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About Sally Trueman


A chance encounter between the Royal portrait painter, John Hughes-Hallett and the painter Sally Trueman began a friendship that was to span two decades. Greatly influenced by her mentor, Sally’s early work focussed on portraiture, she moved to France to paint such sports personalities as Zinedine Zidane and Sébastien Deleigne, donating all the profit to UNICEF, the children’s charity.

Whilst living in the South of France she was commissioned to do a series of eight large canvases depicting the landscape and colour of the region, these paintings now hang in a private museum in New York.

Fifteen years in France had a profound influence on her working style and her palette. Her paintings have a deep luminosity and the texture of the paint has an almost sculptured feeling.

Sally has had her painting published in a number of magazines and books including, International Artists, Pastel Artist, Artists and Illustrator, Practique des Arts and The Neurobiology of Painting by F. Clifford Rose.

(Sally Trueman holds the copyright for all John Hughes-Hallett's paintings, except those residing in Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Prince of Wales Art Collections.)


Artist's statement


"I have always lived near the sea. As a child, I felt a strong affinity with the sea and would spend many carefree holidays painting or fishing.

My source of inspiration has generally been the sea and the sky with its shifting patterns of light.

I own a beach hut, which serves as an onsite studio. There is always the movement of the waves and the noise of the gulls. The hut is a welcome escape from the constant rush of daily life.

For me, inspiration does not start with an idea but with an “experience”, for example, watching the sea being whipped up by the wind with rolling waves and the sky with the light streaming through clouds on an expansive sweep of sea. Hence, all my paintings are the results of personal experiences. I feel you have to be familiar with a location before you can start to paint it. Painting should be intuitive as well as accurately observed.

I prefer not to have figures in my paintings, generally, any hint of human habitation comes only from the shape of a boat, pier, or an occasional dog, rather than the shape of the human figure. Whatever reorganisation the subject undergoes in the process of my painting, something of the colours and forms that I initially saw, will appear as permanent residues on my canvas.

My starting point is simple. I just pack up my art materials and sketchbooks and set out early for my beach hut. I usually catch the first light before daybreak, even in the rain and wind. Before I start work, I always boil up a cup of tea. Drawings, paintings and written notes are created on site. I love the dramatic lighting, the rapid changing contrast and colours in extreme weather conditions.

Each painting starts with something that resonates, perhaps a glimpse of the play of light as a wave breaks the shore. By working on several pieces simultaneously, a series is created exploring a common theme.

My goal is to create paintings which capture both the essence of my chosen subject and me. Over the years, I have chosen to work with a limited palette, this creates harmony and a sense of continuity, within the painting. Painting is not about having an idea but rather being able to express it in paint and my painting is an expression of spontaneity and emotion.” Sally Trueman