Sally Green’s breathtaking exhibition at Picton Castle

By Tamsin Mathias

Picton Castle in Pembrokeshire is exhibiting the stunning work of local artist, Sally Green, until June 30.

A fun and bubbly personality to accompany her talents, Sally, who is originally from Llawhaden but now resides in Haverfordwest, has produced beautiful work over the years with her trademark colours of blue and green, and Picton Castle’s gallery is the perfect serene and peaceful setting to show off her incredible talents. 

After studying GNVQ Intermediate Art at Pembrokeshire College at the age of 17, Sally was given everything she needed to know, and prepared her to develop her own unique style. She later moved to Cardiff and studied GNVQ+ Advanced. 

At the age of 36, Sally has now been painting original pieces for 20 years, and her experience in the art industry shines through her exceptional pieces, just a selection of which that are on display at Picton Castle. 

We here at Geek Notes caught up with Sally at the gallery, to talk about exactly how far she has come over the years. Sally said that after she finished college, she was ‘working random jobs’, but she never stopped painting. 

She said: “I moved back to Pembrokeshire, and I worked with The VC Gallery, which gave me a great platform to show people my work and also develop it. I also had the opportunity to work with Anna Waters – she’s taught me so much about things such as paint mixing, framing and who to contact. 

“I think my time by the water with Anna inspired me. The water was just so pretty, and Anna helped me take my art seriously, and gave me the inspiration to keep going.”

Sally spoke highly of the people who have influenced her, such as Anna Waters, and Barry John from The VC Gallery. She said: “Barry John and Anna Waters are my two biggest influences. Before I met Barry John, I had never picked up a spray can or even thought about incorporating spray painting into my work. Once I did, I found that I was producing more abstract themes, veering into expressionism. Using spray paint has now become a really important part of my work. 

“Anna Waters has influenced me in a nautical sense, as well as the desire to capture nature at its finest.”

Speaking about influences on a larger scale, she said: “Picasso is a big influence, as well as Giacometti and Scott Nai Smith.”

Sally’s pieces range from abstract themes, some of which are perceived differently by different people, and others that take on a calm, more serene theme, such as her landscape pieces. 

Sally said: “Pembrokeshire’s landscape and my emotions surrounding Pembrokeshire, as well as the people who live here, find their way into my work whether I like it or not.

“I work on a basis of layers – my processes range from paint pouring, spray paining, ink work and oil paints. I thin down oils with linseed oil and paint thinners, and I sometimes even put it into a watering can and cover canvasses! I make marks in the paint, and use those marks to see where I am going with the next layer. 

“I got massively into making my own glazes with varnish, turps and oil paint.”

Sally’s calling for art is so strong, that even when she’s not 100%, she’ll still get a canvass out and create something beautiful. She said: “I hurt my wrist once and I could only do paint pouring, and I had to stop using a paint brush. I really liked the effect so I do it more now.”

Giggling, she added: “I suppose it’s good practise for when I get older in case my wrists don’t work like they do now!”

When asked what her favourite piece is, she said it was a painting called ‘My Name Is’ – a breathtaking abstract self portrait. Sally said: “It’s the first self portrait I’ve done that’s abstract. It painted itself really – it revealed itself to me whilst I was painting, and for that reason it’s not for sale!”

Sally also explained that she has enjoyed working with bigger canvases. She said: “I felt a massive element of freedom to explore the space between layers, space and composition, even though my exhibition is based on the Pembrokeshire coast, it’s turned quite figurative, and I’ll be carrying this on to my next exhibition at Tenby Museum in November.”

Finally, Sally said: “My aim is to create original work. I won’t ever censor my work to fit anyone’s expectations, because I just love what I do! I like to create harmony and balance using colour and light to depict my emotions of the subject matter, and I hope that this shows when people view my work.”

It’s clear that Sally has made an impact in the community, with members of The VC Gallery always speaking highly of her. The Herald spoke to Barry John MBE, a person that Sally said has influenced her greatly. 

Barry said: “Sally is a talented abstract artist who has brought a lot of colour and vibrancy to The VC Gallery, and she continues to do so, too. Her work is highly regarded in Pembrokeshire, and without a doubt is one of the up and coming artist of this area in West Wales. 

“On show in Picton Castle is a wide range of her talents, and her use of blues, greens and yellows, in this graffiti yet floral style, has had some amazing reactions from the community and artists alike. 

“In the past few years, Sally has exhibited all over Pembrokeshire, and also at our latest exhibition on the fauvist style. Sally’s work was put front of house to engage the viewer for our successful exhibition.”

Barry continued: “Besides these abstract flowers, Sally has done some amazing landscapes of West Wales, but mainly Pembrokeshire, and her time in travelling has influenced her landscape style with her trademark blue and green overlaps. 

“As well as a successful artist, Sally has also given back to the community by helping with our workshops, namely our Dementia and Alzheimers, which she is very passionate about. Also on a community setting, she has engaged with members who have complex conditions, and she has engaged using the power of her art, her ability and her obvious talent.”

Sally’s work is on display at Picton Castle until June 30. Make sure you attend if you would like to experience the feeling of being blown away by something magnificent.

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