About – Philip Copestake


Born in 1961, I was brought up in the south east of England until 1980, when I left to study at the University of Edinburgh. I spent five years in Edinburgh, as a student and then working, before returning south. First to north London, and then south of the river to SW20.

Much of my spare time in Edinburgh was spent strolling around the many wonderful galleries, the Gallery of Modern Art, then in its Botanic Gardens location, and the Fruitmarket Gallery, near to Waverley station – being two particular favourites. This ignited my passion for the visual arts, particularly of the twentieth century to modern day.

Although I have had no formal art education, I began seriously to take to drawing and painting myself in my thirties. Perhaps somewhat obsessively self taught, over the years I have nevertheless had input and insight from a wide range of artists and teachers through attending courses and classes at or with: Wimbledon College of Art, The Slade, Heatherley’s School of Fine Art, Central Saint Martins, St Ives School of Painting, Edinburgh Printmakers, Leicester Print Workshop, CityLit, SCOLA, London Drawing, and Fielders of Wimbledon. My teacher, Sheila Baker’s creative Touchstone course encouraged me to just start. Start I did. And start over again, and again. In June 2014 I took on the lease of my first art studio at Lombard Road Studios in Wimbledon, South-West London, run by ACAVA.

Exploration of the creative process continues to inspire, elate and challenge in equal measure. There never seems to be enough hours in the day, or days in the year, to truly satisfy and learn.


I am constantly fascinated by the creative process, and in particular the notion of ‘mark-making’, how visual marks, both intuitively and precisely placed, are interpreted and can frequently initiate a deeply emotional response.

Influences are possibly too numerous to mention; any visual art – be it drawing, painting, print-making, graphic design, photography – seems to have the potential to offer up something that can teach and inspire. Those artists that have perhaps been particularly influential are:  Egon Schiele, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, David Hockney, Paul Klee, Marc Chagall, Alberto Giacometti, Henry Moore, Stanley Spencer, Lucian Freud…