Image description



Painting has been a part of my life since I was very young; it invigorates and inspires me. Today, I paint because I am passionate about the freedom found in the canvas. My current paintings explore improvised botanical imagery using abstract painterly processes. The works are a result of exploration and discovery. I believe the most complex emotions can be evoked from the simplest of forms, merging and emerging, interlocking and dividing. My vocabulary of color, shape, and texture are given form through movement. The gestures and marks found throughout my work are the result of a journey revealed in many layers.

Daniel Phill has transformed, recreated, reimagined and evolved his unique style of blurring the boundaries of abstraction and representation. Known mostly for his botanical imagery, his paintings bear his signature bold strokes and improvised gestures and marks that are created and composed on layers upon layers of thick, wet, viscous paint on canvas.

Art critics have compared his style to Jackson Pollock’s “anarchic manner” and described it as “unrehearsed expressionism.” Bill Scott, in Art in America Magazine, says Phill’s style in his current series of floral paintings owe a great debt to abstract expressionism's fluidity and improvisational process.

“Not a trace of angst or elegiac feeling is to be found in these calmly sinuous paintings. Phill composes his paintings at the same time that he tries to dissolve the representational element of his images to create what could be called premier-coup abstraction," Scott writes.

First and foremost a colorist, Phill creates fiery, saturated hues critics say are reminiscent of David Hockney's work.  Working in an Abstract Expressionist style, he pieces together organic shapes in his abstractions and teases images from splatters of paint in his floral paintings.

His canvases demonstrate an impressive control of his material.  In large, loose gestures, he describes essential details - long, slender tendrils become reeds, pressed and flattened globs of paint turn into petals, and delicate veins emerge from colors bleeding together.  

Some of the painters that he admires include Joan Mitchell, Willem de Kooning, Gerhard Richter and Helen Frankenthaler. As a long-time San Francisco Bay Area resident, he is quite taken by the Bay Area Figurative artists such as Richard Diebenkorn, Joan Brown, David Park, Elmer Bischoff and Nathan Oliveira. Phill is part of a vibrant artist community that continues to expand the Bay Area art traditions.

Phill received his MFA from Stanford University and his BFA from San Francisco Art Institute.

Phill's work has been featured in: ARTnews; Art in America; California Home+Design; House Beautiful; Los Angeles Times; New York Sun; New Yorker; Wall Street International; and Who's Who in the West, among other publications.

Phill's work is in diverse public and private collections, including: Achenbach Foundation, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Citigroup; Clear Channel; de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara, CA; Ernst & Young; First USA Bank; GTE; Kimberly Clark; Morgan Stanley; Nordstrom; Pfizer;  Santa Clara Valley Medical Center; SAP America; Sharper Image; Sprint; Stanford University; Sutter Health; Texas A&M University; Tucson Museum of Art; and US Department of State, among others.