Sally Davis - in her own words

By Gillian Valladares Castellino

"I have been painting and drawing on and off since I was a young child; I spent many nights escaping the pain of my parents divorce by sitting with books by artists such as Tom Roberts and later, Norman Lindsay; I'd use ink and charcoal and copy Lindsay's humorous cats and his romantic female figures. I also entered a number of competitions and won.

Later, I applied for RMIT fine art and I was accepted twice into the course and instead, I completed a drama and media course and later, painting and drawing at RMIT. For many years, my practise in painting and drawing was completed via casual classes and workshops but as a vocation, it lay dormant for a decade. During my 20's I felt compelled to study the Stanislavski style of acting with a number of vibrant teachers from North America and Europe; this learning opened up personal learning , and opportunities to perform in Fringe theatre, student films and television bit parts. My drama and literature study required a deep analysis of plays and films, and I fell in love with Shakespeare and Sam Shephards' works, and good film narrative. My literature studies led to a fascination of Carl Jung's analysis of archetypal psychology and Joseph Campbell's perspective on world mythologies and stories and how these inform art and film narration. I illustrated some images using archetypal images and I wrote two screenplays based on the Persephone and Hero's myths; completing a Masters in Creative Media and currently looking into to produce these.

Over the last few years I have become a mother to a beautiful boy and thrown myself back into the visual arts and illustrate stories about nature and the joy of children; the creative process of is like a relaxing meditation to me and keeps me peaceful and creatively fulfilled. I am always keen to learn new techniques and I have done this through impressionism painting classes, portrait and life drawing workshops with professional artists, and working on my craft at home. This year I have had a number of commissions for my portraits and others wanting to purchase some of my paintings. I am passionate about oil painting and enjoy capturing the essence of a person or child, nature, landscapes and a child or person with a beautiful landscape. I also love mixing colour and exploring light within and image, and sometimes leaving parts a little unfinished or impressionistic. My drawings have a realistic approach to but I love can be created with line and shadow, and again, I love to leave parts of the drawing a little unfinished. My main influences are Monet, Degas, Renoir, Brett Whitely, Norman Lindsay and Donald Friend. Locally, Claude Cicconie, Helen Wells and Agata Lelek. In the future I want to continue my art and explore realistic subjects and perhaps archetypal / more mythological based subjects. I plan to do some bigger portraits that really enhance the subject's character and tells a story.

In the future I am exploring both realistic subjects and then more archetypal / mythological based subjects. I am currently finishing an impressionistic painting: My son in my father’s lush garden, and two portraits: My husband on an antique motorbike and My stepfather sitting in a garden with his Thunderbirds are Go glasses. I am also in the process of building a home art studio in the Dandenong Ranges in readiness for Open Studios – May 2010.

To commission a portrait, please call 03 97525129 or 0414 914682. Prices start at $150 for an unframed conte charcoal drawing."


  1. It may appear that I am merely paying lip-service to all your works of art, but no, I truly appreciate, more than your talent, the circumstances that you have overcome in order to allow your talents to flow out of you. You artists have confirmed what I have also experienced: it is when we learn to give the best of ourselves to the world that we are almost entirely relieved of our own personal pain and sufferings. Keep it up and good luck. Love, Joan.

  2. Thanks Joan. How are you going with your collages? Maybe we should aim to do a family art exhibition across the different continents. Not sure how we can do it at this stage, but it is worth researching...


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