Ailsa Small (1931-2014)

A celebrated Mid West artist whose realistic oil paintings capture the vivid colours of the West Australian outback

Trained by her father, who himself had trained under his uncle who was a member of the British Royal Academy, Ailsa Small held her first exhibition in 1965 which sold out, and she continued to sell out her exhibitions over the next 20 years. She went on to win the prestigious Claude Hotchin Art Prize four times and her works grace the walls of WA’s Parliament House, the University of WA, Royal Perth Hospital, CBH, Geraldton Regional Hospital, Geraldton, Bunbury and Melville city councils, Mullewa Shire Council, businesses and private collections in the US, Japan, Singapore and every state of Australia.

Ailsa liked to paint in the landscape, rather than from photos, which saw her spend many months traversing the WA outback with her children and supported by her husband, Alf.

“To me, the scene is the beautiful thing, not my painting. I have no desire to change a scene – I hope to draw attention to the beauty that is there. I would like to think I was bringing back a piece of it for people to see.”