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Trevor Salisbury: expressive with a touch of spontaneity

Art Lovers | 14 April 2019
written by Anna Itkonen


“[I am] like a child in a lolly shop who is excited and wants everything at once,” says Mount Tamborine based, visual artist Trevor Salisbury. “There is hardly any order in my studio. I need my tools close to me with immediate access. I have favourite brushes that I will never part with and have been of service for over 40 years, and some don’t even last a week.” 

Trevor Salisbury

Winner of the Art Lovers Australia 2019 People’s Choice Award for his artwork Snowboarding above the arctic circle, Trevor’s body of work is as varied thematically as it is technically and in atmosphere. His art moves from abstract to representational fluently, at times focusing on a small detail while at other times embracing a wider, almost universal quality.

The Partnership (71 x 71cm, Oil on canvas)

“Mood and atmosphere are important to me, regardless to the subject matter being purely abstract or representational,” Trevor has said about his art. “As a visual artist, we always try to connect to our viewer. … I hope to evoke an immediate response and connection that hopefully evolves over further contemplation.”

Fairy wren and leptospernum (77 x 77cm, Oil on canvas)

Theme plays a broad and ever-changing role in Trevor’s art; Fairy wren and leptospermum, Common pochard, Cold Winter ’85: Snow storm in Stockholm, Cylinder beach early morning, arctic mountains or a Vermeer inspired composition to mention a few. Themes are strongly connected to his past memories or experiences but the depiction of the subject matter is shaped by his need to push new boundaries, to move along on his artistic journey and by the ever-present need to immerse himself.

The fire within (120 x 60cm, Acrylic on stretched Belgian linen)

The paintings progress quite rapidly. Trevor does not spend time on sketches or colour studies. This “child in a lolly shop” does not have time for it.“If it is not initially formulated in my emotional subconscious, I cannot start. I usually have 3-5 works going at one time. Some tell me they are complete in one sitting, while others need a final touch months later.”

Glory is yours (61 x 76cm, Oil on canvas)

One of the striking elements in his paintings is the attention to detail. The energy that he applies to specific part of the painting is captivating. The starry sky in his mountain scapes, the whitewash in the waves, the kangaroo paw or the detail in the mountain toucans bill. We get to follow his gaze, get a glimpse of his connections to the subject matter and maybe even get to share his experience. “As artists, we constantly study and observe. My construction is mainly intuitive. Composition is not laboured but central to the physical and the spiritual. I strive for my marks to be spontaneous and purposeful.”

WINNER – 2019 PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD: Snowboarding above the arctic circle (76.2 x 76.2cm, Oil on canvas)

“Techniques in art can be taught but the soul behind it cannot. … I think my main destiny in life was to create art, I don’t think I chose it. I remember the fascination of what a brush could do loaded with pigment.”  – Trevor Salisbury

Response Of Reason


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