Kandis Vermeer Phillips studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and Texas Tech University. She was awarded a grant in 2005 from the American Society of Botanical Artists to support her research in the materials and techniques of manuscript painting. In 2006, she had the opportunity to continue her studies on manuscript painting with Cheryl Porter, an internationally recognized researcher and lecturer on medieval conservationat Johns Hopkins University. She was awarded the Don and Virginia Eckelberry Fellowship in 2010 to continue her study of birds in medieval manuscripts. Phillips has also produced entomological illustrations for a variety of scientific publications.
In addition to teaching drawing courses for The Smithsonian Associates, she is an instructor in botanical illumination at the Brookside Gardens School of Botanical Art and Illustration. She regularly exhibits her botanical art in the Washington area, and has received many awards in local and national art shows. Her works are included in public and private collections, including Hillwood Estate and Museum and the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation.