Family and friendly places; homes, sisters and children all these form the subject matter of Philippa’s work. These ordinary things are represented over and over again. Her works on paper are often, but not always, made directly from nature whilst her oils are usually painted in the spare room studio at the back of our house. I have watched these paintings gather strength over the years as it often takes Philippa years to complete them. I have never seen them get worse. How can this be? I think that it is because Philippa’s whole like is incorporated in the act of painting, so that painting becomes a meditation on her whole life. A picture of the garden terrace in France with our son or daughter in law becomes a deep account of the ordinary and dear things of life, and an equally deep expression of Philippa’s feelings for them.
There seems to be a relation between Berthe Morisot’s affection for her sisters and her children and the way she expressed her feelings about them and Philippa’s work, but while Berthe Morisot was concerned with swift, immediate sensations, Philippa delves ever deeper into the meaning and sanctity of family life.
Philippa is an authoritative draughts woman; she can set down things on canvas or paper with great assurance; she also has an innate sense of the rectangle on which she is working and her divisions of it echo out to the perimeter and bounce back at strength like some sonic beam used to direct objects that con not be seen in the ordinary way – colour can be immediate and vivacious in her studies from nature, or more and more harmoniously integrated into a common surface and light. Things in her paintings belong to each other; belonging and caring are expressed through the process of gradual increment that tells us of her deep fidelity to the things that really matter.