This holiday season, we’re excited to introduce Pomegranate, a publishing and printing company that offers its customers “art you can bring home.” In celebration of Pomegranate’s commitment to inclusivity, we’re proud to spotlight some of the brilliant women artists in their catalogue! Read more about Pomegranate below.
Covered by the protective, wispy high grasses of a seaside cliff, a grassy meadow, or even the chill of a snow-covered field, the perspective of the onlooker in Deborah Phillips’ landscapes assimilates into nature. For the artist, the ever-changing scenery of her native Scotland continues to influence her acrylic practice more than five decades after it began.
Born in 1965 in Dundee (Scotland), Deborah’s upbringing was forged by a painterly father, the late Douglas Phillips, and a music-oriented mother, Margaret Parkinson. Douglas Phillips, known for his freehanded and respected portrayal of the Scottish countryside, encouraged his daughter who skillfully developed her own creative mind through drawing and painting.
The similarity of father and daughter in landscape painting should be noted, though each carries its own distinct approach to portraying Scotland in all its beauty. For Deborah, the push of less shape-defined greenery found in her late father’s work is replaced by her own usage of textured florals and clear-cut spatial foregrounds. There’s a vibrancy in the landscapes that transitions through the metaphorical time in which one is viewing them. As seen in the changing of the twelve months found in her 2022 Pomegranate Calendar, each month’s accompanying rendering of Scotland conforms to the time in which it is intended. Whether it’s the deep sunset ombre of a dusk-fallen autumn sky or the cool sea-breeze approach to a summer day, Phillips empowers the viewer of the landscape to feel drawn into the current moment.
Deborah’s late father’s encouragement would turn into palpable results after he submitted examples of her work at the age of fourteen to the Royal Scottish Academy (in Edinburgh) and Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts (also in Scotland). Following acceptance, these paintings would go on to be shown at exhibitions organized by both of these prestigious institutions. Phillips morphed her at-home practice to one of formal education when she graduated with her Bachelor of Arts with honors from the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art (in Dundee) in 1987.
While she currently works as a full-time practicing artist, Deborah’s career also now includes serving as a merchandise designer for the National Trust for Scotland, the mission of which is to conserve Scotland’s history from castles to glens. This welcome responsibility has contributed to Deborah’s understanding of the natural richness found in her surrounding home and led prominent corporate collections to acquire her work. From Marks and Spencer to The Bank of Scotland, the simplistic resonance of Deborah’s Scottish landscapes is one that can be enjoyed by collectors of all trades.
Throughout the global history of landscape painting, the visual accessibility of Impressionist-style works by artists such as Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Rosa Bonheur, and The Highwaymen, reflects how communal in enjoyment this painting style is to the general public. As a viewer, even though I’ve yet to travel to Scottish Highlands, I can revel in the organic vibrance in Deborah’s works. There’s even more to be said of how a landscape can be depicted through the eyes and hands of a native-born and raised to the scene. After both a conscious and subconscious intake of Deborah’s home throughout her childhood and into adulthood, wildflowers and the windows of humble cottages in the distance become physical through the jewel-like application of acrylic paint. One certainly does not need to be from Scotland to enjoy these varying natural landscapes which encourage an active exploration of a foreign town or particular memory in nature.
Upon analyzing the multiplicity of time depicted in Deborah’s portrayal of Scotland, I am reminded of the solitary enjoyment found in Claire Louise-Bennett’s Pond. The 2015 collection of short stories, bubbling in streams of consciousness, are the ramblings of a modern woman living alone in a small coastal town. It drew me to the extraordinary ordinary that I pictured a protagonist of that contemporary literature would view through the window of their quaint home, declaring, “[…] I’d take a blanket up to the top garden and I’d lie down under the trees in the top garden and listen to things. I would listen to a small beetle skirting the hairline across my forehead. I would listen to a spider coming through the grass towards the blanket. I’d listen to a squabbling pair of blue tits see-sawing behind me… And each sound was a rung that took me further upwards, and in this way, it was possible for me to get up really high, to climb up past the clouds, towards a bird-like exuberance, where there is nothing at all but continuous light and acres of blue.”
A new Deborah Phillips 2022 Wall Calendar is available for purchase on Pomegranate.com. Check it out here!
Remember, the artist receives a greater portion of the proceeds if you buy directly from Pomegranate.
© Isabella Marie Garcia (12/11/21) Special for FF2 Media®.
To learn more, start by visiting Deborah Phillips’ website.
Then click on this page to walk through her seasonal landscapes.
Chick here to purchase additional prints, cards, and gifts from Deborah Phillips’ online store.
Click here for more about Pond, Claire-Louise Bennett’s lyric collection of stories from rural Ireland.
CREDITS & PERMISSIONS
Images from Pomegranate’s 2022 Deborah Phillips calendar have been provided by Pomegranate and are used here by FF2 Media with their permission. All Rights Reserved by Pomegranate.