Chris is a painter and draughtsman. He studied Technical Drawing and Natural History Illustration and worked as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer after graduating in 1997. He has exibited with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and the Royal Society of Marine Artists.
Chris is Interested in observational drawing and painting, responding to and capturing the world around him, trying to create a presence and a mood. Over the years he has been strongly influenced by rennaissance drawings, the pre-raphaelites as well as modern figurative artists.
Drawing offers us a way of focusing the mind and gaining some control, it's almost like a form of meditation. I am driven by the need to understand more about the craftsmanship of drawing and painting and not by the need to be original. By helping others I gain insights in my own way of working
Sarah Poland is a practising artist in painting, printmaking and drawing. After graduating from The Edinburgh College of Art, she moved to west Cornwall for 10 years, living and working within the established art community. She now lives in west Wales with her young family and is midway through an MA in lithography at Aberystwyth School of Art.
Sarah's work is passionate, physical and painterly. Examples can be viewed on her website (link below), in the West Wales Arts Centre in Fishguard and at the Belgrave Gallery, St. Ives, Cornwall. She is also a regular contributor to the Newlyn Society of Artists and Aberystwyth Printmakers.
John has spent the majority of his successful career in Wales since graduating from the Llanelli School of Art and Cardiff College of Art and Design in the late Sixties.
He chose to work predominantly in oil and acrylic until 2005 when he switched to pastel, now his preferred medium. His paintings are collected widely and he continues to enjoy a successful career working on commissions and towards exhibitions.
The enthusiasm shown by the students has led John’s pastel classes at Picton to be highly sought after with the group achieving great progress.
Steve graduated from Canterbury school of art in 1990, after which he began working as a self employed artist, illustrator, designer, animator and lecturer.
The predominant theme for his work is landscape. In his paintings objects are simply arranged in pared down landscape spaces that help to convey an atmosphere of calm and contemplation, they are heavily layered, glaze upon glaze, which helps to create greater depth and intensity. He has also been developing a series of portraits, some of which have been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery.
More recently in January 2011 he was awarded an arts council grant to complete a new body of work which he exhibited in late 2012.
He lives and works in his native Pembrokeshire, the area that is the source of his inspiration.
Born in England and raised in Zimbabwe, Nick studied law at Cambridge University where he was also a Boxing Blue. After several years as a practising lawyer in London and abroad, he changed career and spent five years at art school in Majorca, studying under Joaquin Torrens Llado.
In July 1999, under armed protection, he painted the landing of The First Parachute Battalion in Pristina. He stayed on in Kosovo at General Jackson's request to paint a group portrait of the NATO, UN and Kosovan Liberation Army command groups in meeting. Together the pictures required a total of seventy-five individual portraits some full length and all painted from life.
In February 2002, Nick was flown by the RAF into Kabul, the first and only foreign artist then allowed into Afghanistan. Over two months there he painted several canvases on the crowded streets of Kabul under the armed protection of the Parachute and Ghurkha Regiments. The paintings were the subject of an article in The Telegraph and were exhibited at the Arndean Gallery, Cork Street. In early 2004 he spent a month in Basra where he worked on two military commissions, later the focus of an article in Country Life.
Nick’s popularity as a portrait painter continues to grow and his work currently hangs in private and corporate collections across the country.
Nick co-founded Lavender Hill Studios in London, which runs courses in traditional drawing and painting techniques. In 2013 Nick helped launch Lavender Arts and Crafts which concentrates on teaching crafts such as bookbinding, stained glass, screenprinting and textile jewellery.
Growing up within an artistic family and with the influence of the Graham Sutherland Gallery, then located at her family home in Pembrokeshire, it was perhaps inevitable that Nicky would enjoy a successful career as an artist.
Having trained at the City & Guilds and the Cecil-Graves Atelier in Florence, she returned to London in the late 80s, where she built a successful career as a portrait and still life painter. Her varied commissions have included a conversation piece depicting the novelist Ken Follett surrounded by characters from his novels; two ex-Governors of the Bank of England; and in 2010 her double portrait of TRHs Princes William and Harry was unveiled to great acclaim at the National Portrait Gallery, London.
In 2013 Nicky was approached by Royal Mail to paint a portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II for the first class stamp series celebrating the 60th anniversary of her Coronation, the first time Royal Mail had commissioned a painting. The full length portrait depicts HM The Queen in her robes of the Order of the Garter, surrounded by her four dogs. It was at Buckingham Palace during one of her sittings that the idea of including the corgis was born. The painting, gifted by Royal Mail, has been accepted by The Queen and now hangs as part of the Royal Collection in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace.
