Day McKillip Biography and Works - Ross's Auctioneers & Valuers

(Mary) Day McKillip, born 28 Nov 1876, was the third child of Welsh parents Richard and Helen Griffiths. She was born in Chelsea and grew up in Ealing, London.

She studied art at South Kensington Art School, which became the Royal College of Art in 1896, around the time she graduated. She was taught life drawing by Borough Johnson and went on to set up a studio in London painting children and adults.  She went on sketching holidays with Bertram Priestman.

In 1907, Day married an Ulsterman, John McKillip, who built a lovely house for her with a large studio in Derry.  She exhibited at the Royal Academy (Blakney Key 1910, and March Sunlight in 1934) and in Belfast.  She loved the scenery of Ireland and the shapes of trees.

Though a skilled watercolorist she found it easier in the open to catch the changing lights with French pastels.  She might then paint an oil in her studio.

She was able to continue sketching into her 80s. (Died in Derry 26 August 1960).

The photographs below show her as a teenager, sketching outdoors, and in her studio in London. The fourth photograph is of an exhibition of her work in Austins Department store in Derry.

Her birth certificate lists her father’s occupation as Gentleman!