Sally Carlaw  - Contemporary Scottish Colourist
About the Artist

Sally Carlaw  - Contemporary Scottish Colourist.Sally Carlaw was born in Scotland in the city of Glasgow in 1964. She studied drawing and painting at the famous Charles Rennie Mackintosh Glasgow School of Art from 1981 until graduating with a First Class Honours Degree in Fine Art in 1985. She won the J D Kelly prize for the most promising student at the end of first year, was awarded a scholarship to study at the Patrick Allan-Fraser School of Art in Arbroath, Scotland and won a Travelling Scholarship at graduation. A variety of locations have since offered inspiration ­ from China and Nepal to Egypt, New Zealand and parts of Europe.

Her work follows in the vein of the Scottish Colourists, with an emphasis on fine draughtsmanship ­ a tradition that brought the Glasgow School of Art to international recognition. Her vision is inspired by nature, and shows a sensitivity combined with a passionate use and enthusiastic handling of colour.

Over the years she has had a consistent run of successful solo exhibitions in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Malta and has shared with other artists in many other locations. Her paintings have been published as art cards retailing throughout the United Kingdom and three works form a substantial part of a collection of prints from paintings by some of Scotland's finest artists. She has written for Leisure Painter magazine and worked as a painting tutor at the Glasgow School of Art and the Inniemore School of Art on the Isle of Mull, Scotland.

After a successful solo exhibition in Malta's Melitensia Art Gallery, a review by E Fiorentino of the Malta Herald expressed various feelings ­ ‘Her gouaches can be described as pure bursts of well-being ... with a stylish approach that somehow recalls that of the Fauves, particularly Dufy os Derain. There are even instances where Van Gogh could have been at the back of the artist's mind ... In her paintings, land, man-made structures and sea indulge in a rhythmic festive dance, recreating in spirit that voluptuous idyll which Matisse, the leader of the Fauves, had distilled in his Joy of Living'.

Artist's Statement


"Essentially it is nature that inspires me. This fascinating world throws up fleeting moments of beauty which I aspire to capture and somehow freeze the essence of these moments using the ancient yet still intoxicating language of colour. It almost seems to be an intuitive reaction ­ inspiration takes hold and I respond with pigment.

Although the initial subject matter is important in focusing my attention, it also acts as a springboard into the work itself. There comes a point where each painting takes on a personality of its own and commences to dictate each decision, evolving like a conversation.

I like to start loose composing in fluid areas of colour, then attempt to pull these together and convey the subject with an expressive economy of line. Here begins the alchemy and the juggling where decision follows decision until the manipulation is complete and the outcome revealed."

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