Austin painter Phillip Wade is unusual in painting an incredible variety of subjects: animal and human portraits, landscapes, museum interiors, and the large story-telling paintings (The Mad Hatter, Puss in Boots) that were inspired by his years painting at his mother's home in Cornwall, England.
He has been an instructor in Painting at The Contemporary Austin (Laguna Gloria) since 1999, and is represented in innumerable collections, e.g. The Driskill Hotel, the actress Diane Ladd, and the Tyler Museum of Art.
After graduating from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1981, he studied with Bob Levers and Kelly Fearing at U.T. Austin, earning an MFA in 1984. Since then he has been painting and teaching in his Old West Austin studio.
Thirty years in my Old West Austin studio! Less like a studio tour than a life sentence? But that's ridiculous, big windows on the garden, a bicycle to escape to Town Lake. I know how fortunate I am.
In these walls I've painted whatever I wanted, portraits (I love painting people) and landscapes and then much crazier things straight from the pages of Mother Goose (Simple Simon, Owl and Pussycat). I've sold plenty of paintings, but the unsold ones have accumulated around the walls. Time for a bonfire? In with the new...
A typical day is to wake up with great expectations of finishing three great paintings by 7pm. After a leisurely breakfast and perhaps a bike ride, time to paint at 11am. But the color in the background isn't working no matter how hard I try, so a restful lunch with a friend clears my mind, and maybe I will get a lot done in the afternoon, after dealing with the AC repairman, etc., rescuing the cat from raccoons, and so it goes. The suffering of the artist.