Philippe Couture was born in Drummondville, Canada in 1984, raised in Lakeland, Florida, and currently resides in Kyoto, Japan. While he drew and painted his entire life, Phil’s art education was primarily self-taught. His training consisted of drawing and painting from life, studying masterpieces in museums around the world, and employing exercises taught by classical ateliers. Among his influences are Velasquez, Sargent, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Waterhouse, Mucha, Utamaro and Hiroshige.
After graduating from college and uncertain of his future career as an artist, Phil worked as a veterinary technician assistant in Florida. During his breaks, he would sketch the vast array of animals that passed through the clinic. “Sketching animals at the clinic was really the foundation of my art training. Animals do not sit still for very long, so it really allowed me to train my eye and capture form and movement quickly.” says Couture. After offering drawings and paintings of clients’ pets at the clinic, Phil began his professional art career and started accepting portrait commissions. Once he began selling original work in galleries around Central Florida, Phil sought less commissioned work in order to focus more on original pieces.
A major component of Phil’s life and art is traveling to unfamiliar places with his wife Rachel. In 2011, his wife was offered a teaching position in northern Japan and they both decided to take a chance and move away from their small hometown of Lakeland, FL and head to the Land of the Rising Sun. They continue to live in Japan and have fully embraced the language and Japanese way of life. Exploring new cultures becomes a running theme in his work. "I enjoy painting and drawing what piques my interest, which usually includes visiting cultures from around the world." Whether it is painting geisha from Japan, holy men from Nepal, or the rocky shores of Greece, Phil’s passion is to explore the exotic and the interesting.
Among the accolades he’s received are the BoldBrush Award in the August 2013 BoldBrush Painting Competition, 1st Place in Artist Portfolio Magazine's 2014 Realism Art Exhibition and a Finalist Award in the December 2014 RayMar Art Contest. Phil has exhibited artwork in solo and group shows in America as well as Japan. Aside from public exhibitions, his work hangs internationally in private collections.
Art critic Brian Sherwin commented on Phil Couture's artwork, stating, "Phil handles traditional and everyday life scenes with equal passion. This passion is reflected by the elegant manner in which he captures his subjects. The viewer can 'feel' a sense of pride and honor resonating from the individuals that Phil has painted." Sherwin added, "Phil Couture's drawings and paintings remind us of the beauty of diversity... and how fascinating it is to consider the world within a larger context."
Check out Phil's blog at: http://philcouture.blogspot.jp/ for updates on his paintings, drawings, and travels.