When I first saw Australian artist Sally West’s paintings at the Artery NYC Gallery, I was, of course, immediately drawn to her aerial beach scenes. Her wonderfully muted palette and thick, textural paint application technique really struck me. West is a master of subtle geometry, indicating people and surf and boards and waves with only the barest of details, but when you step back, you discover she’s created a whole, beautiful world. Like all great abstractionists, she instinctively knows just how much to give us so our brains do the rest. I would love to have that ability. It seems almost like a magic trick.
Though her art career got a humble start at the Eastern Suburbs Evening College in Waverley Woolahra, which she attended while working as a legal secretary, West went on to win hundreds of prizes, eleven this year alone. Looking at her work, it’s immediately apparent to me why. I’m amazed she isn’t better known in the U.S.
All images property of Sally West.