My name is Phillip Schmidt. I started my pastel journey after a great trip to Arizona’s Jerome, the ghost-town-turned-artist-colony. I bought a wonderful pastel drawing from an older lady and was so inspired I decided to try my hand at oil pastel. So far, I’ve loved every minute of it.

I attended Bethel University in St. Paul, MN and received my bachelor’s degree in studio art. I studied under Kirk Freeman for my ceramics emphasis and learned a lifetime of good stuff. My art career out of college continued with pottery. Master potter S.C. Rolf took me under his wing and helped me understand better the transition from art bubble world to the real thing. I was making my own work and having shows and sales, and I was even able to go to Harvard and teach and work in their studio for a short stint. Afterwards I worked as a production potter for Deneen Pottery pumping out 200 or more pots every single day. Whew!

I am married to a beautiful woman named Angela, and have two children named Paxton and Augustine, both boys. I am fortunate to be able to stay home and care for them as my wife works her way deeper into a wonderful business career. It’s because of this transition that I have found oil pastel. My pottery studio is taking a long time to get set up and I needed something to make, as I am a maker and makers gotta make. So I’ve been cooking and playing with play-doh and building with magnatiles but I’ve just needed something more keepable. Furniture-making is another thing I’ve been dabbling in, but finishing a piece takes an extraordinary amount of time of which I have not. However, oil pastel sketches take very little time and have an exciting outcome in just a little time investment. They have been so much fun and freeing. I hope you enjoy viewing my daily sketches as I progress, and I certainly hope you consider your bare walls calling out for some affordable artwork.