Phil Taylor’s artistic ability was recognized at an early age. Being primarily self-taught with limited formal training, his unique portraiture style has evolved through a combination of admired artistic influences and self-development, resulting in the style he uses today.
In the years following 9/11/2001, and like so many Americans, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the thoughts of defending America’s freedom were a distant concern for Phil Taylor. It wasn’t that he didn’t care, he just had no immediate connection to the military and was busy with everyday concerns. However, his life changed when he learned that a childhood friend, Capt. Blake H. Russell, was killed in Iraq in July 2006. While attending the funeral and hearing the descriptions of Blake’s service and selfless commitment to his men and country, Phil had an overwhelming desire to find his true life’s purpose. Even though he had been a professional artist for over 25 years, he had always lacked a sense of fulfillment. Inspired by Blake’s example, Phil decided to give his all through his art and asked to produce a portrait of Blake as a gift for the Russell family.
Upon seeing the completed painting, Blake’s father through tears of gratitude said, “I feel like you’ve brought my son home to me.” This unexpected reaction changed Phil’s life forever and so began his journey to continue sharing this gift with as many families as possible.
With a deep conviction to bring comfort and hope to the mourning families of our fallen military, The American Fallen Soldiers Project, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, provides at no cost to the family an exquisitely framed original portrait of their fallen loved one that fully captures their appearance and personality. Upon completion, it is personally presented by Phil Taylor during a special event designed to honor the Fallen, honor the family, and involve the community.