Nicola Jane Philipps (Nicky)
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 Portrait', 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 2014.
In between portrait commissions, she has had six extremely successful Still Life and Landscape exhibitions. The entire collection (seventy paintings) on display during her solo exhibition in Cork Street in 2007 sold in the opening week, as did the works in her most recent exhibition held at our gallery in Duke Street.
Nicky has recently established Art Classes Wales at Picton Castle Studios in Pembrokeshire, where students have the opportunity to paint alongside her or enjoy residential art courses taught by tutors working in a variety of styles and media.
Selected Commissions and Collections
- Royal Mail Group (Her Majesty The Queen)
- HRH The Prince of Wales (The Duchess of Cambridge)
- Eton College, Windsor (TRH's Princes William and Harry)
- The National Portrait Gallery, London (TRH's Princes William and Harry)
- The American Embassy, London (The Honorable Louis B Susman)
Alnwick Castle, Northumberland (The Duke and Duchess of Northumberland)
- Mr Simon Weston, The National Portrait Gallery, London
- Arthur Fulford
- Mrs Adrian Scrope
- Mr Michael Loveridge
- Fiona Bruce
- Mrs David Fountain, Halifax, Nova Scotia
- Dame Amelia Fawcett, London
- US Court of Appeals for The First Circuit, Boston, USA (Judge Michael Boudin)
- Mr Hugh Bonneville, Sussex
- Mr Ken Follett, Hertfordshire
- The Baltic Exchange (Mr Peter Kerr Dineen)
- Lady Clifford, Devon
- Mrs Fabrizia Pignatelli Fiamma, London
- EMI Classics, London (Mr Richard Lyttleton)
- Mr Robin Fleming, Gloucestershire
- The Worshipful Company of Grocers (Lord George, ex Governor, The Bank of England)
- Mr Eric Speeckaert, Brussels
- Mr Philip Elletson, Wiltshire
- Lord Richardson, London
- Mr Jamie Cayzer-Colvin
- Upper Latymer School (Professor Richard Perham)
- Four Solo Exhibitions, Arndean Gallery, Cork Street
- National Portrait Gallery, BP Exhibition
- Garrick Milne Exhibition, Christie's
- Family Exhibition, Arndean Gallery, Cork Street
- FAC Annual Portrait Exhibition, Arndean Gallery
- 'artLondon' Contemporary art Fair, London
- Olympia Fine Art and Antiques Fair
- Malcolm Innes Gallery, St James's
- Malcolm Innes Gallery, Walton Street
Please note this artist is sometimes referred to as "Nicky Philipps", and also (erroneously) "Nicky Phillips".
Nicky's portrait of Princes William and Harry, commissioned by The National Portrait Gallery, London, is on display in the Gallery's permanent collection.
HRH Prince William and HRH Prince Harry
by Nicola ('Nicky') Philipps, 2010
Copyright National Portrait Gallery, London
There is a dignity to the full-length portrait that Philipps has produced, and it shows her enjoyment in her portrayal of the robes, "and her desire to make things sparkle".
Karen Wright, Art Critic, The Independent
Nicky Philipps paints portraits and still lifes which can be compared with those of John Singer Sargent in their freshness of application and clarity of drawing.
Desmond Shawe-Taylor, Surveyor of The Queen's Pictures
This is actually a contemporary history painting that alludes in a dignified way to the most important fact about Britain now, that people are dying in uniform. Just as Manet made the style of Velazquez an image of the new, so Nicky Philipps finds poses for our strange time in old paintings. There is a keenness and a style to this portrait without the swagger.
Jonathan Jones, Art Critic, The Guardian
Philipps paints close likenesses of William and Harry, a style common to contemporary portraitists owing something to celebrated figures of the past like John Singer Sargent.
Ben Luke, Art Critic, The Evening Standard
Further press articles can be viewed here
Nicky's response to question of Prince William's full head of hair