Cultural Conversation: artist Sally Painter


By: Marisa Gottesman Associate Editor
Sally Painter is following her namesake, literally, as an oil painter.
And the Delray Beach artist’s career is blossoming. Her oil paintings of plants, flowers and nature are being shown across the country in juried competitions.
The success is something she said she didn’t think she would experience. Over the past several months her work has been featured in four different galleries.
She said she entered her pieces and “hope someone is going to say, ‘Oh thats a nice painting,’” she said.
But when people began to purchase her pieces it “blew her mind” to have what she started as a hobby be recognized by people outside her family.
She remembers painting her first piece when she was 16.
“I did a flower water color for my mom,” Painter said. “She said. ‘Oh, that’s so beautiful you should be an artist.’”
She didn’t pick up her paintbrush again until about 14 years ago when she moved to Delray from southern California.
“I started painting about 14 years ago when we moved to Delray,” she said. “I wasn’t working as much and I started taking painting classes at the Boca Museum of Art.”
Currently, she still attends courses and is in a masters art class.
“I have really been learning a lot more about art,” she said. “I want to study what other artists do and understand it better. It’s quite technical.”
She said her paintings are inspired by the farm she grew up on in California and her favorite painter Georgia O’Keeffe.
“I really like to accentuate the color and the form as I am painting,” she said. “I really like peonies and roses.”
She estimates she has completed 50 paintings. To finish one painting she said it takes about 24 hours, but she only works for three to four hours at a time. She typically paints two of three days a week. She does so in her home, where it is air conditioned.
“I go into a quiet place and I leave my phone of the room,” she said. “I turn on music, put out paints, study an image and I stop thinking. I try to listen to the music, figure out what I want to do and just translate it onto the canvas.”
She said it is all about getting into a flow. She said it is similar to settling down to a good book and not being able to wait to get to the next chapter.
“The longest I have ever gone is nine hours like 9 in the morning to 6 at night,” she said. “It’s a marathon. You don’t want to move because everything seems to be working at that moment. There’s no thought going on other than the painting itself. It’s such focus that it’s freeing.”
Her artwork has been included in the Oil Painters of America 2016 Juried Salon Show, the 26th Annual All Florida Juried Arts Show (2016), the Art at the Mill Group Exhibition (2016), and the Art of the Heartland Group Exhibition (2016).
She was juried in as a member of the International Guild of Realism and the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society, and this past spring she was named a member of the Board of Trustees of the Boca Raton Museum of Art.
For more information on Sally Painter, including examples of her work, visit her website at