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