elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Philip Gladstone: A Mural of the Mind

"If Philip Gladstone's many paintings and drawings were all brought together in a massive mural – Diego Rivera style – it would be clear, even to a newcomer to his work, that this is an artist's world of self-research, meditation, discovery and comment." Porter Anderson

Philip Gladstone was born in 1963 in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, within weeks of his father’s discharge from the United States Army. Philip’s younger brother and sister joined the family four and eight years later, respectively. His father began what was to be a long and successful career in the graphic arts at that time, and his mother stayed home to care for her growing family.

The Artist's Bath (Self-Portrait), Acrylic, 2007, Private Collection

Outreach, Acrylic, 2007, Private Collection

The Grotto, Acrylic, 2008, Private Collection

Please Read the Letter, Acrylic, 2007, Private Collection

Nude in an Interior, Acrylic, 2007, Private Collection

Stumblebum, Acrylic, 2006, Private Collection

The Flood, Oil, 2005, Private Collection

Caution Line, Oil, 2004, Private Collection

The Letter (Artist as Model), Oil, 2005, Private Collection

Both of his parents had grown up in Philadelphia and couldn’t wait to get out, so when an opportunity for employment arose in rural Maryland when Philip was less than two years old, his father happily seized upon it. Philip spent his elementary school years blissfully living in an old farmhouse in a village on the banks of the Choptank River, half an hour away from the nearest store of any kind, playing dangerously in the woods and cornfields. From there Philip moved with his family to Maine, then to Florida, and finally to Connecticut, where he continued to live for many years as an adult.

According to family legend, Philip’s first artwork was made when he pushed his hand into his soiled diaper and created a mural with the contents on the walls surrounding his crib. Later, when Philip had access to proper art supplies, his interest evolved to focus on cartooning, and as a teenager he aspired to be a professional cartoonist. While in high school he wrote stories for comic books that were accepted for publication, earning four hundred dollars apiece for his efforts, a staggering sum to him at the time. It wasn’t long, however, before he realized that his interest in drawing was expanding far beyond the limitations of the graphic simplicity of comic art, and by the time he was seventeen he had largely abandoned cartoons for painting.

In 1982 Philip Gladstone received a scholarship to the prestigious Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture of Skowhegan, Maine. There he received instruction from and worked alongside resident artists Jake Berthot, George McNeill and William King, and visiting artists David Hockney, Louise Nevelson, Alex Katz and others.

The eighties and nineties saw events in Philip Gladstone’s life moving at a rapid pace, even as he seemed to have no idea which way he was going, or for that matter where he wanted to go. He was married and divorced twice, and had two beautiful children along the way in 1988 and 1991. He took a job in a picture framing and art supply store because the company gave employee discounts on art supplies, and within a couple of years he had purchased the store, rationalizing that it was the best way he knew how to support his young family. It made him miserable, but he nevertheless managed the store successfully for a dozen years before business rapidly declined in 2001 and he was forced to close the doors forever.

Throughout those years Philip continued to paint in an attempt to keep his sanity. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.

In 1997, Philip was married for the third time, happily at last, to his beautiful wife Lauren. In 2000 his third child was born, and in 2004, after trying everything he could think of to make a living after his frame shop closed, he finally tried the obvious and was surprised to find that within a short period of time he was able to earn a living as an artist.

Today Philip Gladstone lives and works in a antique farmhouse in rural Maine, USA, complete with an attached renovated barn that functions as the artist's studio.

He spends his days at home with his family and, of course, painting up a storm. He’s never been happier or felt more blessed.


More Artists at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Art

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