Philip Smith

< back to Artists

I grew up in Manchester, North West England, studied graphic art in the early 80's. I had a variety of jobs but was always involved in the arts in some ways in my spare time, usually painting, drawing or photography. The work I created was mainly figurative or landscape.

In the late 90s, I went back to university to study fine art at Manchester Metropolitan University. Here, I experimented with abstraction but the more I worked, the more I returned to landscape and figuration.

After university, I took a teaching qualification, and taught art for a few years, until the birth of my first daughter. I gave up teaching to concentrate on raising my daughter and painting. Over the intervening years I have been able to hone my style and focus on landscape painting. In some respects these have developed more into "skyscapes". I also brought figuration into the landscape setting. As a counterpoint to the big, empty landscapes and skyscapes, I have also focused on cityscapes. Even though by definition the subject matter is cluttered;, I see them as essentially the same, using the backgrounds as an alternative narrative.

I paint in a near abstract way, working often without reference, creating from imagination, from memory; balancing colour, shape, tone and rhythm, trying to capture a transience, a certain mood. I work quite slowly, building the painting from a black or blue base, applying layers of decreasingly thick paint, until finally, on the topmost layer, it is often scrubbed on almost dry, to create a soft almost bruised look to the image.

I have certain themes - leaving, returning, uncertainty. There is often a loss to the characters that inhabit the landscapes, an introspection, a poignancy. They are like characters from scenes of which we are all familiar. I like to think their narrative is undetermined. The story is theirs. We may guess at their story, but we do not know. We may see them, but we cannot be sure.

Often the title will give an idea to the scene, but that is often more a starting point than a prescriptive, decisive outcome. A painting called "The Homecoming" only really tells the viewer that a character is in the process of return. Where they have been, what has brought them back and what welcome will greet them on their return, only they know, and they are not telling...

The Old Aerodrome - Philip SmithRed Suitcase - Philip SmithEmbankment - Philip SmithEmpire Pool - Philip SmithLast Chance For Food & Gas - Philip SmithSaturday Evening - Philip Smith
 The Old Aerodrome Red SuitcaseEmbankment Empire Pool Last Chance For Food & Gas Saturday Evening
Fully Air Conditioned - Philip SmithWaiting - Philip SmithFirst Meeting - Philip SmithLand Girl - Philip SmithMotel - Philip SmithTimes Square - Philip Smith
Fully Air Conditioned Waiting First MeetingLand GirlMotelTimes Square
Never Get Lost Again - Philip SmithLost Horizon - Philip SmithVanishing Point - Philip SmithEros - Philip SmithNebraska - Philip SmithHorse Tails - Philip Smith
Never Get Lost Again Lost HorizonVanishing PointEros NebraskaHorse Tails
By The Highway - Philip Smith1918 - Philip SmithWatching Water - Philip SmithThe Home Coming - Philip SmithOhio - Philip SmithNewton Street - Philip Smith
 By The Highway 1918Watching WaterThe Home ComingOhio Newton Street
1976 - Philip SmithHighway I - Philip SmithHighway II - Philip SmithNocturn II - Philip SmithHighway III - Philip SmithExit - Philip Smith
 1976Highway IHighway II Nocturn II Highway III Exit
Long Way Home I - Philip SmithLong Way Home II - Philip SmithInto The Night - Philip SmithLast Stop - Philip SmithNeap Tide - Philip SmithHighway IV - Philip Smith
Long Way Home ILong Way Home IIInto The Night Last Stop Neap TideHighway IV
Across The River - Philip SmithLexington Avenue - Philip SmithComing Home - Philip SmithGrand Central Station - Philip SmithAt The Quayside - Philip SmithCentral Station - Philip Smith
 Across The River Lexington Avenue Coming Home Grand Central Station At The Quayside Central Station
Towards The Chrysler - Philip SmithMoms Dinner - Philip SmithNew York City - Philip SmithOn The Sands - Philip SmithAcross The Quays - Philip SmithMrs Rachael Smith - Philip Smith
 Towards The Chrysler Moms Dinner New York City On The SandsAcross The Quays Mrs Rachael Smith
The Bed Sitting Room - Philip SmithSt Peters Field - Philip Smith(Time) Coffee Break - Philip Smith1940 - Philip SmithUrbis - Philip SmithTowards New York - Philip Smith
 The Bed Sitting Room St Peters Field (Time) Coffee Break 1940 Urbis Towards New York
After The Tide - Philip SmithOpen All Hours - Philip SmithSt Pauls - Philip SmithJourney - Philip SmithAt The Exit - Philip SmithBrooklyn Bridge III - Philip Smith
 After The TideOpen All Hours St Pauls Journey At The Exit Brooklyn Bridge III
Long Road Home - Philip SmithTowards The Library - Philip SmithBattersea Power Station - Philip SmithPiccadilly - Philip SmithSt Pauls II - Philip SmithOn The Road - Philip Smith
 Long Road Home Towards The Library Battersea Power Station Piccadilly St Pauls II On The Road
Metropolis 2 - Philip SmithMillenium - Philip SmithAnglesey - Philip SmithAfter The Tide II - Philip SmithPiccadilly Circus - Philip SmithQueensborough Bridge - Philip Smith
 Metropolis 2 Millenium AngleseyAfter The Tide II Piccadilly Circus Queensborough Bridge
The Runner - Philip SmithIn The Dunes - Philip SmithSaturday Night - Philip SmithDriving West - Philip SmithOn The Sands - Philip SmithHellsall Street - Philip Smith
 The Runner In The Dunes Saturday Night Driving West On The Sands Hellsall Street
New Years Day - Philip SmithCoffee - Philip SmithNorfolk 2 - Philip SmithUntitled 4 - Philip Smith
 New Years Day Coffee Norfolk 2 Untitled 4