OUTBACK ARTIST: Sandy McLean at Beef Australia 2015, later this month she will fly to New York to see the opening of an exhibition featuring her work.
OUTBACK ARTIST: Sandy McLean at Beef Australia 2015, later this month she will fly to New York to see the opening of an exhibition featuring her work. Allan Reinikka Rokaartist

New York exhibition no joke for outback artist

WHEN a New York gallery contacted Sandy McLean about exhibiting her art, she thought someone was pulling her leg.

But it wasn't a joke.

Later this month, her outback-inspired art will be showcased in the Out From Down Under and Beyond: Fine Art from Australia and New Zealand exhibition at Chelsea's Agora Gallery from May 19 to June 9.

It's an amazing achievement for Sandy, who only started focusing on painting six years ago.

Although she's always been artistic, Sandy said she didn't have much time to look at a blank canvas while raising three children and helping her husband run their cattle property near Marlborough.

Sandy's art is inspired by the colours and people of the bush, something she hopes will impress the crowds of New York City.

Preparing for the exhibit, which Sandy describes as "the biggest thing" she's done, was "a bit daunting in the beginning".

In choosing what to paint for the special event, Sandy said she wanted to represent her Marlborough home and life on the land.

"I wanted to make it as Australian as I possibly could," she said.

It's been a busy year for Sandy, who also worked to develop an iPad app which takes people through how to draw, step by step.

Sandy is adamant anyone can learn to draw and said she got "such a buzz" when people use the app and find a hidden talent for art.

She said the many people who approached her saying they'd always wanted to draw, but never knew how, inspired her to work with developers to create the app.

Before Sandy and her team could move into development, she said she had to figure out the best way to teach people the technique.

The Morning Bulletin reported Sandy's achievement last month, however she was unavailable for comment at the time.

This week, you can catch Sandy at Beef Australia 2015, where you can go into the draw to win a piece she painted for the event. Ticket sales for the guessing competition go to Buy a Bale, a charity helping drought-affected farmers.



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