On Wings and a Prayer
by William S. Phillips
Framed ANNIVERSARY EDITION CANVAS
Limited Edition of: 125
Image Size: 30"w x 20"h.
Approx. Framed size: 35" x 25"
It is the summer of 1940. A woman rides her bike through the English country-side. Dawn has broken and the land begins to stir with the sound of birds and farm animals. But this summer the wind carries another sound as well, that of warplanes rising into amber skies.
This is the summer of the Battle of Britain and the inhabitants of this small island nation struggle for their very way of life against a menacing foe amassed along the eastern coast of Europe.
The woman stops, gazes upward and offers a silent prayer, as Spitfires from 92 Squadron roar skyward to search out and destroy the encroaching fighters and bombers of Hitler's Luftwaffe.
During the Battle of Britain there were three groups equipped with Spitfires. They were #11 Group in the south, #10 Group in the west and #5 Group in the northeast. They were all three flying mainly Spitfire MK IIs.
What sets a Phillips work of aviation art apart from others is his prowess as a landscape artist. This Anniversary Fine Art Edition Canvas captures all the vivid color and brilliance of the original William S. Phillips work of art. At 30" x 20" this exclusive release of "On Wings as a Prayer" matches the size of the original painting and is 35% larger than the paper print released in 1999. This is one of Phillips’ most revered and sought-after works of art and a prize for the collection of any true aviation enthusiast.
William S. Phillips
Phillips grew up loving art but never thought he could make it his livelihood. At college he majored in criminology and had been accepted into law school when four of his paintings were sold at an airport restaurant. That was all the incentive he needed to begin his work as a fine art painter. Bill Phillips is now a renowned aviation artist and the landscape artist of choice for many collectors. Bill's strengths as a landscape painter, a respect and reverence for a time and place, help him when painting aviation as well as classic landscapes. Phillips often spends days observing landscape subjects. Finding companionship with the land, he is able to convey the boundlessness of nature on the painted canvas inspiring a reverence for the natural landscape in its beholders. After one of his paintings was presented to King Hussein of Jordan, Phillips was commissioned by the Royal Jordanian Air Force. He developed sixteen major paintings, many of which now hang in the Royal Jordanian Air Force Museum in Amman. The Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum presented a one-man show of Phillips’ work in 1986. He is one of only a few artists to have been so honored. In 1988, Phillips was chosen to be a U.S. Navy combat artist. For his outstanding work, the artist was awarded the Navy’s Meritorious Public Service Award and the Air Force Sergeants Association’s Americanism Medal. At the prestigious annual fund raiser for the National Park Service, Bill’s work has been included in the Top 100 each year he has entered the competition and his work has won the Art History Award twice. Phillips was selected as the Fall 2004 Artist in Residence at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and tapped by the U.S. Postal Service to paint the stamp illustrations and header design for a pane of twenty stamps in 1997 entitled Classic American Aircraft. He was chosen again in 2005 for a pane of twenty stamps (ten designs) entitled American Advances in Aviation. Bill’s major collection of aviation art, Into the Sunlit Splendor, was published by The Greenwich Workshop Press in 2005.