Philip Buytendorp was born in Brandon, Manitoba in 1961 into a family of artists. His mother is a potter and is father is a painter and fine art restorer. As a child, Philip went on weekend outings to sketch and paint the landscapes of the Southern Manitoba countryside. Formally trained in art theory at the Brandon Arts Centre (1978-1979), Philip subsequently worked in construction for the next twenty years, sketching scenes from the Southern Alberta Foothills when he lived in Calgary. When he moved to B.C.’s Fraser Valley in 1987, under the tutelage of his father, George, Philip began painting in earnest.
Ten years later, a move to Piers Island in the Gulf Islands in 1997 brought to the fore coastal landscapes in oils and a way of understanding nature as intrinsically beautiful.
“The shoreline is not composed of randomly scattered pieces of rock, but rather beautiful banks of submerged natural masonry . . .there is a certain kind of music to that.”
Reluctant to describe his art with a conventional label, Philip Buytendorp agrees that his style is influenced by Impressionism and Expressionism. His landscapes demonstrate a brilliant use of colour, tone, and line to depict exaggerated contours and a distorted, exaggerated style. He makes use of colour, shape and light to set the mood for his paintings, while using powerful, dramatic palette knife and brush strokes to give a visceral muscularity to his shapes and forms: brawny trees, gloomy skies, jagged shorelines, wind-stirred waters, and so on. Yet, in the painter’s own words: “There exists a challenge in achieving a healthy balance between artistic freedom and technical control.” A painting must be truthful both to the actual natural environment and the feeling the painter feels at the moment he is painting it.
Philip Buytendorp’s work is exhibited not only in The Hampton Gallery in Kamloops, but in galleries in White Rock, the Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island, and in private collections across North America.