Olivia Pilling
Olivia Pilling signing her Art Chess sets

Olivia Pilling is a Northern England-based artist working with acrylic, brush and resin. She graduated from Nottingham Trent with a BA in Fine Art; and has had significant exhibitions at centres of art in London, Lancashire and Cheshire. Her work has been included in our major exhibition at the World Chess Hall of Fame.

Olivia Pilling has always found inspiration in her surroundings. As someone who was growing up in farmhouse in rural North West England, initially her subjects were the landscapes with their rolling hills, valleys, which she had lived and breathed since she was a child.

She is currently living in Manchester and, as a result, has found that her painting has changed. The scenes she paints now reflect the bustle and noise of this Northern, cosmopolitan metropolis.  Another development in her work is that not only the physical surroundings are described, but her focus is on the narrative.

Olivia Pilling Art Chess Gold v Grey
Olivia Pilling Art Chess ‘Gold v Grey’
Hand painted chess set by Olivia Pilling in play
Olivia Pilling Art Chess ‘Blue v Black’
Art Chess Gold v Grey by Olivia Pilling
Olivia Pilling Art Chess ‘Gold v Grey’

I used strong compulsive separate brushstrokes, to build layers of saturated rich colour on the surface of the Chess pieces with little blending of the paint. I find inspiration in Russian Folk art with its stylized look, strong colour, pronounced use of black and repetitive patterned detail. The resin coating was used to encapsulate the colour of the surface giving the pieces a jewel-like, glistening quality. I wanted them to look precious, like individual pieces of treasure.

Olivia Pilling

Olivia Pilling Art Chess at Painted Pieces exhibition photo credit World Chess Hall of Fame
Olivia Pilling Art Chess at Painted Pieces exhibition
(Photo credit World Chess Hall of Fame)
gold and silver chess set
Art Chess by Olivia Pilling on display at Harrods

She is an artist drawn to colour, shape and form, often demonstrating in her work the influence of Derain, Vlaminck and Matisse and the 20th century Fauvist painters. Olivia Pilling handles paint in a manner which is lively, free and loose. Direct strokes of rich reds and cool blues and acid greens are at times tamed by bold uses of black and dark violet.  She considers each brushstroke as an impulse or response resulting from the brushstroke that has gone before it. 

This process is raw, organic and leads to exciting and dynamic impressions of landscapes and still lifes. She adopts the same process for painting her chess sets for Purling London and continues to be one of our most popular and long-standing artistic collaborator.

For more information about Olivia Pilling visit: www.oliviapilling.co.uk

Olivia Pilling Art Chess Purple v Blue
Olivia Pilling Art Chess ‘Purple v Blue’

We are delighted to be able to offer a bespoke service for our Art games. If you would like to enquire further about commissioning Olivia Pilling to create a unique hand-painted Art Chess, Backgammon or Checkers set specially for you, please get in touch via our Contact Form below.

Olivia Pilling Art Chess in luxury department store
La Rinascente department store, Milan displaying Art Chess by Olivia Pilling
Manchester House by Olivia Pilling (extract)
‘Manchester House’ by Olivia Pilling (extract)
Gold and silver chess knight ornaments
Olivia Pilling Art Chess Ornaments