Philip Maxwell was born in Christchurch and started painting when he was at high school. He completed a Diploma in Graphic Design in Auckland and then practiced as a sign writer, all the while painting. In 1999 Maxwell moved to Port Chalmers, Dunedin, where he set up his own gallery/studio and became a full-time artist.
Philip still lives and paints in Port Chalmers and the local Dunedin landscape has been a major subject in his paintings, especially those around Koputai (Port Chalmers) and looking towards Taiaroa Heads on the Otago Peninsula.
Gallery De Novo represents Maxwell's work throughout New Zealand. His paintings are executed to an incredibly high standard and he is an absolute perfectionist in his practise. His choice of subjects range from landscape and still life to large scale studies of boats. The colour palate is unique and the rendering of the brushstrokes have a softness and beauty to them which make the demand for Maxwell's paintings a clear indication of the huge talent of this local artist.
Maxwell’s paintings hang in the collections of Greenlane Hospital, Auckland and also in the Dunedin Public Hospital. He has sold works to private collectors throughout New Zealand and also to Australia, Canada, England and Scotland.
“I feel it is important for me to base my work around where I live and how I feel about a particular place… a lot of my work has been based on my immediate surroundings; it’s very local. It’s something I have always done; I guess I’m exploring a sense of place, this place, the place where I am living. My work is becoming more and more about a deliberately realised reality that is more visual than factual.” Philip Maxwell