Interview with Philip Buffett McKibbin.

I recently made a new blog that is for my course media arts and everything that involves around it, so I thought what a better way to start interviewing some of the teachers that they put their stuff on our gallery. So I am going to start with my first teacher that I had here in New Zealand Philip Buffett McKibbin.

I ask him the day after from his opening, while we were having class, I got lucky and he said yes. Well he is quite a speaker and as I get it he loves talking about the subject and he loves to give the knowledge he has to every student. I would like to think that he is one of the best teacher we have because he gets you motivated and make you discover what you really love and encourage you to unfold your talent even if you are falling behind others. So the set of the interview was quite artistic I might say because we went to the second floor of our classroom and we sat in to chairs half facing each other and half facing the window and hearing the rain falling down only two cups of coffees were missing from the scene. I must have thanked him a million times before we start the interview and I realized that doing this interview gave me so much experience so once more thank you again for your time Philip.

Why you choose oil painting?

The answer was simple and lovely, Philip believes that with a painting and drawing is a best way to make a direct image and you need the least equipment. Of course he confessed that there other way to make an image accurate but people involve always digital manipulation. At his time there were cameras, photo cameras and sculpture but there was a length process doing them you invested yourself and your time to create something magnificent. He is not interested any more in digital manipulation because he thinks is such a cliché. And since he experience that early in his career he does not wish to go back when he started. (Philip was a graphic designer in his 20’s)

What appeals to Philip is the mark of the hand the individual process of a human being rather than mechanical and a current flavour of art being a part of community. For him a painting is being precise.


Why you’re painting look like water colour almost?

Peter siddal his painting is precise like a an image, I admire him but when I look at him painting I think why everything is sharp, nothing in this word is sharp everything is effected by atmosphere in some way the impressionist thought the same way but in the impression of the moment for him the image is infused with the air, atmosphere, rain shadows everything is soft and infused. He was influenced by impressionist, he used the only the 3 primaries colours and he didn’t use any pure black but mixes the primary colours for darks. So the paintings look more natural. He works in many layers and he waits to dry so he can work more layers over and over until becomes real in our reality but in the same way it hand-drawn and hand painted so it give the illusion of the photograph but then again if you go and look at the place its different. As I described his paintings is that they looked detailed from far but if you go closely then you cannot see any detail. Is a technique that he is using if he started putting more detailed then it would be and academic painting, he is not interested in that kind if painting.


Why you paint landscapes?

His paintings are landscapes because this is what he sees when he goes outside. People don’t interest him because they are passing through, their actions just in the moment and they upset somehow the picture because the audience tries to see what the person is doing and not how the landscape looks like. He is interested in the process of the nature it might be slow but it’s out there. He interested in the world that we are leaving and the important of the environment and nature. And in his way he makes the audience think what they could to do in that scenery. Image


He had a kind uncle that took him into the printing industry and to his business. His uncle realized that his father is not the man that thought he was and he wasn’t interested in his family. So his uncle took him to be a printing apprentice, so he will become a graphic designer. So eventually he went to Great Britain to become a commercial artist. When he went to England he had a great difficulty to find work so he had to lower his expatiations and he got a very ordinary work in a small advertising outside London just doing local advertising. He started very low position and gradually he worked himself up to the business. Because he wasn’t working at the cutting edge he started to go the galleries in central London every weekend and teach himself going to the galleries and reading books about art. After he got a job in London as a driver so he can start saving money and by the time he saved money he wanted to come back to New Zealand and so he came and went to the Auckland University (Elam). He had a large exhibition in Auckland in 1998 all abstract and after that he wanted to work in another method.


He likes to encourage young students to do more art and builds their confidence as his says it’s the key to success. As Philip says everything needs practice and it takes time to create something beautiful so his advice is never give up and if you love something then you need to do it.


I hope you enjoy it.