Occasionally our lives are blessed by special people. Someone who suddenly enters our lives and gives us new perspectives just by being who they are. For me, one of those people was S. Phil Saffer. I first met Phil when he stopped into my studio to learn about giclee printing. He came back with several pieces of art. He warned me his art was considered weird by some people. It was, he said, like nothing anyone else was doing. He thought I might not like it. I could not imagine what he was bringing me.
He was partly right. I had not seen anything like his work.But he was wrong about my not liking it. I was blown away. The first two pieces he brought me were “Berkshire Hills” and “Loblolly Pine” It was love at first sight. Phil immediately became my favorite artist!
Over the years we worked on several collaborations and I had the opportunity to reproduce much more of his artwork. As a giclee printer and gallery owner, I get to meet many artists and see a great deal of very good art. No one else has ever given me such a thrill when first seeing their work as Phil did. His work was so vibrant and energetic. So much like the man, himself. He was excited by color and patterns. His artistic style kept evolving, changing, growing into new and complex ideas. He kept demanding more of himself, artistically. A master of many different media and methods, he was always reaching for new techniques and ideas. He was not afraid to challenge himself.
Phil was a master sculptor, painter, construction artist, and inventor of strange machines. He was always creating, thinking, planning. The world will be little less bright because of his passing. I will be forever grateful that he happened into my studio one day, bring me colors and images I had never imagined before. Thank you, Phil. I will miss you.