Philip Bates ArtistSouthern Coastal Artist
Increasingly, my art is about the landscape of the area in which I live. My home is on Eagle Neck, a small island on the Georgia coast. It is surrounded by rivers and salt-marsh and is a short boat ride to the barrier islands of St Catherine’s, Sapelo, Blackbeard and Cabretta. Much of the area is undeveloped and protected. It is rich in Spanish and English history with the vestiges of some of the earliest European settlements, colonial rice culture and the last Gullah community.
My painting and drawing is in a style that has been described as “abstract realism.” The emphasis is on the natural surroundings, often with architectural images included. My process is to photograph or to sketch in various media followed by studio work on larger pieces.
Recent paintings have been mostly in acrylics because the intensity of the colors reflect the intensity of the Southern coastal light. However, it is not as portable as watercolor and drawing media which makes working in the studio a frequent necessity. Acrylics are a flexible media allowing experimentation with different techniques which lead me to see the subjects in new ways.