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Phil Capon - Painter

It was all rather clandestine.

We met in The Chocolate Apothecary and sat on high seats, below towering dark shelves boasting dusty Chinese tea caddies and Victorian Phrenology heads. Here we drank strong coffee, swopped stories and finally I exchanged a terracotta Grecian Goddess head for a large boxed package that was almost too big to carry.

Was this some strange scene from a turn of the century novel?

No, it was me meeting my dear former neighbour and artist friend, Phil Capon who moved away from the island in early 2020.

Two years on, he’d met me to hand over one of his clever, beautiful acrylic paintings for the Bopha Art Auction, while I, in a funny twist of exchange, was returning the Grecian Goddess head that he’d accidentally left behind when he moved away.

Phil is one of those creative people whose talent and vision bubbles up and out, wherever he is placed.

Back in the day, he studied art at Portsmouth College of Arts under such luminaries as David Hockney and Joseph Losey and then, after leaving, he took up a career as an Art Director for several leading London Advertising Agencies. Phil eventually became a partner and Creative Director of his own agency, during which time he won numerous awards for his work and commissioned many leading photographers, artists and film directors such as Terry Donovan, Bob Carlos Clarke, Chloe Cheese and Hugh Hudson.

He and his equally talented wife Debbie, then departed the UK to set up a successful holiday business in France, until eventually moving to the Isle of Wight.

It was at this time that I met Phil and witnessed his creativity now erupting through sketch pads and watercolours, then still-life acrylic paintings.

“My artwork is figurative and realistic and I like to put little twists in, but not always,” Phil tells me. “I just paint for the joy of painting really. I can’t do abstract because I’m not that clever, so most of my paintings are fairly realistic.

What you see is what you get. I enjoy adding a bit of playfulness.

Recently, I’ve gone on to doing more animal themed work at the moment and slightly moved away from the still life, which I enjoy.

I’ve always got something on the go. If not there’s something in my head.

My ideas can come from anywhere. I like to have a concept about what I want to do or I will just start painting something realistic and enjoy the process until an idea comes along.

Sometimes I like to start with a name

For example, the name “Party Animal” became my sheep painting.

And “Chewing the Cud” became this!

There’s a comedy streak -and it’s tongue in cheek. I don’t take myself too seriously. I like to have fun.”

“What advise would you give to a beginning artist … or someone who wants to reignite their creativity?” I asked.

Phil sipped his coffee.

“I’d say, don’t feel embarrassed about putting a mark on a bit of paper. The moment you put a mark on paper you’re open to critics. But those who criticise often haven’t painted - or even dared to paint. Don’t hold back. Enjoy yourself. Be confident and don’t worry about being criticised. Go for it and enjoy it.”

Phil has very kindly donated his painting “White Lightening” to the Bopha Art Auction. I carried it home in its box and when I was safely back, opened it up to look.

Here it is.… …… …

White Lightening

Dimensions: 60 x 80 cm / Unframed

If you would like to own this gorgeous acrylic on canvas by the talented Phil Capon, you can make a bid for it at the Bopha School of Art Auction. Email Bethan at for details.

To see more of Phil’s brilliantly creative pieces, check out his Instagram here.

PS. If you’re wondering if the terracotta Grecian Goddess return to Phil and Debbie’s house in the way that White Lightening came to mine?

Yes she did.

Here she is, back with her original owners.

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