By Linda Perala-Hunt
I want people to see my sincere love for the animals, and to achieve a sense of calmness and stillness in viewing my paintings.
– Phyllis Stapler
Natural things and the animal kingdom are the essence and being of Durango artist Phyllis Stapler’s work. For more than 25 years, Phyllis has been perfecting her distinctive style. Known for her fanciful mixed media painted canvases, she depicts animal figures with a vegetive sprig and often a third element of a flying moth or bird. The solid color fields that surround her subjects give the viewer a place to pause and focus on the portrait of the pony, pup or papillon.
Layer upon layer of sensitivity, canvas, emotion, paint, intimacy, and glaze, Phyllis allows each portrait to evolve in its own stride – be it weeks or months, the birth of her paintings come at their own pace. There is a subtle tension in Phyllis’ compositions where the positive and negative space and the forms and shapes vie for attention. Sometimes funny, other times symbolic or exotic, Staplers paintings are honoring the natural world and show her caring for species that are endangered or vulnerable.
Personally I have admired and coveted Ms. Stapler’s work since first laying eyes on it many years ago. Her paintings make me stop, look and listen. A refreshing stillness, a place to rest my eyes in a busy day, if only for a brief moment. It is the Zen of her style, an Asian influence for simplicity that appeals to something in me, and the fact that Phyllis has an obvious love and respect for her subjects.
Sorrel Sky Gallery currently has three of Phyllis Staplers pieces on display. A fourth is on her easel, but its evolution from a Poodle to an Elk is a work that can not be rushed. Take a moment for your self and stop by the gallery and indulge in some fine art meditation.