Ralph Stanton Artist – Up Close & Personal

Ralph Stanton Studio Image 2 1

With a background in architecture/town planning Ralph Stanton found his way into visual arts later in life. Taking inspiration from the West Australian light and landscape and from Abstract Expressionism  – particularly the ideas of New York School painter Mark Rothko  – he creates striking paintings rich in colour and texture. As an artist he is interested in expressing an ‘inner light or emotional space’ through non-representational imagery.

Enjoy getting to know Ralph Stanton …

When did you first feel the desire to be artistic and realise you had talent?

I have felt an artistic urge from an early age. I trained as an architect where I spent my first career in town planning and urban design, with some success. But I did not realise my talent for visual or three-dimensional art until later in life.

Where did you learn your art?

I undertook a diploma at Claremont School of Art in the 1990’s.

What inspires you most?

I was greatly influenced by Mark Rothko’s approach to the idea of “self-transcendent experience, revealed through art and, above all, colour – its inherent expressiveness.” I take this idea in a direction inspired by the light and colours of landscape (especially Western Australian landscape) and/or by my own inner feeling.

What message are you sending to the viewer of your art?

Rothko’s aim was “to formulate a message transcending self – about the human condition generally.” For me, I’m not sure there is a “message” as such. (Or perhaps, in the words of Marshal McLuhan, “the medium is the message”). Either way, I am happy if the viewer sees beauty in the work and responds with feeling and an emotional connection.

Describe your studio

My first real studio was at PSAS in Fremantle. In 2004 my wife Jo and I moved to a new award-winning terrace house – designed together with Nash & Ghersinich Architects in Northbridge, Perth. My studio occupies the ground floor and is light and airy, with full-height south-light windows; it opens onto a lovely walled garden which filters west light via a large light-well.

Currently Jo and I are on extended sabbatical in Sydney, where I have a studio at Square 1 Studios, Alexandria – a group space with other artists working in all media and ranges of expression. It is stimulating to meet and talk with other artists having similar as well as diverse  interests.

Describe a typical day

In Perth, I was an afternoon painter. Mornings were engaged, in writing, piano or other activities, leaving afternoons open for painting – not unlike a university or art school timetable. This gave space to take my time, contemplate and proceed – sometimes slowly, sometimes quite fast.

In Sydney, my day is more hectic and varied; Also piano and now choir, as well as family pursuits; and in the studio I am more focussed on the work in hand. It is quite a change, and an energetic boost.

What mediums do you use and why?

I am a fan of quick-drying acrylic, particularly the Australian-developed “Atelier” interactive paints, which allow a great deal of flexibility. I use proprietary “flow,” “extender” or “clear” mediums for particular effects, often over a made-up hand-worked textural ground.

What are you working on now?

I am working on similar themes, and specifically working towards two exhibitions in 2018 – in Sydney and  in Margaret River.

Where can you see yourself in 10 years time?

More of the same

Ralph Stanton – Artist Biography

Before turning to art, I practised as an architect and town planner in Western Australia, heading my own firm until 1992. I attended Claremont School of Art, graduating in 1994.

I was born in Melbourne in 1941. I qualified in architecture before living in London, undertaking post-graduate studies. I have travelled widely in Europe, India, Japan, the Middle East, North and South America. I have been married since 1965 and have two adult children. Since 2004 I have worked from a house and studio in Perth’s “Northbridge” area. I have exhibited regularly since 1996.

I seek to evoke feeling, space and atmosphere, with no particular “story” or message. More a “landscape of the mind”, often strong in mood; contemplative pieces to be taken in at leisure, in different lights. I imagine it somewhat as music, speaking directly to the viewer, suggesting an often unnamed emotional state. I am interested in expressing something of an inner light or emotional space, not personal, but non-objective and universal.

My work is non-representational. It is “abstract” but is not an abstraction of any prior image; it is an attempt to capture meaning and beauty within the framework of a canvas – a timeless moment of recognition reflecting emotion and the sublime, a sort of search for order within a generally chaotic world.

I work with the interplay of surface and subsurface. I tend to work intuitively, with no initial plan other than a general approach and direction, allowing the work to evolve. I work with light, space and colour – and Perth and the West Coast generally, with its clear light and broad horizons has up until now been an absorbing source and inspiration.

With a recent installation, I attempt to express these ideas in 3D. Inside a darkened space, the work takes the form of a large jet-black cube, seemingly floating on a plinth of immaterial LED light slowly ranging through a full spectrum of colour. The viewer is invited to sit and quietly contemplate, perhaps to reflect upon his or her own “inner light”  and to enjoy the experience.