In March 2014 Nicky’s portrait of Falklands hero Simon Weston OBE was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery, London. The portrait was commissioned by the NPG and the BBC for their joint project the ‘People’s Project’, which gave the public the chance to vote for the person they believed most deserving of a portrait hanging in the NPG. The BBC documented the portrait from the initial meeting of Nicky and Simon, through each ‘sitting’, to the unveiling of the portrait at the NPG by presenters Fiona Bruce and Dan Snow. The one hour programme was featured on BBC 1 on Sunday 13th April.
In between portrait commissions, she has had six extremely successful Still Life and Landscape exhibitions. The entire collection (seventy paintings) from her solo exhibition in Cork Street in 2007 was sold in the first week, as did her most recent exhibition held at our Duke Street gallery.
Susie trained at Chelsea School of Art before putting her painting career on hold to bring up her children. After a twenty-five year break she began painting again and her first solo exhibition in Wiltshire was a virtual sell-out. Encouraged by this, she built a studio and has been working towards exhibitions, in-between a constant stream of commissions of flower paintings ever since. In 1995 she exhibited at The Malcolm Innes Gallery in St. James’s, London with her daughter, Nicky. The show was the most successful contemporary exhibition ever staged at the gallery.
Susie’s paintings show a true appreciation of form, colour and light, which make her pictures totally accurate without appearing too laboured. She enjoys an enviable following and her pictures can be found in collections across the country. Her most recent exhibition was held at Fine Art Commissions, Duke Street in December 2013. The exhibition was a huge success with two thirds selling within the first twenty four hours.
Susie’s flowers wave, dance and gesture and talk to each other. Her still lives of meringues and bread and butter are anything but still. She is the family late developer, the one, in my view, with the biggest potential to surprise. But all three Philipps are artists to watch
Godfrey Barker (September 2003)
Art Correspondent for The Times, The BBC, The Sunday Times, The Economist, Art Review, Die Welt, The Wall Street Journal
After leaving St Paul's Girls’ School, Minna gained a BA in Fine Art from Goldsmith’s School of Art before spending two years at the Royal College of Art. Apart from her thriving career as a portrait painter, Minna has participated in many prestigious exhibitions with solo shows both in London and Oxfordshire. She has been tutoring at Heatherly Art School in London for a number of years and is a well respected member of staff there.
Minna approaches her portraits with a relaxed manner, putting the sitter at ease and capturing them at their most natural with her delicate painting style. Minna paints entirely from life
Rosalie spent five years studying Fine Art at the Lavender Hill Studios in Battersea. After her first year, Rosalie was then invited to teach at the school as well as continue developing her own work. She continues to teach the school’s foundation course and figure drawing classes.
In 2009 she visited Israel and the West Bank, inspiring her to create a collection of works, some of which she contributed to a fundraising event held by the Welfare Association in September 2010. Since then, Rosalie has continued to work with charitable organisations, most recently collaborating with The Human Trafficking Foundation for their exhibition on Modern Day Slavery. She worked on a series of portraits depicting the victims of human trafficking, which were then exhibited at the House of Lords in October 2011.
In June 2013 Rosalie was one of three finalists in the London heat of the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of The Year Competition. Out of 2,000 applicants, Rosalie was one of twenty artists invited for the second round of the competition, which was to paint a portrait during a live, public sitting in Trafalgar Square. The live sitting was filmed and broadcasted on the programme ‘Sky Arts Portrait Artist of The Year’ throughout November 2013. The competitors were asked to paint a famous personality in only a few hours, in Rosalie’s case, the model was Gavin and Stacey actress Alison Steadman. Alison chose Rosalie’s portrait to go through to the final three of the London heat and be shortlisted for the final round of the competition. Rosalie’s portrait earned high praise from the judges on the programme, renowned portrait painter Thai Shan Schierenberg commented ‘The likeness is extraordinary…she knows what she’s doing’. Each sitter was allowed to keep a portrait from the show and Alison Steadman chose her portrait by Rosalie to take with her.
Watkins is a gifted artist who feels at ease with her style. Her portrait of Alison Steadman employs loose passages of paint to create the sensation of a passing gaze. We look at the sitter side on, though not in a formal pose, which contributes to the informality of the painting, ensuring that the academic aspect of her style does not compromise the portrait’s freshness.
Kate Bryan, Head of Contemporary at Fine Art Society & Judge on Sky Arts Portrait of the Year Competition