Artist’s touching tribute

Published 3:00pm 11 April 2024

Artist’s touching tribute
Words by Nadia Chapman

Peninsula artist Sarah Field is a finalist in the John Villiers Outback Art Prize with a heartwarming tribute to her grandfather.

The art prize is based in Winton, which is where her grandfather grew up and was the inspiration behind the watercolour portrait.

“I always wanted to paint him, and I like painting older people (because) there’s so much character in their faces by the time they’re a bit older,” Sarah says.

“It’s really exciting that it did get in. He was really excited.”

The general theme of the John Villiers Outback Art Prize is to tell the story of the countryside through different artistic mediums.

“What I loved about the story behind the artwork is that he (Grandad) grew up in Winton,” Sarah explains.

“Grandad would always tell stories of his time in the outback… like how he used to ride horses bareback and drove cattle and chased kangaroos.

“That was how I tied it into the art prize this year… the outback is a place that never leaves a person, it’s within them.”

Sarah grew up on the Peninsula, attending Clontarf primary and high school, and her grandfather has lived in Clontarf for more than 60 years.

She is now Redcliffe Art Society secretary, so her ties to Redcliffe remain strong.

At first, Sarah thought she might want to become a classical pianist, but soon realised she couldn’t part with art.

“When I turned 30, I thought to myself, ‘if I don’t pursue art, that will be my one regret,’” Sarah says.

“It was probably about five years ago when I started to paint with more intention, so I’m completely self-taught.”

Last year, Sarah had another heartfelt watercolour portrait shipped off to Italy for the FabrianoInAcquarello exhibition.

The predominantly watercolour-based artist has also been a finalist at the Lethbridge Gallery Art Prize in Paddington two years in a row, and she received second place in the Moreton Bay Art Prize in 2021 for a watercolour portrait of her aunt Michelle.

“My favourite things to paint are natural things, I suppose. I love painting people and faces, and I think it’s just the character – I love that,” Sarah says.

When asked what advice she would give to aspiring artists, Sarah says: “I think if you’ve got a dream or something inside of you, it’s in there for a reason. It’s yours for a reason. Don’t give up, dig your heels in and keep going.”

For more information about Sarah and her work, visit

Vote for Sarah's artwork here


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