Danny Phillips, a Pulaski County native, has been creating art in some format for as long as he can remember. “I’ve been interested in art all my life. As a kid I loved books, comics and cartoons,” said Philips. “My Mom always made sure I had blank paper to draw on.”
His art is bright and colorful, with an ever-present theme of mystery captured in thought-provoking scenes. “My influences as far as artists include Robert Crumb, Picasso, and Basquiat,” artists who also exhibit similar qualities found in Phillips’ work.
Phillips said his favorite medium is a mixture of acrylic paint, paint markers and ink pen. “I like painting on canvas, and found objects like old wood or windows. Generally any flat surface that would otherwise be thrown away,” he said.
“Being an artist in Southwest Virginia is what you make of it. If you want to do a lot of gallery shows you should probably move to a different area,” said Phillips. “If you’re looking for a nice quiet place to paint some pictures, it’s great.”
Phillips left the area for a while and lived in Colorado. After a few years our west, he decided to come back home. He now lives in Snowville with his wife, Kathy, their cats and the occasional bear that visits the front porch of their peaceful country home. “I love Snowville. My house is a place where I can eliminate all the distractions and focus on creating art,” he said. “The nature is very inspiring, and all of my immediate family lives in Pulaski. I’ve lived in other places but this is my home.”
His talents don’t stop with art. Phillips is also a musician, playing instruments including guitar, bass and drums, and he sings and boasts quite a bit of recording knowledge, as well, and he has collaborated with several local musicians throughout the region. “Making music for me is more therapy than anything else. I love writing songs and working on mixes. I might burn a CD here and there for a friend, but that’s about it,” said Phillips modestly. “I may start posting albums for free online at some point.”
Philips said his music is an extension of his artwork, rather than a separate entity. “I have named songs after paintings and vice versa. I believe the paintings have a broader appeal though.”
Phillips has set up a booth at Blacksburg’s annual outdoor summer festival Steppin’ Out for around 10 years. “Every year I lock myself away for a few months and do nothing but paint,” and he said this year he’ll have roughly 180 new pieces on display. Phillips’ booth will be located on Main Street, Blacksburg at Steppin’ Out Aug. 1-2. Visit http://kuruspandora.wix.com/kurus-pandora#! to view more of his artwork and listen to his music.