After two decades in advertising, Phil Brevick of Hamilton decided it was time to pursue a career in art. Now, about five years later, Brevick's paintings are featured in his first solo show.
“It gives you a different view of what your artwork is to see all of it hung up rather than sitting in the studio stacked four or five deep. You don’t really get to appreciate it,” said Brevick.
“To see it here in the gallery, to be able to step back and look at my pieces is nice.”
The exhibit Birds of Hancock County, Illinois can be seen at the West Central Illinois Arts Center in Macomb through Saturday, June 6.
The exhibit includes duck stamp paintings Brevick did while he was still in advertising. The show also includes newer pieces of red tailed hawks, swans, red winged blackbirds, seagulls, mallards, and more.
“I’ve always had a love for nature. It’s always been something I’ve enjoyed,” Brevick said.
Painting titles such as “Majestic Morning Nauvoo” and “Morning Fog Lock & Dam 19” directly reference western Illinois.
He said one of his favorite paintings in the show is “Pursuit.” He started the piece in 2014 and completed it this year. It shows an eagle just above the Mississippi River, ready to snatch a fish from the waters.
“This one I did in acrylic. With the brushstrokes I wanted to keep it loose. I wanted to get the feel of him just as he’s going to hit the water. The feathers won’t have every detail in them. It’s going to be a little more of a wild feel to his wings, yet his head and his talons are very focused, they’re sort of still as he’s going in.”
Brevick said he works from photos he’s taken, and this painting is no different. He said he took several photos of the eagle going after the same fish a couple winters ago when it was quite cold and numerous eagles spent time within the vicinity of Lock and Dam 19.