It was a heady start for a young girl’s professional career. Commissioned by Colin Haycraft, proprietor of Duckworth publishers, to illustrate a book written by Charlie Chaplin’s daughter-in-law Patrice, at the age of twenty-two, Pip found herself at a desk in the famous “Old Piano Factory” flanked by Lord Deedes and Beryl Bainbridge.
And it didn’t slow down. Pip went on to illustrate for IPC, The Times Atlas and the Sunday Times Wine Club, Mitchell Beazley, Blackies and Heinemann. She was also commissioned to work as a commercial illustrator for the British Museum, Lucas, ICI, Pedigree Pet Foods, Vitalin and many more.
Whilst all of this was going on she found the time to bring up two children, to paint incredibly detailed miniature pictures of birds and animals on eggshells which she sold to Fortnum and Mason, to create several murals in the more fashionable homes of Kensington and Notting Hill and even to put her hand to decorating furniture for the Canadian market in faux Chinese style lacquer.
When she decided to put her mind to fine art and painting in oils, she joined Prue Pardue’s C20 (now C21) group in Oxford and brought all this extraordinary experience to bear on her work. Influenced by artists like Lowry and Hopper, (with whom she shares a birthday) she now takes commissions to paint stately homes such as Blenheim Palace, Highclere Castle and Stonor Park, and whilst working more for herself she paints industrial sites, as well as more domestic images, sometimes verging on the abstract, and instilled with the same lonely beauty found in the pictures of the American 20th century painters.
Recently her pictures of buildings used in the filming of Downton Abbey have made her well known to fans and others worldwide.