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 Sally Swatland  (1946 - )

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Lived/Active: New York/District Of Columbia      Known for: painting-impressionist child figure beach scenes

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Toddlers at Play
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Washington DC and raised in Greenwich, Connecticut, Sally Swatland is a painter of figurative works, especially children playing in the water along beaches. As a child of a successful attorney, she had a childhood of many vacations at waterside resorts, and her artwork is inspired by happy memories of spending hours and hours in seaside activities.

Swatland began to paint at age five and took classes throughout her growing-up years. She earned a degree in Fine Art from Mount Saint Vincent College and then studied figure drawing for six years (1969-1974) at the Art Students League in New York City. Robert Shultz was one of her most influential teachers, and he, an illustrator of Zane Gray novels, was in the realist tradition of Norman Rockwell. From Shultz, she also received training in plein-air painting. Those sessions were held in the New Jersey countryside, which meant long drives from home for Swatland.

She married in her mid 20s and painted her first beach scene with figures when pregnant with her first child, born in 1975. Raising this young daughter, Swatland took her and her friends often to the beach and took many photographs and films of their activities, from which she later did paintings. In 1981, a second daughter was born, and more and more children were added to the mix of beach gatherings whose locations included the Hamptons in New York state and beaches in Southern California. She took along various outfits, and persuaded, sometimes using bribery of sweets, to have the children pose in colorful suits and sun dresses. She refers to the resulting films as her "beach dress up photo archives", and says the photo sessions invariably drew a crowd, which in turn, provided even more models.

Sally Swatland has also done numerous portrait commissions of children, but her preference is the depiction of happy children playing in the water. For several years, she was selected to paint the image used on the Christmas card of the governor of Connecticut.

Memberships include American Impressionist Society, American Society of Marine Artists, American Society of Portrait Artists and Cape Cod Art Association.

In 2004, Sally Swatland received the Gold Medal of Honor at the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club's 108th Annual Open Exhibition for her painting "Todd's Point". Her work was selected for this top prize from among 260 entries.

Rehs Galleries, New York City
Editors, "Art Business News", February 2005, p. 20

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