Sally Ryan

Sally Ryan is an Australian portrait artist living and operating in Sydney.

Inspired by the work of the Flemish masters (such as Vermeer, Rembrandt and Dou), her style is best described as contemporary realism.

Before portraiture became her primary focus, Sally had worked for a number of years in both the graphic and ceramic arts. These practices laid the foundation for the patterning and detail her art is noted for today. The human subject, though, remained a point of interest throughout her career and after a few years of intensive study at the Julian Ashton Art School (including a Scholarship in 2010), portraiture and figurative art had become her passion.

Sally now works in oils, graphite and charcoal and has been hung in shows and competitions across Australia and internationally.

She is a member of Portrait Artists Australia and has had works exhibited with this organisation at the Art House Gallery, NSW Parliament House and the Australian Embassy in Washington. In October 2016  she had a portrait of the former premier, Ted Baillieu, unveiled in the Parliament of Victoria and a painting of Judith Poole, retiring Abbotsleigh headmistress unveiled in December 2016.

Sally teaches portrait and figure painting at the Julian Ashton Art School. She has a studio in Mt Kuring gai, Sydney, and is available for commissions. Click here for Sally’s classes

In December 2018 Sally was awarded Signature Status with the Portrait Society of America, and will be going to the US in April 2019 to receive the award at the annual conference. 
Portrait Signature Status recognises a “practicing and accomplished artist who is dedicated to the educational mission and high aesthetic standards as set by the Portrait Society of America”.


Since 2010 she has been a finalist in a number of art prizes including the –

Archibald (2013)

Salon des Refuses (2016)

Doug Moran (2012, semi-finalist 2014)

Winner – Kennedy Prize (2014)

Black Swan (2013, 2015)

Portia Geach Memorial Award (2010,2015,2016)

Eutick Memorial Still Life Award (2016)

Adelaide Perry Drawing Prize (2011, 2012)

Shirley Hannan Portrait Prize (2012)

Mortimore Prize (2008, 2010, 2011, 2012)

Hunters Hill Art Show (2016)

ARC International Salon (2014,2015,2016)

Nora Heysen Centenary Still Life Award – Judges Commendation (2011)

Click here for Sally’s classes