To uncover the secrets and stories behind a piece of art is one thing; to discover the physical secrets hidden underneath the paint is quite another.
Usually, for Philip Frey, the beginning of beautiful starts with venetian red. A background color he washes on, rubs off, and then proceeds to hide beneath the layers of oil paint we see on the surface of his work. By the time his end result is achieved only wisps and fragments of the stunning color peek through, but this first step is an integral part of his process.
This is not the only secret he conceals below the finish of his work. Recently Philip pulled out a series of abstract panels he created a while back. At the time he wasn’t satisfied with them. These panels covered in Raymar linen held blocky abstracts of scenes captured in just a few moments. In them Frey found inspiration for several of his smaller pieces that grace the walls at Maine Art Shows. By applying more detail, more color, more “Frey” he was able to create pieces like the one below. Who knew covering up could expose such beauty.
While visiting we were able to witness Philip “peel back” one of these painting. He shared some of the original panels similar to those he used in “Raining Clouds and Sun” and “Split” pictured above. The panels have to remain a secret, at least until his exhibition at the University of Maine Museum of Art next spring. Yet we were lucky enough to listen to him walk through a bit of what happened as he developed quick studies into fabulous abstracts worthy of his New Works show. Below is a small video clip of Philip discussing this process with us.
This “painting behind the painting” is new for Frey. “I think of Philip as one of our most creative in terms of always trying to step outside of his boundaries to try new things. It is how we learn and how we expand our knowledge,” says John Spain, owner of Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture.
There are so many secrets to discover when visiting with Philip Frey’s work. We welcome you to come and find them out for yourself. The show is running until July 16th at Maine Art Shows at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk, or virtually at Philip Frey, New Works. Also, check out more of Philip’s work on his Artist Page at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture’s website.