Philip West is recognised as one of the world's finest aviation artists. Collectors of his original oil paintings span the globe, many waiting patiently for his next breathtaking canvas to appear.
With more than 100 limited editions behind him, a waiting list of commissioned paintings for clients both existing and new, and a head full of ideas for new limited edition prints, life is never dull for this Wiltshire based artist!
Self-taught, after years of painting pictures for friends and relatives, Philip took the plunge and became a full-time professional artist. Since when he has developed a very loyal and expanding following for both his original paintings and prints.
Whilst jets, and Phantoms in particular, light Philip’s fire, he is also a master painter of piston-engined classics; being renowned for his rendition of Avro Lancasters and Supermarine Spitfires (as above). Philip is also one of the few artists to also enthusiastically paint pictures of Fleet Air Arm aircraft.
Philip's knowledge of aircraft and the accuracy of his work combine to record a moment in history so perfectly, that both collectors and admirers of his work are able to feel a real sense of the excitement and drama that his work portrays.
For the first time, the best of these magnificent paintings have been painstakingly scanned and included in a luxury hardback book, to tie in with the 100th anniversary of the RAF this year.
Each full-colour reproduction carries an explanatory caption, while Philip has composed an Introduction explaining how his paintings have become his tapestry to a remarkable career.
His standing in the world of aviation art is endorsed by the fact that two of the best-known surviving Battle of Britain pilots have supplied forewords for the book.
Squadron Leader Geoffrey Wellum DFC joined the RAF with a Short Service Commission in August 1939. He joined 92 Squadron flying Spitfires in June 1940 at the time of Dunkirk. He flew throughout the Battle of Britain, later completing over 50 fighter sweeps and escorts over northern France and Belgium until August 1941.
He then joined 65 Squadron as Flight Commander in March 1942 operating over northern France and flew off aircraft carrier Furious on Operation Pedestal, to Malta. (Geoff was a Flt. Lt. during “Operation Pedestal”) He returned to the UK as a test pilot for Gloster Aircraft and finished the war as a Pilot Attack Instructor. Geoff was credited with three destroyed, four probables and several damaged and was awarded the DFC in July 1941.
Geoff’s best-selling book “First Light”, recalling his wartime flying career, has sold more than half a million copies and has made him a household name.
The other foreword is supplied by Wing Commander Tom "Ginger" Neil DFC & Bar, AFC, AE, who scored a total of 14 kills during the Battle of Britain and concluded a highly-distinguished 26-year career in the RAF in 1964. Neil took part in the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain in which he took to the skies in the largest formation of Spitfires and Hurricanes seen in Britain since the Second World War.
Philip is extremely proud that these two truly great aviators enjoy his work and have sung his praises in their forewords ... the very last survivors of The Few.
Risks and challenges
A high-quality printer is lined up and we are very experienced in all aspects of book production, so there should be no risk involved in producing the project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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