in the graphic design industry, the last 20 as partner and creative director of Denver-based Sage Creative.  But while graphic design paid the bills, Jeff’s passion has always been fine art. “One of my favorite artists is Edward Hopper,” says Jeff.  “Hopper started out working in commercial art, then made the switch to fine art in his 40s.  I held out the hope that that could happen with me.”

Jeff's wish has come true with Denver locations taking the spotlight for subject matter.  A second generation Denverite, Jeff grew up visiting most of the urban buildings and scenes he now draws.  "I am ingriqued by, and try to capture, images of the city that are often overlooked, explains Jeff.  "Although I have worked extensively in watercolor and oil, I find the luminosity of pastels is best-suited to my urban paintings.  I'm drawn to the impressionistic qualities inherent in pastels; they capture the vitality of the city in a unique way." 

Through color and composition, Jeff draws attention to ordinary and often unnoticed city subjects, such as the Bonnie Brae Ice Cream Parlor and the Satire Lounge, illustrating how the ordinary becomes extraordinary.

Jeff earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma, and currently lives in Denver with his wife Jill and Poodle, Edith.  When he's not drawing or creating, he may be playing lacrosse with teammates he has been competing with for more than 30 years, cooking (and eating) Mexican food, or fly fishing a nearby stream.


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