If ever there was an artist whose
work reflected his personality, it's Phil Scholer. The man
and his art are both very quiet, gentle, and serene. The soft,
subdued light which has almost become a trademark tells the
viewer a great deal about the nature of the artist. He is
as deliberate and uncomplicated as his paintings. With Phil
it's "what you see is what you get."
Philip Vernon Scholer was born
in Rochester, Minnesota, on July 7, 1951. Both of his parents
were academically inclined and all the Scholer children were
raised in an atmosphere which stressed education. His father's
one true passion for recreation was camping . . . and not
in the Winnebago- public-campsite fashion. Nearly every weekend
in the spring, summer, and fall they packed their gear and
headed into the wildlife wild country where they lived off
the land, cooked over an open fire, and slept under the stars.
It was from the many camping trips that Phil gained his love
for nature and learned first-hand about the wild "critters."
After graduating from John Marshall
High School in Rochester, he enrolled in the Mankato State
University College of Fine Arts. Not being an advocate of
"all work and no play" while at Mankato, Phil took
a very active interest in pretty, young co-ed by the name
of Sheryl Davids. Romance blossomed and shortly after Phil
graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree,
they exchanged marriage vows.
During his final years in college,
he and his roommates yearned for the companionship of a dog.
Money was a scarce commodity so they chipped in and bought
Andy, a five dollar puppy of black lab and water spaniel lineage.
He seemed to take to Phil, so upon graduation, Phil took over
sole ownership. Andy is twelve years old now but still capable
of following Phil wherever he goes.
Though possessed with the qualities
for far greater things, the only job open to Phil after graduation
was that of a sign painter. He stuck with that for a year
until a position opened up for a designer. The new job offered
more flexible work hours, and he scheduled himself so that
he had more time to do free-lance painting. He was on the
verge of free-lancing full time when he won the Federal Duck
Phil was not always a painter
of wildlife. During college and for some time thereafter,
he painted landscapes and portraits. Then one day he saw a
painting by another local artist by the name of Dave Maass.
He was very impressed by the manner in which Maass incorporated
birds into his landscape. New horizons appeared and his career
in art began to take form.
Photography has been Phil's hobby
for many years. It affords the opportunity to study nature
closely and with much deliberation. He is most comfortable
with a Minolta system although he does use other cameras.
Phil is not a hunter but has
no objection to those who do. He has recently tried trap shooting
and likes it well enough that he plans to pursue it as a sport.
He is an ardent golfer and plays well enough to carry a ten