Wayne Phillips

About the Artist

Wayne Leo Phillips was born at Midnight Lake, Saskatchewan, near North Battleford, in 1946. He attended high school in Medstead, and then received his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education degrees from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, graduating in 1969.

Phillips began teaching English at E. D. Feehan High School in Saskatoon after he graduated, while making art outside of school hours. When the school needed an art teacher, he filled that role. “In my late 20s I took  printmakingA print is a shape or mark made from a block or plate or other object that is covered with wet colour (usually ink) and then pressed onto a flat surface, such as paper or textile. Most prints can be produced over and over again by re-inking the printing block or plate. Printmaking can be done in many ways, including using an engraved block or stone, transfer paper, or a film negative. The making of fine prints is generally included in the graphic arts, while the work of artists whose designs are made to satisfy the needs of more commercial clients are included in graphic design. (Artlex.com)  classes from a printmaker named David Umholtz, who was about my age, so we connected,” Phillips recalls. “He used to say, ‘The only way to make good art is to make lots of bad art.’ He used to get frustrated with people who talked about what they were doing, but never produced anything.” (personal correspondence with the author, 2009)

Teaching art full-time, being surrounded by students’ art-related questions and problems, Phillips found it increasingly difficult to make art. In 1984 he began writing about the outdoors, particularly about fishing, for a Saskatoon newspaper and magazines in Canada and the United States. A self-professed fanatic for fly fishing and a food snob, Phillips creates his own flies and develops recipes based on fish and game ingredients.

“I’m so nuts for fly fishing,” Phillips says, “that in 1988 I bought a cabin on one of the greatest trout rivers in Montana.” He retired from teaching in 1999, and besides making flies and testing them out, Phillips is also involved in committees dealing with environmental issues in Saskatchewan.


Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning