Award winning artist Samantha Dennison, from Albany, WA, exudes peace and calm through every brushstroke.

Story + Photo Ken Eastwood

When Samantha Dennison was in her 40s, she was kept frenetically busy, with 3 children under 2 years of age, including baby twins. Life was chaotic, so she craved times of solace and serenity. It took a few years, but the qualified high-school art teacher, who had previously exhibited landscape paintings, began to carve out time to focus on a new form of art – still life oil paintings of simple things she had found in local op shops or her neighbourhood. “It was quite full on, and I found that painting still life – the whole process – calms me,” she says.

That sense of calmness now exudes from every brushstroke made by the established, award-winning artist, who is based in Albany, WA. Last year she won the City of Albany Acquisitive Award in the Great Southern Art Award, and she has twice been a finalist in the esteemed Ravenswood Women’s Art Prize (of which OUTBACK is a media partner). Samantha’s art is held in the Royal Perth Hospital Collection and by collectors in Australia and internationally, who pay thousands for her works. In her last showing in Linton and Kay in Subiaco, Perth, all 26 pieces sold.

With muted, earthy colours, her artworks usually feature pots and ceramics – many of which Samantha has made herself – exquisitely lit with natural light. Occasionally a burst of colour pops, in the form of fruit, indigenous plants or flowers from her neighbourhood, such as the beacon-like blooms of a red flowering gum from across the street.

This story excerpt is from Issue #154

Outback Magazine: April/May 2024