Pastel artist Sally Phillips
Kauai Magazine Article
by Evelyn deBuhr

Often when we think of Kauai and the Hawaiian islands, it is the vastness of the Pacific Ocean that defines our small spot of the globe. Engulfed as we are by the sea's blueness on this most isolated land on the planet, there is also the huge sky that makes special out remove from the rest of the world. It is our privilege to breathe this most rarefied atmosphere, and yet we seldom think about the sea of air that surrounds us - pure, clean and richly ionized as it races over thousands of miles of open ocean to breeze up on our shores. Perhaps it takes a city girl to remind us of this preciousness.
Seven years ago Sally Phillips Tagawa left Los Angeles with her husband and children to settle her family in a country life outside of Kilauea. She found a freedom from the crowding of the city, but is also apparent that she found the sky. Her pastel drawings from her Kauai life are focused on the great sky above us. Sally's skycapes bring the viewer's eye to the clear, deep, lavender hued blues of the heavens and the billowing clouds parading in vast space.
The relationship of the sky to the land is her subject matter. Currently she draws from her north shore neighborhood and the island below the skies here is a slash of green, often dark and shadowed. These pieces feature a wild landscape, silhouetted against the sweeping sky. Perhaps a mountainside is highlighted by the sunlight or a curtain of rain falls in the distance catching the light, but these vistas are unpeopled and unmarred by rooftops or dwelling. Even in the slices of land that include a road, a fence or some other suggestion of civilization, the mood is one of a windswept walk alone in the wilderness of a high promontory. Meditation is a word that comes to mind when looking at Sally's pastels.

Larsen's Beach Road
Using photographs as reference and beginning at the top of her paper, she works down, completing the upper sky sections before moving on to the earth. She uses soft pastels - which she blends with T-shirt rags as her medium of choice. With the rich intensive of colors, she is able to achieve the depth and expansiveness she wishes to convey.

"I feel there's a kind of beauty that isn't expressed in the idealized, fantasized art that is often thought of as Hawaiian." says Sally "There's another kind of beauty here that isn't often expressed. Here the earth, sky and sea are enveloped and adorned by the ever changing formation of clouds in the sky."

- Text By Evelyn deBuhr

All Sally Phillips Art is done in Pastel on Fine Art Paper 30" x 44" 
Gicleé prints are available on acid free fine art paper with an ink color life of 200 years.

Sally Phillips is also available for Pastel Art Portrait Commissions.

Please contact Sally for sales information.
Call (619) 300-1414 or Email

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