Phil Starke Studio Newsletter

deceber2015  ✦

Flint Hills Hay Barn - oil - 9 x 12 - Available Through "Beauchamp Gallery" - Topeka, KS.

Flint Hills Hay Barn - oil - 9 x 12 - Available Through "Beauchamp Gallery" - Topeka, KS.


Winter is settling in here in Tucson, temperatures have dipped down to the 60's and 70's. Looks like another brutal winter. There is snow on the mountains already. I look forward to painting up there soon.

Earlier this month I taught a workshop at the Tucson Pastel Society. They're a very good group of artists with a really good space, I look forward to working with them again.

I'm getting ready for the workshop in Tubac, AZ at the Tubac Resort. This will be the 5th year that we've had it there. It's an old ranch converted to a resort and has great views of the mountains, streams and old adobes and street scenes (there is also a very good golf course there). The dates are January 25 thru the 29 and it's put on by the Scottsdale Artists School.  More information is available below.

I also have a show coming up in January at the Beauchamp's Gallery in Topeka Kansas. The show is about 20 small works from Kansas and New Mexico. I'll be posting them on facebook soon.

My family and I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year and thanks for all your support this past year.

Phil Starke
Phil Starke Studio

Greece Workshop Announcement - May 6 - 25, 2016

May 6 - 25, 2016 I'll be teaching a workshop in Greece.  For three weeks we will be painting and touring around the Greek Islands.    The first day everyone will arrive in Rhodes and have time to enjoy the The Old Town with it's medieval cobbled lanes and beautiful old buildings connected by arches, cafes and shops.  We will have Welcome cocktails at 7:00 pm.  There will be plenty of time to explore and photograph during the workshop.  We will be visiting the islands of Rhodes, Symi, Nissiros, Kos, Kalymnos.  There will be lots to paint:  cobbled streets, beautiful harbors with fishing boats, stone walls, and old storefronts, cafes, windmills, and houses.     For more information about the painting part of the workshop, contact me at  If you're interested in more information about Greece and the accommodations, contact or phone: 0412 599 328.  Below are images of just a few places we'll see.

Trying A Different Medium

Oils are considered the best medium for learning how to paint because there are forgiving (you can scrap them off) and you can work with them for a period of time before they dry. Acrylic and watercolor need a basic understanding of color and values first, because every stroke is permanent. The same with pastels, all the mixing and layering is on the paper.

In art school I focused on oils, but I had to do some work in acrylic, watercolor and pastels. The idea being that you reinforce, and have better understanding, of what you know by trying different mediums. When I move from oils to pastels or watercolor it helps me see that the same aspects are important in both. It keeps me from getting too caught up in technique and think more about what's important; design, values, patterns and color temperature.

I don't do as much water color anymore but I will do studies and some outdoor painting in pastels. It helps me see color and contrast differently, to think outside the box of my usual routine.

I don't have to spend a lot of money to try a different medium. I have a small outdoor palette of dry watercolors and a small portable brush along with a 5x7 watercolor block of paper. The same with pastels, a box of hard pastels to do small color studies on pastel paper is all you need.

Remember, it's about learning how to design value patterns and suggest light with color temperature not using tricky techniques.

Fritz Thaulow - Norwegian Painter and Engraver

Originally wanting to become a marine painter, Thaulow studied at the art academy in Copenhagen (1870–73) as well as with the Danish marine specialist C. F. Sorensen (1818–79). His marine paintings and coastal paintings, some of which were accepted at the Paris Salon, were only moderately successful, but he acquired a fair knowledge of contemporary French Realist art and felt that Norwegian artists should learn from it. Fritz Thaulow admired in particular Jules Bastien-Lepage and his Swedish contemporary Carl Skånberg

  In the autumn of 1879 Thaulow went to Skagen in Denmark, painting with a group of Scandinavians there, and then on to Oslo. Thaulow spent the years 1879–92 in Norway—a very important period not only for him but also for Norwegian art, when Realist painting based on French models was accepted in Norway. His personal interpretation of the Norwegian landscape was widely felt to be new. Thaulow painted the streets and public gardens of his native Oslo in such paintings as the Castle Garden (1882; Oslo, N.G.) and specialized in rendering winter scenes with skiers (Winter Day in Norway, 1886; Paris, Mus. D’Orsay).  Fritz Thaulow also became expert at painting slow-flowing rivers and complex reflections in water, particularly during his autumn and winter stay beside the Simoa River at Modum in 1883, when he produced such paintings as Winter at Simoa (1883; Oslo, N.G.). At this time Thaulow started working in pastel as well as oil. Thaulow also made a number of trips abroad, to Paris (1882–3), Scotland (1884), Venice (1885) and Hamburg (1885–6), where he painted paintings of great delicacy. Some show a slight influence from Impressionism, but this was never an important element in his art. During the 1880s Thaulow was prominent in establishing more progressive artists’ associations and exhibition societies in Norway and was regarded as the leading Norwegian artist of the period. 

  At the Exposition Universelle of 1889 in Paris, Fritz Thaulow made personal contacts with leading French artists, and when the Salon du Champ de Mars was established in 1890, Thaulow became a highly regarded exhibitor there. Thaulow decided to move to France in 1892, living at Camiers, Etaples and Montreuil as well as Paris (1892–4, 1898–1906) and Dieppe (1894–8). Thaulow painted about 50 oil paintings a year, most of them rather small, and these were handled by the Galeries Georges Petit & Cie in Paris. A large number of these paintings were river scenes of great virtuosity, but Thaulow also rendered poetic nocturnes, townscapes, harbour scenes, quaint bridges and even marines. Thaulow avoided repeating himself by constantly travelling to various parts of France, to Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway. 

  Thaulow was essentially a painter working within the framework of Realism, to which he made an original contribution. During the 1890s Thaulow used oil and pastel to create a more poetic and symbolic atmosphere in line with the prevailing artistic mood of the period, and he could be compared in this respect with such painters as Cazin and Whistler. Fritz Thaulow was a friend of Monet and Rodin and an important link between Norwegian and French art. 

The Tubac, AZ Golf Resort Plein Air Workshop Is Filling Fast

January 25, - 29, 2016

There are many aspects to plein air painting, but two of the most important are creating a strong, expressive design and understanding how to interpret color outdoors.  This workshop will focus on developing a sense of design and rhythm, learning to take what the landscape gives you and improve upon it. Focus will also be on how to understand the thought process of mixing color outside, using colors that will give the painting the effect of light not just copying what the student sees.  Students will also work on understanding the painting process in the studio and the importance of setting and achieving goals in their work.  The workshop will take place in Tubac, Arizona’s oldest settlement. Tubac is backed up against the Santa Rita Mountains and is surrounded by cottonwoods, streams and canyons. Old adobe street scenes, as well as theTumacacori Mission, are excellent examples of the old Spanish architecture that will be explored.

The workshop is more than half full at this point, so if you're wanting to join us you should register soon.

Registration is Now Open.  Contact Scottsdale Artists' School at 1-800-33-5707 or click this link:

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Exhibitions & Gallery Shows


American Miniature Art Show
Feb. 2016
Settlers West Gallery
Tucson, AZ

Settlers West Summer Show
May 2016
Settlers West Gallery
Tucson, AZ


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