Sandie Stallwood-Farrell,"Kelshan Cruthe"
"Kelshan Cruthe" was 'born' from my desire to link my two children's names with my artwork and also, to acknowledge our Celtic heritage. As "Cruthe" is the Celtic word for creations and my beautiful children,Kelsey and Shane - "Kelshan" - provide me with incredible inspiration and the unique opportunity to see life again through the wondrous and innocent eyes of a child...
I've lived in Maleny for many years, but have a history with this beautiful place dating back to my father's time as a child, when he first emigrated to Australia from England and worked on the dairy farms of Maleny as a boy.
I've drawn black and white portraiture drawings and sketches for the past nineteen years and spent four years creating unique hand-built clay sculptures and I've even dabbled in watercolours! ...but,my first love is for acrylics and textured mixed media...
Recently, I've developed my personal style of using dimensional textured techniques and acrylics to create my "Life" Series, which combine sculpturing and painting on canvas. I want the artlover to feel that he/she can reach out and touch the painting and experience its texture, so that the experience becomes both visual and sensory. The "Life" Series, reflect significant life or family events and one, entitled “Nurtured” was donated to Maleny Kindergarten and has been embraced as a reflection of the ideals of the Kindy. It is a visual depiction of the caring attitude of the staff, the family unit and the personal growth and development of independence experienced by the child in these precious pre-school years.
I'm an awarded artist and member of the COMA(Collaboration of Maleny Artists) and MACG(Maleny Arts and Crafts Group).
I've also written three children’s picture books, a junior fiction book and a parenting book and was an entrant in the ‘Premier’s Literary Awards – Unpublished Manuscript’,2008. In 2011, I will founder and sponsor the Maleny State School Art Awards to increase awareness of art and encourage potential young artists. I also applied for a RADF Grant to partially fund the provision of paint/art supplies for a mural and teaching of art classes I had planned for Maleny State School, but unfortunately this grant application was unsuccessful. I strongly believe in the importance of really nurturing artistic talents, appreciation and confidence in children, especially for those who may not be gifted in the academic and sporting fields. Amazingly, research shows that most children have already begun to deeply criticise and question their artistic talent at 11-12 years of age and this is in the primary school years, when no formal art classes have even been attended! In 2009,I was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for Community Involvement at the Australia Day Awards, hosted by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council. I've also recently given a painting to the Oncology Unit at Nambour Base Hospital(my personal contribution to 'Pinktober' Awareness campaign). As a midwife and nurse, I am very aware of the traumatic effect of cancer on the individual and the family. I'm also donating paintings to an Art Show to fundraise for the emergency care of injured koalas at the Australian Wildlife Hospital.
My Artistic Philosophy:
I want to remind people of the simple experiences in life that are often taken for granted, such as the joy of family, through my art. My “Life” series can be commissioned and individual personal items, such as wedding dress lace or other items can be worked into the picture to create a truly unique and personal painting. The faces in these paintings are deliberately left blank so that the picture can be an ongoing depiction of the family. I love the 'texture' of producing these dimensional art pieces which hopefully,almost encourage the artlover to reach out and experience the painting through touch as well as sight. I also 'dabble'in photography, concentrating mainly on "Images of a Bygone Era" and children's portraiture.
My style is best described as contemporary impressionism and abstract work. Viewing of work at my studio is possible by prior appointment by contacting me via this website.