Contemporary landscape painter Rowena Keall Walsh has a strong connection with the South West WA which has contributed to her love of the environment and passion to take care of the natural world. Her soft semi abstracted oil landscapes capture the essence of areas such as Cottesloe, Point Peron, Swan River, Augusta, Boranup and Busselton.
Through my paintings I would really like to bring people closer to nature, to appreciate and respect the amazing qualities that it has to offer our society
Enjoy getting to know Rowena Keall Walsh
When did you first feel the desire to be artistic and realise you had talent?
Right from an early age. My mum is an artist and very creative and I used to muck around with her in her studio. We were always making something whether it was sewing, cooking, playing with clay or painting.
Where did you learn your art?
Apart from my mum, I went to Claremont School of Art when it was a dedicated art school, it was amazing just a small campus with all these cool artists as teachers. I majored in sculpture and printmaking and it wasn’t until later that I discovered oils. I also studied printmaking and drawing at the Gordon, Geelong, Victoria.
What inspires you most?
I love nature and the landscape and I’m very interested in conservation. All my paintings reflect the importance of nature as an essential part of our lives.
What message are you sending to the viewer of your art?
I hope that the viewer can see beauty in my paintings and that this may influence the way they see and care for our landscape.
Describe your studio…
I have a 50yr old small shed out the back of our house. We lined, re-clad (it was asbestos) and re-stumped it! It sits next to an enormous cypress pine tree that has been slowly pushing the shed over. We have had to cut a piece out of the roof to accommodate the growing tree. It has natural jarrah floorboards and we have put in big windows that capture the northern light.
Describe your typical day of creating art…
I always start my day with a walk on the beach or in the bush. We have some amazing bushland reserves in Perth and it reminds me how important it is to keep these pockets of nature in the city to retain the balance. I also find it very inspiring before hitting the studio!
What mediums do you use and why?
Oil paint. I love oils they are so luscious and forgiving and have a wonderful natural sheen to them. I also love to draw and have recently rediscovered pastels. At art school I was obsessed with pastels!
What are you working on now?
I always have lots of things on the go but I am excited about a project that will take me to the Great Western Woodland for a conservation and kids education journey. We will all be learning about conservation and indigenous culture as well as have lots of fun!!
What are your recent career achievements you feel proud of?
I have won a couple of prizes and done some big corporate commissions but I also love that I have been invited to be artist in residence at various schools and organisations. I love that I can teach kids through art about the environment and the importance of conservation.
What do you love most about what you do?
It’s great being my own boss and the flexibility of being able to be there for my family as well as do something that I love.