Phil Hadley


I am a Shropshire based artist specializing in aviation and landscape art.

From a young age I was passionate about art, and growing up, I always seemed to be drawing pictures of aeroplanes. With this went an enjoyment for making plastic model aircraft. These combined hobbies led me to have, throughout my teenage years, a burning ambition to become a fast jet pilot in the RAF.

When, for various reasons this was not to be, I turned to Art and Design, studying Technical Graphics at what was then Birmingham Polytechnic – following A Levels and a Foundation year at Bournville School of Art.

After leaving B’ham Poly I became a technical illustrator with Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm (a member of the European Airbus consortium) in Hamburg and worked on various aircraft including the early models of the Airbus and MBB Bo105 helicopter.

Returning to the UK, I moved from the aircraft industry across to retail and quickly started specialising in Retail Design and shopfitting project management, working initially with Allied Carpets and latterly the Beatties Department store group.

In 2005, I became self-employed and, whilst still working for various retail clients, I held a desire to rekindle my abilities and love for illustration and painting.

I draw inspiration from the beautiful countryside of Shropshire (where I now live) and this is reflected in my landscape paintings.

Continuing my passion for drawing and painting aviation subjects, I joined the Guild of Aviation Artists in 2015 and became the Guild’s Midland Region Organiser in 2017.

In 2019, I was elected an Associate Member of the Guild followed by promotion to Full Member in early 2023. Since 2017 I have exhibited regularly in the annual ‘Aviation Paintings of the Year’ exhibitions, held on-line and at the Mall Galleries in London and more recently at IWM Duxford.

In 2021, I was elected Chair of Shropshire Art Society where my work also appears in the Society’s twice annual exhibitions.

In 2022, my mixed media study of a de Haviland Chipmunk, entitled ‘Start of Lessons’, was awarded the Light Aircraft Trophy and in 2023 my drawing ‘Outside Classroom No1’, featuring a Jaguar at RAF Cosford, won the John Blake Memorial Award for best drawing in the Annual Exhibition.

My work features in collections held by the Royal Air Force and also in private collections, both in the United States and several countries throughout Europe.