Howard has lived in the Ebble Valley near Salisbury since the mid 1990’s and much of his art is based on his observations of the downland landscape of Wiltshire and Dorset. Timeless places and striking hill forms draw his eye; and for this his third exhibition at The Art Stable he has revisited the hill forts of Eggardon and Hambledon Hill, and has also developed work based on the ramparts at Bulbarrow Hill in Dorset. He likes to observe these ancient places when the sun is low, and the light reveals the underlying sculpture of the land.
Likewise he uses light to effect on the forms of trees, another theme which frequently concerns him. As a wood engraver he might be be described as an artist who draws with light, since each incision made with his tools on the pre-blackened Boxwood gradually reveals the design through lines and textures. It is a reversal of the pencil drawing or watercolour study where the tones are built up on a white paper. When a drawing is transposed to the woodblock medium the light and tonal impact of the image is frequently intensified within only a few square inches.
Howard will be exhibiting a number of his watercolours and preliminary drawings in this exhibition alongside the wood engravings, such as that of an oak on the water meadows near his studio and the romantically situated Wardour Castle. Howard has also made further work based upon the Dorset Coastline with recent engravings of subjects at Portland Bill and Chapman’s Pool.
Howard Phipps has established himself as one of England’s foremost wood engravers. His work has been has been acquired by several National and International institutions including The British Museum who hold thirteen works, and most recently the Yale Centre for British Art in the USA, and the Heilongjiang Museum of Art in China. As a painter as well as printmaker, his work has been exhibited in a number of galleries across the Country, including solo shows at The Victoria Art Gallery, Bath and the Dorset County Museum. He has been a frequent exhibitor at Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions since 1985, and is a Royal West of England Academician and member of the Society of Wood engravers.