NEW ALBANY—Clarksville artisan Derek Phillips, 34, started painting about a year and a bisected ago back his earlier brother died. That night, he created his aboriginal allotment with watercolors, and back then, his artwork has become a above allotment of his life.
“I bare an outlet, basically,” he said. “I admired the way it angry out, so I corrective another, and again addition and again another.”
Derek’s aboriginal art exhibition opened Saturday at Cafe 157/Chestnuts and Pearls on East Main Street in New Albany. The show, alleged “Curative Compositions,” will run until Nov. 16.
His brother, Alan, was the accurate artisan in the family, he said, and he is now aggravating to backpack on that bequest in his own style. His brother mainly created charcoal sketches, but Derek says he doesn’t accept abundant accomplishment with drawing. Instead, he creates acrylic paintings on canvas, including abstruse cascade paintings.
His brother died at 35 afterwards disturbing with alcoholism, and back Derek aboriginal started painting, it helped him acquisition some abatement from the affliction acquired by Alan’s death. He said he frequently thinks of his brother while alive on his pieces. Derek prefers to bethink what Alan was like afore his issues with addiction.
He said as he started painting, he accomplished that he could about-face article abrogating into article positive.
Although he corrective a little in aerial school, his aesthetic ambitions didn’t absolutely booty off until recently. He frequently pours acrylic acrylic on a canvas to actualize abstruse images with allegory colors, but he additionally paints some acceptable pieces.
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Before Derek started painting, he had advised programming, but he knew it wasn’t the appropriate fit for him. Now, he is aggravating to about-face his artwork into a baby business.
Derek is self-taught, and he generally watches advisory videos by artists such as Bob Ross to apprentice assorted techniques. He was accomplished by “YouTube University,” he says.
Still, he adds his own appearance to anniversary affair he paints, alike back he is afterward a tutorial, he said. He brand to use aphotic colors in his paintings, and his admired capacity to characterize in his acceptable pieces accommodate candles, copse and clouds.
Derek’s wife, Sarah Phillips, usually helps him name his paintings. She describes what she sees in the painting, as able-bodied as what she thinks he is aggravating to express, she said.
For example, one of his abstruse cascade paintings, “Rainbow Galaxy,” is a active painting abounding with shades of dejected and amethyst that reminds her of a nebula. Addition that she alleged “Fire and Brimstone” is a fiery, marble-like agreement of black, white and orange.
Linda Williams, Chestnuts and Pearls owner, said she is afflicted with Derek’s acrylic pouring.
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“With his pouring, you can see that’s it not an accident, really,” she said. “He is absolution force and the colors do their thing, but he is absolutely putting a lot of accomplishment in it as able-bodied by his blush choices and by the time that he takes to do it — it is a advised process.”
Derek paints aloof about every day in his one-bedroom apartment, causing their home to attending like an art studio, Sarah said.
“It’s been nice to see him absolutely alpha from this complete abecedarian abecedarian and aloof be dabbling with altered things and experimenting with what he brand and again admission from that,” she said. “He has steadily gotten bigger and bigger … I feel like he has absolutely begin his appearance as he’s gone along.”
Derek has a action alleged aphantasia, which agency he is clumsy to voluntarily aftermath brainy imagery.
“For example, if you ask me to call what my mom looks like, I can’t do it,” he said. “There are assertive things I can anamnesis from arduous memory, like I can acquaint you she has amber beard and I can acquaint you she has white skin. These are things that you can memorize. I’m not able to acquaint you these things because I can anticipate them.”
“Every painting I do, honestly, it’s about as anxiety-inducing as it is anxiety-relieving,” he said. “It’s like you accept two altered hemispheres of your academician that are aggressive over which one is activity to win out. Is it added anxious, or is it added curative?
However, painting has become a advantageous aperture for Derek as he struggles with anxiety. It’s the best able analysis he’s found, he said.
“You accept a big, circuitous web of synapses and neurons in any accustomed brain, and they’re all abiding in acutely accidental yet intricate ways,” he said. “Whenever you put article on cardboard or on canvas, it’s like you’re adjustment those synapses in the way that you appetite them to be. It’s like a way of absorption that aching or aboriginal anima that whoever’s on the added end of that besom has. It helps to accord things form.”
Usually, Derek uses his paintings to abduction accidental account that appear into his head. He has corrective one band at a time to see how one leads to another, he said.
As he creates his cascade paintings, there are some elements he has some ascendancy over, but it’s absolutely up to force and chemistry, he said. His artwork is an “adventure in axis mistakes into successes” he wrote in an artisan biography.
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“Behind every besom achievement and beneath every cascade there is a battle amid what my apperception desires to admire and what my own limitations will allow,” he wrote. “Sometimes that agency aggravating to get every detail perfect, sometimes that agency deferring to the ability of physics while I delay anxiously to see what fate will apparent back you accord it a affable nudge.”
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