Meet April Phillips.
April is a portrait artist with an outstanding ability to make two-dimensional surfaces come to life. In her work, you can see her appreciation and study of the human subject as an art form. As she says, “My special goal is to capture the unique beauty of my subjects… I use portraiture to not only preserve a moment in time, but to give insight to the inner essence and spirit of my subject.” Her work
There is a special story to April’s artistic development, and one that is a poignant reminder of the power art has to create an enduring and loving legacy. April grew up with the love and encouragement of her mother, an artist (and mother of five), who infused family life with the joy of creativity. Limited means were no match for a home life of imagination, fun, and the ability to transform nearly any
material into an artistic treasure. “The house may not have been dusted or vacuumed, but there was always some fun new project in the works. She transformed our dining room into a studio for her many creative pursuits, including illustrating cartoons of the funny moments of our childhood, decorating elaborate birthday cakes, pastel portraiture, and much more”, remembers April.
While her mother recognized and encouraged her art abilities, as college and career loomed, April was not convinced art was the way to success and happiness. After a few false starts, she eventually discovered graphic design and focused all of her creative energies into commercial art. After college, she built a career as an Art Director in San Francisco advertising agencies.
As a young adult, her mother’s sudden and untimely death woke April up to the importance of art for art’s sake. Her mother’s legacy was the joy of art, vibrant, present, comforting, and still encouraging April to find a more personal connection. This new perspective reignited her love for fine art, and she began filling her free time with realistic figurative drawing, painting and sculpture work. A few years later, she met her wonderful husband, had twin boys and was able to go back to art school part-time at Gage Art Academy in Seattle. Her classes fed her passion to capture the essence of people through portrait painting and led to a commission-based business creating family heirlooms.
April describes her current bliss: “I recently started my own school called April’s Art for Kids. By teaching, I get to relive the joy I felt creating art with my mother, and pass the gift of art on to the next generation.” There is no more delightful
parental “I-told-you-so” moment than a happy and successful child doing what
Mom knew was right all along. Her mother must be very proud.