Philip Smallwood | 1957
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Artist Bio

Watercolor painter Philip Smallwood is known for his signature watercolor paintings - Lifescapes - a powerful form of portraiture and visual narrative. His artistic vision is unique, specific and intentional, and he strives to create from that vision rather from any particular artistic school. Smallwood portrays the subject within his or her natural environment, carefully manipulated to evoke an emotional connection with the viewer.

Smallwood's watercolor paintings have been sought out for solo and group exhibitions from prestigious galleries and museums including The Parrish Art Museum in South Hampton and The Hammonds House Museum in Atlanta. P. Smallwood was also selected as one of top 30 African American artists from across the nation to be showcased in Black Romantic at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Reviewing that show, Michael Kimmelman of the New York Times wrote "Philip Smallwood represents the show's prevailing strain of social pride, painting sun-drenched scenes of quaint humanity."

Recently Philip's work received Best in Show at the International Art Expo in Philadelphia and took first prize in a New Jersey Watercolor Society exhibition. In 2010, he was also awarded a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for his work related to the Art of Soul exhibition held by Bergen County, New Jersey. Later in the year, Philip unveiled his new Urban series in a solo show at Carolina Galleries in Charleston, South Carolina. His work has been shown at Bryant Gallery in New Orleans and Carol Craven Gallery in Martha's Vineyard. Earlier in his career, Smallwood was selected to create a commissioned work for the Duke Ellington Centennial Commission at the Charlin Jazz Society in Washington DC.

Through watercolor, Smallwood found a medium that allowed him to blend his love of the human form with light, color and a fluid surface ideal for telling the human narrative that has become the heartbeat of his work. Today, his Lifescape watercolors are the culmination of his artistic relationships with structure, shape, volume, finish, light and color filtered through the eye of his life experiences and values. His approach to watercolor technique, from composition to form and surface, is intuitive and exploratory. His subjects are people most viewers would ignore or overlook as of little importance. Smallwood takes these subjects and puts them center stage.


Artist Exhibitions
April 2011 - The New Smyrna Beach Art Festival
  • Atlantic Center for the Arts, (ACA), New Smyrna, FL
May 2011 - Watercolor USA 2011 - 50th Exhibition
  • In May 2011, Philip was awarded the Robert Vickrey Memorial Award for Redemption at the Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, Missouri.
June 2011 - Watercolor Honors Society (WHS)
  • Philip was inducted ion the Honors Society if Watercolor USA in June 2011. WHS is dedicated to focusing national attention on watercolor painting through exhibition, educational opportunities, and the recognition of artists working in watermedia.
July 2011 FOCUS NJ - Art Center of Northern New Jersey
  • First Place for Watercolor
September 2011 - UNCF - The Art of Giving Back
  • The Art of Giving Back was developed from the vision of Philip Smallwood as an art exhibition to raise funds to benefit the UNCF (United Negro College Fund). The inaugural event was held in September of 2011 at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. The works of contemporary emerging, mid-career and established artists were featured for this inaugural event.
November 2011 - The Fabric of My Life
  • Over 100 small portraits of friends and family that influenced Philip's career are included in this project of recent works.
March 2012 - The New Milford Auxiliary Police Department
  • Commissioned work of late Chief Andy Boele
April 2012 - Watercolor Now 2012
  • Exhibition show dates April - July 2012 at the Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, Missouri.
April 2012 - The Watercolor Honors Society, Spring 2012 Newsletter
  • Featured award winner
April 2012 - 201 Magazine - Arts Issue
  • People in the Arts - Featured artist
April 2012 - 3rd Thursdays
  • Presenting 7 - 10 PM each third Thursday of the month between April and September 2012, P. Smallwood will be featuring, Art, Conversation & More... At Cypress Gallery, New Milford, NJ.
August 2012 - Watercolor Artist Magazine 
  • Featured artist
August 2012 - Harlem Fine Arts Show (HFAS), "Martha's Vineyard"
  • August 9 -12, 2012, Oak Bluffs, MA

Artist Press
Sag Harbor Express
Creating Through Struggles
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