monolith1 sarah shaw artistSarah Shaw

Brighton, UK

I make semi abstract/semi figurative paintings from draughty corner of a draughty studio.


Oil on canvas


Time, memory, the nature of the mind, the awareness of self, ego, higher, mortality... loss

How often do you create?

Every day


Monolith 1 ©Sarah Shaw




My paintings tend to play with symbolism of different objects and to explore different ways of conveying a sense of 'the sublime', a sense of the epic (perhaps a sense of spirituality) and the intimate (us as tiny humans). These latest paintings emerged from a fascination with the memorial flowers that are often strapped around lampposts to remember the loved one who has met their end at that place..a daily, sometimes sombre, often surprisingly beautiful reminder of our own mortality in an everyday mundane sense.


monolith2 sarah shaw paintingTechnique and Process   

I have ideas which I have documented and explored in my notebooks...these are often combined with other images that fascinate me...often images that convey some sense of time having passed, or some glimpse into the future. These ideas/images are collated together and then I begin painting. The process of painting tends to be take the form of a kind of dialogue between myself and the canvas..the final image eventually emerges through this process...


Monolith 2 ©Sarah Shaw





Do you make a living with your art?     

Not as yet. I have been in some good shows and have had some success with competitions but fame and fortune have thus far eluded me! I am gearing up with these new set of paintings to approach galleries with the aim of getting an exhibition...and then the aim is to secure a solo show...


monolith3 sarah shawHow do you promote your art on the internet?   

My website, linkd in... so far



Surrealism, Peter Doig, Jeffrey Dennis, Kit Williams (oddly!), Victor Willing, Hockney, Kanevsky, Van Gogh, Prunella Clough, Louise Bourgeois, Michael Raedecker...oh too many...

Why do you create art?

Seamus Heaney says it best,
”...I rhyme to see myself
To set the darkness echoing...”


Monolith 3 ©Sarah Shaw


Can you recommend a contemporary artist to us?   

Peter Doig...Obviously he needs no introduction being one of the highest selling painters ever but he gets my vote for great contemporary painter.

I once went to a Peter Doig exhibition at the Whitechapel, was utterly blown away and bought a book to remember the work featured. A cover portrait of Mr Doig was on the back cover and as I left I spotted the man himself! I had to go over to talk to him...we had a nice little chat where he revealed himself, despite his massively successful artistic career, to be the most self deprecating man ever...told me he thought anyone could do what he does and basically that there was nothing to it...
Unbelievable, but somewhat refreshing I must admit!


freebird monolith4 sarah shawWhere do you see yourself as an artist in 10 years?   

I see myself having had many successful solo shows, selling work and making a living from my work. My tutor at art college used to say that I’d make a lot of money when I decided what I wanted to future vision is a me that still explores, still is imaginative but has reached a point where the world of money making and freedom of my creativity have reached a pleasant and successful cohabiting place!

Freebird - Monolith 4 ©Sarah Shaw


Advice for aspiring artists   

I think there are only a tiny percentage of people who aspire to be artists who actually make it...The key ingredients, other than having a point of view which is at least interesting, are persistence, persistence and persistence. Then more persistence...and a very tough skin...


Sarah Shaw - Semi Abstract/Figurative Paintings

Art Website: Sarah Shaw Art 
Twitter: @SarahSPainter

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  1. Oh how I understand the draughty corner reference. I'm English but I've been away for 35 years. I was in London a few years ago with the minimal luggage allowed on planes these days and I nearly froze to death in the hotel. I was shoving everything I could find in what appeared to be an open air vent in the wall and I donned every piece of clothing I had and I still froze. I soooooo pity you.

  2. If you set out to make me think today; mission accomplished! I really like your writing style and how you express your ideas. Thank you. uk fabrics online


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