KAB Gallery artist Sally West is a 2017 NSW Parliament Plein Air Prize FINALIST.
Sally’s artwork for the NSW Parliament Prize 2017:
The term ‘en plein air’ refers to the practice of painting outdoors, in direct engagement with nature. The annual Plein Air Art Prize is a landscape painting prize. Eligible works are painted ‘en plein air’ depicting a New South Wales subject. It is an acquisitive art prize of $20,000, awarded for the best ‘plein air’ painting of NSW subject. The Parliament of NSW encourages all artists to enter this landscape painting prize, with finalists and semi-finalists exhibited at the Parliament of NSW, Sydney in October 2017.
I asked Sally West about the work and she described the painting conditions at perfect!
She explained “It was perfect. A sunny Sydney Winter’s day. No wind. I couldn’t have scripted it better. Got the rock star park right where I needed to set up. Hardly anyone around. I had intended to go there to paint the harbour. I always feel anxious about the Opera House, such an icon. I had done a couple of 9×5 inch works from Bradleys Head and had been studying it also from Balls Head. I was relaxed and went with it. It’s a complex structure to minimise down to a few strokes but I’m happy with this piece.”
Sally West is a traditional en plein air painter and only paints from life. She travels to the best locations/viewpoints and – depending on the weather, light and distance from the subject – her artworks perfectly capture her experience. Plein air painting is a world wide artist tradition but in an Australian context the Impressionists of the late 19th century were especially famous for the practise. Artists such as Arthur Streeton and Tom Roberts were devoted to painting outdoors, and they collectively brought a new understanding of Australian light and landscape to the public through their work. It is these creatives of the past that inspire Sally West as she creates art for contemporary audiences to enjoy.
Her most recent (and memorable) series of plein air work was created in the Victorian snowfields. This exciting body of work will be exhibited exclusively at KAB Gallery alongside her world famous Beach Series from November 4th in her Solo Exhibition: Surf & Snow. Register your email here to receive a copy of the pre-purchasing catalogue on November 1.
Sally regularly visits Freshwater Beach during the summer months to create her aerial paintings of swimmers and surfers. These paintings are treasured worldwide (See available beach paintings here).