My name is Melanie Phillips and I am one half of our pet portraits business. Nicholas and I met at college and after spending a few years doing a variety of illustration jobs with London based publishers. We decided we wanted to set up on our own..and here we are today. Every business is unique and I don't think we know a husband and wife pet portrait artist team quite like us! It has taken a lot of time and effort to become successful in what we do and we are very proud of our achievements.
We moved into our cottage in the heart of the rural countryside in wales nearly 8 years ago and love it here. If you would like to see where I grew up along with life on the farm, check out my small holding page. We have a fairly large garden, just under a third of an acre to play with and this enables me to have chickens and grow vegetables and flowers. My garden is my haven and it's great to escape the bustle of our pet portraits studio for some tranquil peace, just to hear the birds singing and the distant sound of a tractor. Heavenly.
I love to grow cottage varieties of flowers and foxgloves have always been a part of my garden even from childhood, They grew in the hedgerow where I grew up. I did a project on them at college so they feature heavily in my garden today. They grow strong and tall, far taller than myself and the bees love them. They self seed which is wonderful and its always a pleasant surprise to see them popping up here and there.
My other love is photography. We have a good DSLR camera for work so I try to take photos of my flowers, bees, insects, butterflies, birds - anything that I can find in our garden. I love to take macro shots too, fascinating to see things closer than you can with the naked eye. You can see more photos on our garden page particularly the butterfly shots on the Buddleia, these are one of the best plants we added to our garden to attract the wildlife.
I just love it when it snows and am out early in the first snowfall before any cars and footprints get there. We both love walking in the snow and this is our sadly passed dog Tom and I in December 2010 just along the lane from our cottage.
Taking time out of our busy schedule is so important and we love traveling and plan to do a lot more in the coming years, there are so many places I would love to go. We enjoy watching wildlife and Wales is a great place for this, the photo above right is us taking a day off on the coast of Wales in Cardigan Bay, the photo above left was taken on the south coast of Cornwall near Nick's family home. Its a beautiful place very similar to Wales and we try to visit a few times a year.
I love to cook too. I like to know where all the produce is from particularly the meat which we purchase from our local farm butchers - like to know the animals have been raised well. I don't tolerate processed foods, so cooking everything from scratch over the years has been bourne out of necessity. I adore cookery books and prefer to sit and read a Hugh Fernnly Whittingstall over a novel any day! I hope that you feel you have got to know me a little better and have enjoyed the photos on this page. Don't hesitate to email me at any time - love to hear from you : )