Phillips Nicholas Stephen
Nicholas Stephen Phillips was born in London in 1948 but moved to Leeds in the early fifties. The artist was not the first in his family to show artistic talent. The son of the sculptor Henry Raines Phillips (1911-1976) and the artist Kathleen Phillips, Steve’s great great grandfather was Giles Firman Phillips (1780-1867), a landscape painter specialising in views of the Thames. Initially it was only during his spare time that Steve had the opportunity to indulge his love of painting. After leaving school, between 1970 and 1975, the artist worked as a restorer at Temple Newsam House and Leeds City Art Gallery. There he was able to study the collection of fine watercolours and the works of Atkinson Grimshaw, an artist who greatly influenced Steve’s style of painting. However, it wasn’t until 1980 that the artist started to paint professionally. As well as a painter, Steve is a celebrated blues singer and guitarist and for a time he concentrated on his musical career. His album ‘The Best of Steve Phillips’ won rave reviews and is one of the most sought after blues albums for collectors. He was also a member of The Notting Hillbillies, alongside Mark Knofler of Dire Straits, and their album ‘Missing …. Presumed Having a Good Time’ reached No 2 in the charts in 1990. In the early 1990s, when touring allowed, Steve experimented with painting in pastels. However, at the start of the millennium, Steve devoted more of his time to painting in oils once again, producing some of his finest work. The paintings of Steve Phillips are much in demand and are in private collections all over the world, including some of Hollywood’s stars.