Philip Barousse is a Vietnam Vet and American impressionist artist who lives in Austin, Texas. Graduating from UL-Lafayette, Louisiana in 1973 with a BA in fine arts, Philip is a painter whose subject matters include Cajun, Cowboy, Dreamscapes and his cat, Boo. Philip’s paintings start out as drawings on canvas and evolve as he adds color and clear glazes to create paintings with rich texture and bold fiery colors that allow him to express his passion for life and to honor the awesomeness of nature. The work of Philip Barousse is inspired by paintings of 19th-century impressionist artist such as Claude Monet, Cezanne, Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin.
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Philip Barousse’s Story
My artist’s journey is over 40 years in the making and began as a student of fine arts in 1969 at USL. In my young man’s heart, I believed I was destined to become a great artist.
Fast forward to 2014. With the help of my wife, family, friends and Sonia with Stinger Studios, I put my fears aside and decided to unveil my paintings to the public at a one-man show at Vineyards of Florence, Texas. The show lasted for 2 months and was a resounding success with hundreds of people viewing my work. So the story continues.
Since 2014 there has been a continued upward momentum and encouragement from others to continue. My love of art bloomed as a child when I fell in love with finger painting and the jars of bright colored paints. It continued into my teenage years when my drawings expanded to include cars, motorcycles, hot rods, dragsters and the cartoon character, Big Daddy Ratfink.
In high school, I finished classes early and to attend extra courses in 3 dimensional and perspective drawing. During my two tours of duty with the Navy in Next Vietnam, I had to put my artwork on hold. I didn’t realize at the time, but what I saw and experienced in Vietnam was to have a huge impact on my paintings and artwork for many years. My first painting on returning from Vietnam turned out to be one of my most popular paintings.
Painting was my way of dealing with post-traumatic stress. People tell me you can feel the raw energy in the painting. The subject matter started as a soldier walking through the jungles of Vietnam. Over time, the subject evolved into a fiery, bright sunset. If you look closely, you can see the soldier’s tears in the face of the sun. This painting transitioned me from being a military person in Vietnam back to an artist in civilian life. People often ask me what inspires me and I say I look around and see a world full of color, texture, light and energy that inspires me daily and my love of nature and spirituality. I feel like a live camera walking around taking pictures constantly of my surroundings that I can’t wait to paint. I am a painter of music coming out of a saxophone, dreams, dreamscapes, landscapes, trees, cityscapes, past memories and memories yet to come. My black cat “Boo” is a joy in my life and joins me in the studio to keep me on my toes.
Evangeline Oak Park – Roots of My Inspiration
I realized after painting the Tree of Life my love of oak trees is my connection to my Cajun heritage. The place my ancestors settled after being expelled from Quebec City, Canada was a place on the Bayou Teche where the Evangeline Oak resides and is now the most visited spot in St. Martinville since the late nineteenth century. The tree is named for the heroine of the poem Evangeline, written and published by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1847. Because of the lack of historical research prior to that time, Evangeline was long believed to be a true account of the exile of the Acadians from Nova Scotia by the British in 1755. The epic poem was immediately popular and read worldwide. Since it is partly set in south Louisiana and names local places such as the Atchafalaya, Bayou Teche, and “the towns of St. Martin and St. Maur”, St. Martinville citizens made it their own.