The Beach is where Sally West loves to paint en plein air. From Bondi, Maroubra and Terrigal to Blueys and Lizzie Beach she regularly sets up her easel on location to create aerial impasto paintings of the coastal surf and sand view. Freshwater beach has been a special place for her to paint over the years as it has a rich surfing history and it is a location close to her family. It is a beautiful iconic Australian beach on the East Coast of New South Wales. Located on the Sydney coast. It offers surfers great waves for surfing and a blanket of white sands along the shore for sun loving Sydneysiders.
Freshwater Beach is referred to as “Freshy” by its beloved locals. Historically, Freshy is a significant location for surfers and the culture of surfing here in Australia. It is where Hawaiian ‘Duke’ Kahanamoku famously carved a surfboard from local timber and then demonstrated surfing for an enthralled crowd in 1915. This event signaled the beginning of surf culture in Australia. There is a life-size statue of Duke Kahanamoku on the northern headland of Freshwater Beach to commemorate this historic event too. It makes the perfect location for a coast loving artist to paint the surfing subject!
Most recently, Sally has been exploring various other Sydney beaches instead of Freshwater Beach so I am pleased to have this rare painting from 2022 available now from my KAB Gallery Terrigal located at Crowne Plaza Terrigal.
She created this piece in the tradition of “en plein air” high up on a rock platform where she had perfect aerial perspective to paint the beach while overlooking the surfers and swimmers. She fondly refers to this particular viewpoint as her “hot-rock” as it’s best to visit on sweltering summer days when the water is blue and there are lots of beachgoers to paint. Sally says “I love painting the view, it’s constantly changing and I keep coming back here”.
The painting composition is distinctly surf and sand. The platform from where she paints at Freshwater Beach is at the northern end of the beach so she looks down with the surf on the left side with the sandy shoreline and SLSC flags on the right. Her palette knife strokes are directed by what she sees so it is fascinating to look closely at the artwork to notice how she has captured the water currents and and the positioning of the surfers in the waves and swimmers enjoying the day. Her ala prima layering shows the various water depths topped with goopy blobs of crisp white to represent the waves. This heavily applied white oil paint really completes the piece. A top layer of luxe Windsor & Newton white paint represents the waves breaking on a beach, pushing water towards the shoreline.
When you visit my gallery in person, take note of Sally’s larger water studies on exhibition. When looking, admire the way she has used the colour and strokes to show how the water reaches the shore and finds a way back out to sea flowing downwards into deeper channels in the surf zone. These representations appear somewhat abstract up close but when standing slightly back away from the works, the water paths become impressively clear.
This popular series has been celebrated across various social media platforms attracting international attention from the worlds top interior designers. Sally’s work has become the must-have item for any contemporary interior. You can purchase Sally West’s beach paintings online here at www.KABGallery.com, and the KAB Gallery team will package and send your artwork with the most delicate care. There are easy domestic and international shipping options at the online checkout or alternatively call the Gallery on 1300 78 7773 (from within Australia) or +612 4384 7813 (from overseas) for further information.
Sally West is a major Australian and International prize winning artist. 2022 was another great year of wins for Sally West, with commendations and finalist positions in almost every competition she entered. She is an Australian treasure who is internationally collected.