Philip Teas found his art in geology.

Like many artists, Teas has been artistic since a young age.

As time went on and his career in geology took off after earning his Ph.D. in Santa Cruz, California, Teas realized that he could incorporate creativity into work in making maps and presentations, and even use art to relax and destress from long work days.

Now semi-retired, Teas and his partner, Jayme, have devoted their time to refocusing on the things they feel passionate about. Teas has lived all over, from 15 years in Indonesia, to Houston and now in the Colorado Western Slope where he’ll be featured as Montrose Mosaic’s May artist.

“It’s incredibly exciting,” said Teas of the upcoming gallery, his first official art showing. “I’ve been doing art for myself for a very long time, and most of the work I’ve done has been lost to moves around the world or in the country. My partner had started to notice this and encouraged me to get out there and share my art with other people.”

Teas said the opportunities that have come with sharing more of his art has helped him become a bit more extroverted, and he’s looking forward to meeting new people at the exhibit and seeing their reactions.

The artist describes his work as “meditative” pieces that involved mixed media of pen and ink sketching, alcohol inks, acrylics, and complex color systems.

Because his career was so focused on science, Teas diverted toward a more creative route in order to decompress. He attributes his style of art to the “Summer of Love” movement in the late 1960s, an era reminiscent of psychedelic, hippie art and bright colors.

The end result is complex pieces with textures and interactive colors, a trademark of his brand, PTZArt.

“It brings a lot of depth and complexity that leads your mind all over the place and into relaxation and meditation,” said Teas. “When you focus on the art, you really fall into it.”

The abstract artist doesn’t have a traditional process for his work. Once the canvas is out, he begins marking the blank space and continues until an idea forms from the creation.

Although Teas is known for color, he always begins a piece in black and white through ink. Eventually, the work develops on its own until he’s ready to move onto the next step.

“Jayme will often name it for me, bring in a completely different perspective,” Teas said of his partner. “I just love something that isn’t obvious -when you look at it you don’t know what it is.”

Teas abstract art pieces lean towards organic and natural forms, often reimagined in vibrant, swirling colors. The artist merges the ink sketches digitally, where he moves his work to the computer and “shifts” the colors depending on how he wants the piece to emote.

Using fluid inks and acrylics to blend colors, Teas will then digitally transform the piece into complex color patterns to create an entirely new piece.

“In digital media, you can shift all your color palettes until it feels right. When it does feel right, that’s when I stop,” said Teas.

Sometimes Teas will finish a piece and then replicate it, shifting the color palette for a different emotional response.

It can be a “calming and invigorating” process.

In addition to his May gallery, Teas will be teaching an acrylic paint pouring class on May 22 at Mosaic, 21 N. Cascade Ave., from 10 — 11:30 a.m. He also plans to hold an exhibit this summer during the HyveTelluride 3D Summer Exhibit.

Teas art can be viewed at Mosaic’s First Friday reception on May 7 from 5 — 8 p.m. The PTZArt can be viewed in physical form as well as in an immersive virtual reality experience while enjoying the award winning Qutori Wines out of Paonia and chocolate dipped treats by Brrrnana.

Cassie Knust is a staff writer for the Montrose Daily Press.

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