Artist Lindy Sale’s path to winning the Lethbridge 10,000 Gallery prize started with a stroll through the garden gathering leaves.

Lindy Sale’s approach to art is a combination of loose technique and intricate painting resulting in works that are soothing and tranquil to the eye. Sale is the grand prize winner of the recently announced 2018 Lethbridge 10,000, a prestigious art competition based in Brisbane that celebrates upcoming artists. Lindy is gracious and humble about her winning entry, Grizelle Vase. “I feel delighted to win but extremely fortunate as the Lethbridge 10,000 is very popular and there are many fine works hanging in the show. Just managing to be shortlisted and hung in an award show is an achievement in itself.”

The process behind the painting involved a continuous addition of fresh leaves and close observational work. “My work was a very gradual process of direct observational painting. At times I used an old magnifying glass to see the details of the leaf veins a little more clearly. The leaves collected from the garden were shrivelling up as I worked over the weeks and I kept having to add more, hence the profusion of the arrangement.”

Lindy’s art often features beautiful textured spheres that almost float off the page in a wave of smoke. “I often use a method of painting using watery washes which allows the element of chance to introduce interesting ‘accidents’. While I start with an idea of what I want to achieve, I work on and enhance these ‘accidents’, using them to suggest textures and forms. Some of this method involves adding or removing paint with a sponge or rag, and sometimes it means masking and stencilling to retain patterns or create shapes.”

It is easy to imagine Lindy covered in colour throwing paint around perfecting her somewhat unpredictable technique. She confesses she was well into her 30s when she completed her Bachelor of Visual Arts in Fine Art at the Queensland College of Art. She saw the role of art in her life as a long-term project she very much intends on continuing long into her old age. When she is on her outdoor art missions, Lindy is in possession of a rather special art artefact that is both sentimental and useful. “I use a small wooden drawing board that was my mother’s that must be at least 60 years old. It is small and light enough to use outdoors.”

Lindy has advice to other artists wondering how to get started on new work. “A remedy for a lack of inspiration is to stay in the studio and start working on anything at all. Have music on the radio or phone. Just start experimenting with your art materials. If you are waiting for ideas before going to the studio, usually nothing will happen.” Lindy’s ideal would be a rural studio where she could draw inspiration from the landscape. It is a dream that will surely see her wandering through the country with boundless inspiration, ready to craft her new work.

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