"Expressing nature and its environment on canvas is challenging enough but to have the viewer comprehend it is another challenge in itself. Pushing boundaries, making environmental statements, calling to nature, all push my pallet beyond its routine discipline, this my abstract expression."
Sallie-Anne was drawing ever since she can remember, "I always had a pencil in my hand", she recalls. At the age of 14 an opportunity arose for her to travel abroad to the USA where she spent 12 months schooling in Bountiful, Utah. Her art teacher, Roger Cushing, encouraged the young artist with her illustration and advanced her from her sophamore art class into the senior class. At the conclusion of that year she won an art scholarship to the University of Utah but with a one year study visa and only 15 years old she returned to Australia where she began work as a Junior Graphic Designer for All Graphics Pty Ltd. Her employer paid for her tuition in Graphic Design and she completed her diploma at night school while still working as a full time designer.
The artist married in 1981 and had 2 children but continued to work as a Graphic Designer. The young family moved to country, Victoria where the artist met, Gwen Dunn, an oil painter who had studied at the Heidelberg School, (an Australian art movement of the late 19th century), established by the National Gallery of Australia and the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery. "Gwen was amazing, a fabulous artist and teacher, I felt very priviledged to be one of her 8 students. She has without a doubt, been the biggest influence on me as an artist, she was so inspiring".
Sallie-Anne moved back to the city in 1989 and divorced shortly after in 1990. She started her own Design Studio in 1997 and juggled life as a single mum while running a successful design studio. Her business soon became a preferred supplier for Myer/Grace Bro (similar to the size of Macy's), GE Finance, Motorola and a string of well known restaurant franchises. She continued to paint when ever the opportunity arose in her busy lifestyle, "they were tough but rewarding years" she says.
She met her husband, John in 2005 and in 2008 they moved to California for Johns business. They married in 2010 and have now made their home in Long Beach, California. "Regular visits from our children are a must", she says, "we are either flying to Australia to see them or they are coming to visit us".
"Moving to the USA has given me more time to concentrate on my painting and less time working as a Graphic Designer. I am in a good place in my life right now and I am loving being able to dedicate more time to my art. This gives me a good balance in my day-to-day life and ensures I can still afford my art and coffee supplies."
With a keen awareness of her environment, her great love of nature, wildlife and music, she expresses herself on canvas using an interesting approach with acrylic and clever use of other mixed mediums giving a fresh approach to her contemporary abstract art that highlights and reflects our ever changing environment, nature and wildlife.
She has exhibited in Art Galleries throughout Melbourne, Australia and acquired commissions for her paintings both Australia wide and Internationally. She feels her greatest achievement was in 2001 when The Equestrian Federation of Australia commissioned the artist to do an oil painting of world cup dressage winner, “Kyra Kirkland” which was presented to Emirates Airlines, sponsors of the elite “Dressage With The Stars” competition held in Melbourne, Australia each year.
When visiting Australia (2-3 times a year) she gives classes in abstract and texture in Buderim, Queensland. These classes have proven to be very popular with local artists and are always fully booked. "I enjoy sharing my passion with other artists, my classes are full of laughter, fun and new ideas" says the artist.
• Kiwis in LA – Santa Monica Artists Studios - August 11, 2012
• Made in California – City of Brea 2012
• Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Art – 2012
• Pacific Design Center LA - 2012
• The Artists Alley Gallery San Francisco November 2011
• RED DOT MIAMI – November/December 2011
• Huntington Beach Art Center 2011
• Assi Art Gallery. Los Angeles 2011
• Lark Gallery. Long Beach 2011
• Artistic Voyage. Yorba Linda 2011
• Loft Gallery & Studio. San Pedro 2011
• Long Beach Phantom Galleries 2011
• BEST IN SHOW - BOLD BRUSH - June 2012
• 3rd place abstracts - ARTSLANT 2012
• Winner Outstanding Acrylic BOLD BRUSH - Nov 2011
• First Place Contemporary Fine Art International 2011
• Lark Gallery Winner 2011
• Awarded Outstanding Art 2011 - Light, Space & Time Online Art Gallery
• Oil Painters of America
• Contemporary Fine Art International
• Fine Art America
• Laguna Art.com
Painting and drawing at a young age - Sallie-Anne (age 9yrs)