Q&A with artist Phil Goodrich subject matter is inspired by his extensive traveling, waves and music

"It seems to me that Blues and Rock music and visual art can connect with people of all races and political parties. It’s a common language that nearly everyone can understand and feel touched."

Phil Goodrich: Waves, Travels & Blues

Phil Goodrich is a Florida native artist now based in South Carolina, studied Studio Art at San Diego's Point Loma Nazarene University. It was during this time that he first began using pastels and watercolors, developing his style into a more realistic one inspired by Klimt, Lipking, Degas, and Manet. Along with surfing, travel has greatly influenced his work. Goodrich still counts exotic locals from around the globe as his preferred subjects — people from Mexico; Barbados; Costa Rica; Panama; Ecuador; Nicaragua; Peru; Haiti, and his favorite destination, Indonesia, where he's logged some 22 months travel experience over the past nine years.

Since 2005, Goodrich has been using oil on wood regularly, and has focused on portraying obscure Blues musicians. "I like to paint the ones people many have forgotten about. I associate myself with a lot of them because they weren't concerned with fame or fortune — they just loved the music." World traveler, surfer, artist. Phil Goodrich wants to perpetually travel the earth in search of the perfect wave while looking for the next beautiful image to immortalize via his brush against an open canvas. He has found that perfect medium of doing what he loves, painting, and still having time to participate in the activity he loves most, surfing.

Interview by Michael Limnios          Artworks © by Phil Goodrich

How has the Blues and Rock counterculture influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?

Blues musicians influenced my views of the world because they weren't motivated by fame and fortune. Some of my favorite Bluesmen were quite obscure and just traveled along the Mississippi Delta making enough money from small gigs to make it to the next town. When Rock counterculture started honoring Bluesmen and emulating their music it brought them notoriety but it never changed their style of music. I applied this similar philosophy when I started traveling in Indonesia. I used my paintings to trade with resorts to stay for free and connect with other surfers from around the world. People who purchase my paintings do so because they like them not because there is a chance that they will be worth more when I die.

How do you describe and what characterize your artwork? Where does your creative drive come from?

I would describe my artwork as realistic impressionism. I always work on wood panels with oil paint. My creative drive comes from my love of the ocean and surfing. I'm also inspired by exotic locations and the beauty of the human form.

"I would like to go back in time to 1967 London in the Saville Club when Jimi Hendrix covered Sargent Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band. I would want to be sitting next to the Beatles when they heard it. Or it would have been cool to see Eric Clapton's reaction the first time he heard Hendrix."

What do you miss most nowadays from the music of past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?

I miss the sound of sincerity from the music of the past. I also miss the raw sounds of Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath.

What has been the relationship of music in your life and art? How does music affect your mood and inspiration?

As mentioned before, bluesmen inspired me to believe that I could make a living by just painting. Their music was powerful with just one voice and a guitar. Some were more successful than others but they all did it for the love of music. I've tried to apply this to my paintings. They are affordable, and entirely independent from any gallery or agent. I've recently started a series of paintings of musicians with ocean waves in the background.

If you could change one thing in the art/musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

I would reward technical skill and obvious talent much more than conceptual art and people who are just good salesmen.

How does the underlying philosophy of "Surf" impact you? What touched (emotionally) you?

I feel in love with surfing when I was 9 years old. Something about riding waves changed my whole DNA. A great day of surfing makes you feel light, like you're hovering slightly above ground.

"Blues musicians influenced my views of the world because they weren't motivated by fame and fortune. Some of my favorite Bluesmen were quite obscure and just traveled along the Mississippi Delta making enough money from small gigs to make it to the next town. When Rock counterculture started honoring Bluesmen and emulating their music it brought them notoriety but it never changed their style of music."

What is the impact of Blues & Rock music and visual art to the racial, political, and socio-cultural implications?

It seems to me that Blues and Rock music and visual art can connect with people of all races and political parties. It’s a common language that nearly everyone can understand and feel touched. 

Where would you really want to go with a time machine? What memorabilia (books, records) would you put in?

I would like to go back in time to 1967 London in the Saville Club when Jimi Hendrix covered Sargent Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band. I would want to be sitting next to the Beatles when they heard it. Or it would have been cool to see Eric Clapton's reaction the first time he heard Hendrix.

What would you like to ask Paul Gauguin and Skip James? What do you want to say to Django Reinhardt?

To Paul Gauguin: I would ask how he managed his time between painting and what seemed like an enormous sexual appetite.

To Django Reinhardt: Did your guitar talents come naturally or did you incessantly practice and receive training?

To Skip James: Who inspired you to sing with such a haunting falsetto style?

Phil Goodrich Art - Home

Artworks by Phil Goodrich

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