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The painted women of Trisha Lambi

Art Lovers | 29 April 2019

by Sunnefa Hamar Penning


Trisha Lambi is an internationally recognized and celebrated realist painter. Normally you will find her in a happy meditative state working on a painting in her Karalee studio overlooking the Brisbane River. Known for her bold and lavish oil paintings the detail of her work is truly striking to the observer.


Trisha Lambi at work in her Karalee studio

Growing up in her family’s loving and creative environment was a source of inspiration for Trisha. She describes watching in adoration while her sister’s art consumed her. I can still remember that feeling of being transported into another world (so much so that I’d often spill her paint water over her paintings – I swear it wasn’t intentional!)”. She has been drawing for as long as she can remember, feeling compelled to express herself through art. “Each painting takes me on a journey, sometimes joyful, sometimes unwelcome but always illuminating”.

Dreams Grow Wild Large

Dreams Grow Wild (64 x 94cm, Oil on linen)

Painting and drawing were a constant in Trisha’s early life, taking classes and university courses to hone her skills but never finding enough time to fully commit herself to her craft. It wasn’t until she had her first child that her life as an artist began to flourish, and she started doing professional portraits. She still painted on the side and started selling a few pieces. With the arrival of the internet her work reached a much bigger audience and started gaining the recognition.

On The Way To Oia Large

On The Way To Oia (90 x 60cm, Oil on linen)

Although not striving for photo realistic result, her attention to detail and ability to paint light and shade makes for a resounding finish. I like to use strong colour and line coupled with a simple composition so the end result is a mix of realism and illustration perhaps. Whatever you call it, my paintings end up being bold and quite sensuous.” To achieve the desired result Trisha likes to use oil paints to create with their “buttery consistency” and “forgiving nature”.

Secrets Of Summer

Secrets of Summer (100 x 75cm, Oil on linen)

Trisha’s process from brush to canvas is an expression of sentiment and a reflection of her life experiences. She paints what she feels, her brush translating her emotions into the world. “Each piece reflects whatever is going on in my life at the time and when I look at a painting I’m taken back to that time”.As well as coming from a family of artists, Trisha talks about her other sources of inspiration.“I’m inspired by light on form – the more dramatic the better. I’m also inspired by family photos and the joy that is found within them.”

Free Falling (60 x 60cm, Oil on linen)

Women are strongly represented throughout Trisha’s collection, sometimes vulnerable, sometimes strong, always strikingly beautiful, and somewhat sensual. Although these figures dominate her paintings today it wasn’t until 2003 through an invitation to enter in the Florence Biennial, that Trisha started experimenting with figurative painting. She entered a series of nudes into the competition and headed for Europe. “I was finding it difficult and I wasn’t happy with the results until I read a book by a wonderful Australian artist Patricia Moran which talked about painting tonally. The penny dropped and my work improved immeasurably. To this day figurative painting is my passion”.


Rhapsody (120 x 90cm, Oil on linen)

Returning to the Sydney’s Northern Beaches and launching her first solo exhibition rewarded her a “glowing review from Lenny Ann Low from the Sydney Morning Herald”. From there Trisha’s artistic profile excelled,being celebrated nationally and internationally, with over seventy awards and exhibitions under her belt. Some of the highlights include representing Australia at the 2006 and 2007 Guangzhou Art Fair, being awarded the 2009 Warwick Art Prize, exhibiting in a group show at DAB Gallery in Ventura California and painting a mural in Heraklion, while undertaking her first Artist Residency last year.

The Gift Revisited (40 x 50cm, Oil on linen)

The many female representations of Lambi portray the luscious, bold and emotional story that is her art. When asked which piece of her art sits closest to her heart, she responds: “If I had to choose one… it would be I Am My Mother’s Garden. It was painted during the last months of my Mum’s battle with M.N.D. and all my love for her went into those roses”.

I Am My Mother’s Garden  (90 x 90cm, Oil on linen)

Looking into the future Trisha’s dream is to continue her development as an artist by taking on more Art Residencies as she thoroughly enjoyed her time working in Heraklion. No doubt her talent and passion will propel her to performing even greater achievements in the future.

Never Love A Wild Thing (120 120cm, Oil on linen)


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