William Phillips, b. 1945, United States
Phillips first attempts at depicting aircraft in an artistic way came when he was 12 years old. He and a friend would go down to the Van Nuys airport and spend the day watching the California Air National Guard F-86 Sabres land and take off. By the time he got home he was so excited about what he had seen that he spent the rest of the day sketching and trying to capture what he had observed.
Phillips' love of flight has carried him throughout the world providing many exciting experiences gathering research. He has flown in the F-15 during an air combat mission at Red Flag, with the Top Gun School at Miramar and into Mt. St. Helen’s shortly after the eruption to cover rescue operation. He has also flown with the Thunderbirds and the Blue Angels. He has experienced the adrenalin rush of flying into a typhoon off Guam and the wild, low-level tactics employed by the F-5 pilots in the Royal Saudi Air Force and the Jordanian Air Force.
In all of Phillips’ paintings, whether aviation, nostalgia, seascapes, lighthouses or grand landscapes, the emphasis is always on dramatic lighting and composition. This is most apparent when viewing his paintings of the grand landscape. Phillips has always enjoyed capturing an emotion in his work. No matter which subject he is painting, the viewer will become part of the moment that is being captured on canvas.