Philip DeAngelo’s paintings — created with acrylics on ceiling tiles, banana leaves, cork, and just about any other material with an interesting texture — convey a sense of serenity in a world too often consumed by chaos. “I believe in a steadfast God who is in complete control of both the world around me and my personal circumstances,” says DeAngelo.
His process, however, relies more on math than faith. DeAngelo incorporates the principles of Divine Proportion (a precise geometric ratio also known as the Golden Section or Golden Mean) in his works. “For a painter,” he explains, “it’s a way to compose a scene that looks natural to the eye and can also be used to guide the eye around the painting, encouraging the viewer to see what you want them to see both on a conscious and subconscious level.”
In addition, he utilizes symbolism to help him communicate the subliminal message of quietude, even through vivid colors. He says, for example, that his frequent use of red “stands for life, blood, and passion; a horizon line symbolizes a hope and a future; and a tire swing might represent youth, innocence, or nostalgia.”
DeAngelo populates many of his landscapes with small houses, representing his “search for simplicity.” His trees are symbols for life and creation. “I am daily reminded of how little I need to be happy,” the painter says. “It’s the relationships we have established that define us … since I don’t often paint figures in my work anymore, trees take their place.”
DeAngelo spent 40 years living on a barrier island near Ocean City, New Jersey, before moving to Asheville with his wife Tina in 2008. “We’d visited Asheville on the recommendation of a few friends who knew about the emerging arts culture here,” says DeAngelo. (The city’s dog-friendly aspect was a big selling point, too.)
And he practices what he paints. Whenever possible, DeAngelo shuns commuting by car, choosing instead at day’s end to slip his kayak into the French Broad River and paddle north past trees and small houses toward his home in Leicester.
Philip DeAngelo Studio, 115 Roberts St. in the River Arts District. DeAngelo’s work is also displayed at Woolworth Walk (25 Haywood St.), Seasons at The Omni Grove Park Inn (290 Macon Ave.), and Mountain Nest in Black Mountain (133 Cherry St.). He is participating in the OpenDoors Art Affair’s “IMAGINE Nation” art auction on March 10. For more information, see philipdeangeloart.com or call 828-989-5464.