An artist captures the essence of a person, place, or concept. The stroke or a brush, the strike of a pen creates an entire world that narrates the dialogue of art. Many artists known for oils continued to embrace the possibilities of watercolor. Hopper, Klee, Turner, O’Keefee and Sargent expressed both the intense and subtle qualities of light through this medium, and the tradition continues with contemporary artists today. Artist Philip Smallwood calls this body of work, "Lifescapes", portraying subjects within their natural environment, but with an emotive visual narrative that powerfully connects the viewer and the subject. The audience sees his world not with the casual glance of a stranger, but with the intimacy of a friend.
Most portraits reveal the powerful, the wealthy and those of influence, and the community they come from. How many artists have dared to showcase the common person navigating through their own stories and struggles? There needs to be powerful, positive images that resonate with an audience that often feels that art is not delegated to them by the art world. His is a voice created with brushstroke and line that immortalizes the breaking of social boundaries and offers a poignant image. Utilizing anatomically correct form, meticulous attention to detail, and a strong architectural composition, these images breathe life into the environment and create a visual dialogue that transports the viewer to an unfamiliar place .
Influenced by his older brother, Fredrick Smallwood, the artist developed a keen interest in visual art that developed into a second career. This artistic journey has taken him and his works across the country and abroad. Mr. Smallwood is the consummate observer, who uses his talents to give a resonance and reason to subjects and places that would normally be ignored. These images are rendered with a dignity and grace that is usually reserved for the upper echelons of society. In the hands of a skilled practitioner, watercolor can take on the dynamics of the most detailed and complex oil paintings. It is this very approach that has garnered P. Smallwood with numerous accolades and awards from the the most distinguished art societies and organizations nationally and internationally. The hopes, desires, and dilemma of humanity are chronicled and cast by artists past and present.