N.S. Phillips (Steve Phillips)
I came from a somewhat bohemian household, as both my parents were artists. My father Harry Phillips (1911-1976) was a fine sculptor who found himself out of step with the Abstract Expressionist movement in the 1950's – 60's. He had a great deal of respect for artisans and craftsmen, you know, people who could actually make wonderful things with their own hands. My mother, Kathleen Phillips (1919 - ) was a love child of the Bloomsbury Set, she became an extremely able painter. So I grew up in a house where there was a great deal of creative activity and did not realise until I was an adult that this was not the norm, I naively assumed most other households were like my own.
One painting in particular at The Leed's Art Gallery completely knocked my socks off whilst working as a technician there many years back. This was a Pre-Raphaelite style work by the Leeds artist (John) Atkinson Grimshaw (1836 – 93) titled 'The Old Mill'. I had first seen the picture in the mid 1960's, it had the same effect on me as when I first heard old country blues records, I immediately felt quite at home and I knew I could express my emotions through this type of music. Grimshaws paintings certainly have 'the blues' and I was determined there and then that if I took up painting I wanted to try and capture something of the atmosphere he achieved.
Since moving to Robin Hood's Bay in 1990 I have been able to take advantage of the vagaries of the music business and find more time to paint again. I have subsequently set up 'Melrose House Publishing' with the help and encouragement of my wife Diane to sell cards and reproductions of my work. Also 'E. Stacy Marks Ltd' who have a gallery in Helmsley, North Yorkshire and at Polegate, East Sussex, sell my original works.