William S. Phillips biography
Aviation was my first artistic
love, but my true, enduring love
remains my Christian faith, home
and family. So it is my pleasure
to combine all of it in my work.
The historical aviation subjects,
I research; the contemporary and
nostalgic subjects, I live.
Phillips grew up loving art but never thought he could make it his livelihood.
At college he majored in criminology and had been accepted into law school
when four of his paintings were sold at an airport restaurant.That was all the
incentive he needed to begin his work as a fine art painter. Bill Phillips is now
a renowned Aviation artist and the landscape artist of choice for many collectors.
Bill's strengths as a landscape painter, a respect and reverence for a time
and place, help him when painting aviation as well as classic landscapes.
Phillips often spends days observing landscape subjects. Finding companionship
with the land, he is able to convey the boundlessness of nature on the
painted canvas inspiring a reverence for the natural landscape in its beholders.
After one of his paintings was presented to King Hussein of Jordan, Phillips
was commissioned by the Royal Jordanian Air Force. He developed sixteen
major paintings, many of which now hang in the Royal Jordanian Air Force
Museum in Amman. The Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space
Museum presented a one-man show of Phillips’ work in 1986. He is one of
only a few artists to have been so honored.
In 1988, Phillips was chosen to be a U.S.Navy combat artist. For his outstanding
work, the artist was awarded the Navy’s Meritorious Public Service
Award and the Air Force Sergeants Association’s Americanism Medal. At the
prestigious annual fund raiser for the National Park Service, Bill’s work has
been included in the Top 100 each year he has entered the competition and
his work has won the Art History Award twice.
Phillips was selected as the Fall 2004 Artist in Residence at the North
Rim of the Grand Canyon and tapped by the U.S. Postal Service to paint the
stamp illustrations and header design for a pane of twenty stamps in 1997 entitled
Classic American Aircraft. He was chosen again in 2005 for a pane of
twenty stamps (ten designs) entitled American Advances in Aviation.