Philippa Dow studied printmaking and calligraphy at Colchester School of Art and Central St.Martin’s, London.
She has also studied calligraphy privately with Gaynor Goffe and Sue Hufton, and with Ewan Clayton at Japan Letter Arts Forum, Kyoto.
Her paintings are of gardens and landscapes with an unusual mixture of figurative and abstract forms, often in watercolour on huge sheets of paper using pure, clean colours. Her technique employs handcrafted quills and natural inks, sourcing papers from English and Japanese mills.
More recently, her work has explored suminagashi and ebru (paper marbling), using hand-ground sumi inks and carrageenan algae. She has also started to incorporate calligraphic lettering into her abstract artistic compositions, searching for unity of expression of form and text.
Recent commissions include a large mural for a pool house, a calligraphed wall, a commemorative headstone, garden planting schemes, calligraphed poems for New Ventures West U.S.A., calligraphy for the National Trust, and Books of Remembrance for various churches, in addition to numerous paintings and calligraphy for private clients. She has collaborated with poet Lesley Saunders and writer Ronald Blythe.
Works hanging in public spaces include at New Hall Collection of Women’s Art (Murray Edward’s College, Cambridge), Colchester Town Hall and Osaka University, Japan. The restaurant Church St Tavern in Colchester has extensive retrospective collection of her work, and collaborates frequently at the Pimlott Foundation, exploring the relationship between art and music. She has taught at the Colchester School of Art, Clacton School Art and the Flatford Field Study Centre.
Copper Jug with Honesty Seeds, a large watercolour, was the winner of the Neil D’Arcy Jones prize at the Colchester Art Society’s Open Exhibition in 2010 and her pool house mural won a Suffolk Association of Architects Craftsmanship Award.