Phyllis Stapler's recent paintings have focused on endangered or extinct species including Tasmanian Tigers, fossas, polar bears and wooly mammoths. Always a champion of the underdog, she places her subjects in a monochromatic negative space to represent a protective force field around them. Albuquerque Tribune reviewer T.D. Mobley Martinez described her painting of a missing dog as "floating in a Dijon nowhere. Using an iconographic imagery and arrangement you might see in Eastern art, this work hints at a range of social and emotional issues from the disposable nature of nature to the yearning to be loved".
Her activism for animal welfare has informed her work with an intensity recognized by curators, reviewers and collectors alike. Upon moving to the Southwest from Georgia in 1996, her work was selected for New American Paintings by Jeffrey Weiss of the National Museum of Art. In 2009 she was included in New American Paintings, 15 Years. Jurors who have selected her work for exhibitions include Lucy Lippard, Hamza Walker, Lisa Sette, Susan Fisher Sterling, Jan Ernst Adlmann and Gwen Chanzit . Terrance Lindall exhibited her work in the Paradise Lost show at the WAH Center in Brooklyn. And her work also traveled to Seoul, Korea in the Circular Exhibit at Hun Gallery in Chelsea in 2008.
She currently resides in the Four Corners region.