Phillip Brake is a Winnipeg artist. Originally from California, he came here to marry a Winnipeg girl in 1978. The original plan was to stay in Manitoba for two weeks followed by a return to California. It never happened. Not long ago he ended a long career as an art instructor to do art full time. He doesn’t care much for Winnipeg winters but he’s still married, has some good friends and is doing something he loves. He’s very happy.
Art has always been and continues to be an exploration of my creative spirit. I draw inspiration from the wide world around me. I see beauty everywhere and the variety of themes in my art reflects that. A long career in teaching art has provided me with exposure to a wide variety of materials and artistic processes. I like working with many materials including wood, stone, plaster, clay, paint, dye, glass, paper and silk.
Some years ago I was exposed to the unusual process of painting with dye on silk. I was instantly seduced by the vibrancies and intensity of colors attainable. Forests, flowers, faces and rusty old trucks all command attention on silk. It’s a difficult medium to work with, a bit like trying to ride a wild stallion but the results can be worth it.
I also love the scratchboard process that allows the artist to reveal light instead of adding shadow. Scratchboard is initially all black with a white coating underneath. Each scratch reveals the light hidden below.