Warren Salter

Warren Salter Journey to Prague Oil and Acrylic on Canvas 150 x 200 cm

Warren Salter Beyond the Veil 170 x 150 cm

 

About the Artist

“I remember drawing and painting constantly from as early as four years of age,.. when out and about with my parents something would draw my attention.. a tree, a scene, an object, anything..  I would return home and immediately  draw or  paint it.  I will always recall whenever seeing a great  painting,  inspired..  I would go straight to my paints and try to recreate it from memory.

Born in the small rural town of Smithton Tasmania, we moved around the state a lot.. my father a mechanic with an adventurous spirit was always looking for interesting places to work and we finally settled in the Derwent Valley not far from Hobart in the south of Tasmania.
My preoccupation with art drew the attention of my teachers and I was given a lot of support and encouragement to keep going,  I’ll never forget my year six teacher  Mrs Donald, a formidable woman who moved heaven and earth for me,   she would bring old roller blinds to school for me to use as canvases and created a specific timetable that enabled me to paint more.  I consider those  early years as extremely  formative  in giving   me an intimate relationship with paint and colour.   In the annual art awards I achieved  first place in every year of my ten years of primary and high school.   I tasted some early commercial success in high school years drawing cars and motorbikes by night, selling them to fellow students by day for lunch money,  discarding lovingly made sandwiches for tuck shop delights,  going  on to commission paintings of  lanscapes for parents of  fellow students.  A significant mentor and support at high school was my art teacher, Norm Scarlett..  he had enormous faith in me and  thanks to him I acquired a key to the art block where I would work away my lunch breaks and spare lessons.

It took a long time to see how crucial a role  these people played in my life and how they saw something in me,  when I finally  got around to thanking them they had long since passed,   Rest in peace  Mrs Donald  and  Norm Scarlett.

Two years of  college under the guidance of renowned artist Geoff Dyer  found much inspiration,   taking  select students interstate  to view works in national galleries like  Picasso,  Monet,  Dali, Streeton, Boyd etc…all of  which had a major influence on me. Leaving school behind I travelled considerably  working in many and varied jobs eventually completing an apprenticeship in signmaking and graphic design,  it was probably a ‘ safe  way to remain somewhat artistic whilst maintaining a secure income unlike the uncertainty of  being a full time artist.  Once qualified I ran my own sign factory for ten years or so,   in hindsight it was this career with its demand for large scale pictorials and signage that gave me a love and confidence for rendering large canvases as well as solid design and brush skills.

I married and moved to Noosa  in  Queensland,  at once I was struck by its natural beauty and enchanting moods,  seeing a vibrant community of artisans working within and utterly inspired by the lifestyle here,  I quickly surrendered to my deepest desire to simply paint,   making a career transition over a two year period,  securing relationships with several galleries in Queensland and interstate while experimenting with different ideas to find what worked best in my market.    Over time and many exhibitions I developed specific genres like figurative  works inspired by my own children as well as contemporary flora and surrealist landscape works in a   ‘Warren Salter style’.

I have been a full time painter and exhibiting artist for nearly twenty years now  and I’m still in love with Noosa,   I am doing less exhibitions and more  private commissions,  I am sharing the mysteries of art with young students,  I am engaging more  in community and environmental projects,    my studio is a bit nicer to work in now and my children have grown into beautiful young adults.

Despite everything  it is not all that easy being an artist,  and always carries with it the element of uncertainty,  but paradoxically it is exactly this quality that gives art its mystery,  its capacity for renewal  and its  sole purpose for existence in cleansing the dust from the soul.

- Warren  Salter