Name: Phil Schmidt
City: Lees Summit, MO
Business Name: Phil Schmidt Watercolors
BOMH Membership: General Member. Planning to submit images for next jury.
How Long a BOMH Member? Since 2016
Why did you join BOMH? A few friends are involved in BOMH such as Darla Zook. I saw the banners up at shows and thought I better look into that. Getting to network with other artists who are perusing it full time has been so encouraging. I didn’t realize what I was missing out on. I’m grateful for the friendships that I have formed. I love how artist encourage each other and that it’s not a dog eat dog world.
Do you do create art full time? I pursue watercolors full time, but still do commissioned work as a self-employed graphic designer.
How long have you been doing painting? I dabbled at it for several years off and on. In 2013 my wife and I visited the Plaza Art Fair. I was inspired by what I saw, and said I want to do this. My wife said, it was about time. Even though I wanted to do the art fairs, I didn’t know what they were all about.
Where did you grow up? Grandview, MO not far from where I live now.
Where your parents creative? My Dad was a truck driver and my Mom was stay at home mom. She’s a gifted photographer, she just never pursued it.
What inspired you to start creating art? I discovered I had art aptitude as a little kid… drawing and painting. I got my first set of paints at 10 to 11 years old. I started with oil and doing paint by number. I took all the art classes I could in high school and fell in love with watercolor. Once I graduated, I got a job in graphic arts and got away from painting. Over the years almost all the art I bought, were watercolors. Even though I had very little money, it was watercolors that I collected. The more I learn about watercolors, the more versatile medium it becomes. I want my paintings to show that versatility. I like to paint wet into wet because of how the colors run like they only can in watercolor. I want to accurately depict my subject…like old machinery, aircraft, and cars. I want everything to be accurate, I’m very detailed oriented and best known for my aircraft paintings.
What do you enjoy most about creating art? In 2014, it was too cold to be out on the water sailing, so I started painting sailboats, and they started selling. Then it was only natural to move into aircraft which is a subject I dearly love. Now I do a lot of commissions. When painting I absorb myself into that piece, it is as if I can hear the waves splashing against a boat while I paint. It’s like I’m transported through my paintings, which is so much fun.
Do you do shows/exhibits? I started painting with seriousness in 2014. I did a solo show, then a group show. I only had about 20 paintings at the time, but had some success, which was encouraging. Later that year I was juried into Summit Art and did my first art fair in October 2014 at the Summit Art Festival. After that, I did a few shows in Florida. Both Nautical and Aviation paintings sold well there, and I picked up some commissions. I learned the hard way that it made more sense to pick back to back shows when traveling that distance. I’ve won some awards and was jury exempt at both Brookside Art Annual & Art Fair on the Square (Chicago) because I was awarded blue ribbons at both. I’ve also done the uptown event in Minnesota and showed in Texas. The biggest downfall to traveling for art shows, is being away from my wife.
Any upcoming shows/exhibits? A few local shows, plus I have taken up plein air painting. To my surprise, I have won a few blue ribbons, and best of show at Paint Parkview. My work will be on display till end of October at the Kathy Kline Gallery due to the plein air event. I will also submit pieces for the upcoming Summit Art Member Show.
Are you in any galleries/shops? Kathy Kline Gallery and Got Art Gallery, both for special exhibits.
What is your favorite thing to paint? Aircraft and Sailboats
If you could give a piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be? The most helpful thing for me, was to take workshops from world class artists. I take at least two workshops a year, and everyone has been internationally known. I have learned different approaches to watercolor and how each master approaches their work. There have been tremendous amounts of encouragement from the leaders and other participants. Its very rewarding.
Is there anything you would like to add about your art? I am teaching a three-day watercolor workshop this Monday at my studio. Other workshop opportunities will be listed on my website as they become available.
Hobbies? I’m a private pilot and am working on building my own plane. It should be ready to fly by spring. It’s a two-seater, low wing, aluminum plane that I am making from a kit. I’m just doing it for fun. I thought about being a flight instructor until I had to start teaching my kids to drive, decided against teaching others to fly. I love to fish, sail, and I’m a drummer for my church, it allows me to scratch my musical itch. I get to drum very enthusiastically.