Short Biography

The printmaker and painter Sally McLaren was born in London, studied at the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford and at the Central School of Art in London.
After further study in Paris at the Atelier of Stanley William Hayter, she returned to England to teach at Goldsmith’s College of Art . She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, the Printmaker’s Council of Great Britain and the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers.

She has exhibited widely and her work is held in numerous collections over the world including New York Public Library, Scottish Arts Council, Fitzwilliam Museum of Modern Art in Macedonia and Cabo Frio Print Collection in Sao Paulo.

A book about her work titled Sally McLaren: The response of Landscape, was published in June 2010 in an  edition of 30 signed copies containing an original monoprint and is available from the artist.

Sally McLaren lives and works in Wiltshire.

Quotes about her work

‘Sally McLaren’s career encompasses more than five decades of remarkable achievement in which her works have constantly created compelling visual experiences that enhance our view of a particular area. It is easy to see that a defining feature linking all the work that she produces is landscape and a sense of place’
Creasy collection Gallery, Salisbury, may 2010

‘It is through the manner of her marks that she expresses her sense of freedom, beauty and awe: Each time she visits a new place, a new Country, she amasses visual memories and then paints an impression of somewhere as if viewing it from her memory bank, sometimes years later, released and transformed through her expression.’
Summerleaze Gallery, East Knoyle, Wiltshire, July 2010

‘She works in a spirit of almost magic collaboration, with her tools, her media and her materials, in what she calls ‘an unstated partnership’:
‘The painting speaks with me, guides me to place another mark in relationship with whatever is there, or to change an area of colour. I am completely intrinsically involved. It all becomes part of me.’

In the paintings of the last ten years, however, the insistence on the evocation of the actual has given way to an insouciant light-touch mark-making of dash and line, paint scribble and feathery touch, near diaphanous mistiness and the most evocative adumbrations of field colour, tonal greens and brilliant yellows, the all-eye-embracing blueness of the sea as a boat pitches. Her touch sometimes imitates the under-colour of a stubble field or a hillside sward, when an almost subliminal fresh green will shine through the gold shimmer of the older stalks, sometimes catches at a momentary flash of light, the bright gleam of a golden field, the blue-green flurry of a sudden shower.

There is undoubtedly something Arcadian in this vision of McLaren’s: there are intimations in the aetherial colour and light of the late paintings - and also in the bright clouds and singing grasses of the most recent carborundum etchings - of an earthly paradise. We contemplate realisations of an utterly unsentimental poetic vision, which takes into account the living of human beings on the land, and the realities of their historic shaping and marking, even scarring, of the earth’s surface. The great contemporary Italian artist of nature, Giuseppe Penone, will help to clarify the term: Arcadia’ he has said, ‘is a notion, a mental space that has haunted man ever since the day that organised physical labour became part of his daily routine. Its traces can be found in poetry even more ancient than Virgil’s; it isn’t just an aspect of Romanticism. It is present every time that someone creates a relationship between his own being, his cultural and social background, and the reality of things that exist beyond himself in the world at large. It is a space for reflection, not a real place.’

from Mel Gooding’s essay in the book: Sally McLaren In Search of Stillness. July 2016


Sally McLaren biography and quotes