Phil Schirmer was born in Newton, Massachusetts in 1952. After graduating from college with a degree in English Literature in 1974, he worked at various odd jobs including a Goodwill thrift store, a book warehouse, a daily newspaper in Vermont and as art director of a magazine about horses. During this period he worked evenings and weekends mastering the painstaking technique of egg tempera painting. In the spring of 2000, he quit his art director job to concentrate on painting full-time. He enjoys the whole process of tempera - from the traditional gessoing (which most tempera painters hate) to the slow, careful application of layers of paint. After twenty years, his excitement in seeing a painting gradually come into focus remains undiminished. A recurrent theme in his work has been to contrast opposites: trees versus rocks; organic versus inorganic; soft versus hard. He finds the textural effects and muted colors of tempera are perfectly suited to his subject material. He currently lives on the coast of Maine and teaches egg tempera at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine.
18" x 20"