Collections Public

  • King Edward Memorial Hospital
  • Claremont Medical Centre
  • Maurice Zeffert Memorial Home

Collections Private

Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, London, Zurich, San Francisco, New York, Tel Aviv, Hong Kong, Nelson NZ

Professional Associations

  • Member Artists Foundation of Western Australia Royal Australian Institute of Architects
  • Fellow Planning Institute of Australia

Professional Qualifications

  • Diploma of Art & Design (Fine Art) Claremont School of Art (WA) 1994
  • Diploma of Town Planning (University of London) 1969
  • Bachelor of Architecture (University of Melbourne) 1964


  • 1993 – Claremont School of Art
  • 1994 – Albany Art Prize Exhibition
  • 1994 – Allegretta Studios Gallery
  • 1995 – Allegretta Studios Gallery
  • 1996 – Moores Building Gallery
  • 1996 – Inside Out Design (solo)
  • 1997 – PS Studios Gallery
  • 1997 – Moores Building Gallery
  • 1997 – Salec Minc Exhibition
  • 1998 – Old Mill Gallery, York (solo)
  • 1998 – Gadfly Gallery (solo)
  • 1999 – Festival of Perth Art Fair
  • 1999 – Salec Minc Exhibition
  • 1999 – Gadfly Gallery (solo)
  • 2000 – Vzualvibes Online Gallery
  • 2001 – Gadfly Gallery
  • 2001 – Festival of Perth (Gadfly Gallery)
  • 2001 – Salec Minc Exhibition
  • 2001 – Hale School Exhibition
  • 2002 – Gadfly Gallery (with Geoff Wake)
  • 2002 – Hale School Exhibition
  • 2003 – Gadfly Gallery (with Geoff Wake)
  • 2003 – Hale School Exhibition
  • 2004 – Gadfly Gallery (with Geoff Wake)
  • 2004 – Hale School Exhibition
  • 2005 – Several commercial exhibitions
  • 2006 – Gadfly Gallery (with Chubby Button)
  • 2006 – Minawarra Exhibition
  • 2006 – Elements Gallery “4 Painters” (with Geoff Wake, Helen Forbes and Jules Sher)
  • 2006 – “Artitude” Exhibition at PCEC
  • 2006 – Cossack Awards (Shire of Roebourne)
  • 2006 – Hale School Exhibition
  • 2006 – Mahoneys Gallery “4 Painters” (with Geoff Wake, Helen Forbes and Jules Sher)
  • 2007 – Elements Gallery “4 Painters” (with Geoff Wake, Helen Forbes and Jules Sher)2007 – Hale School Exhibition
  • 2007 – “Artitude” Exhibition, Burswood
  • 2009 – Gadfly Gallery Exhibition
  • 2010 – Several local government and community exhibitions.
  • 2014 – “Dark Light” installation using LED light forms- at PSAS Fremantle, (with Geoff   Wake, Tom Muller and Horst Kornberger)
  • 2016 – “3degrees@139” private exhibition in Birchgrove,  NSW
  • 2016 –  Harrop & Co Nedlands WA
  • 2016 – Kerrie Lowe Gallery, Newtown Sydney NSW
  • 2017 – Square One Studios group exhibition
  • 2017 – “Chaos or Control” at Stella Downer Fine Art with Sq1 Studios


  • New Residence and Studio at 28 Church Street Perth: – In collaboration with Nash & Ghersenich Architects–
  • RAIA Residential Award Commendation 2005
  • Town of Vincent – Residential Design Award 2005

Recently Sold Artworks

Ralph Stanton Dawn Brilliance Painting
Ralph Stanton – Dawn Brilliant
100cm x 100cm
acrylic on canvas
Ralph Stanton Harbour Sand Painting
Ralph Stanton – Harbour Sand
76cm x 76cm
acrylic on canvas
Ralph Stanton Western Gold Complete Triptych Paintingjpg
Ralph Stanton – Western Gold
390cm x 100cm
acrylic on canvas
Run On Blue 1100x1200 72dpi
Ralph Stanton – Run on Blue
120cm x 110cm
acrylic on canvas
Ralph Stanton Horizon Painting
Ralph Stanton – Horizon
111cm x 120cm
acrylic on canvas
Ralph Stanton Symphony In Red Painting
Ralph Stanton – Symphony in Red
100cm x 110cm
acrylic on canvas
Rs53 Ralph Stanton Sand Painting
Ralph Stanton – Sand
120cm x 110cm
acrylic on canvas
Ralph Stanton Forest Night Painting
Ralph Stanton – Forest Night
110cm x 120cm
acrylic on canvas
Ralph Stanton
Ralph Stanton – Vermillion Run
1cm x 122cm
acrylic on canvas

Ralph Stanton Image Gallery

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