Sean Wallis Fine Art


Sean Wallis was born and raised in Utah, where he currently resides with his wife and kids. Wallis hailed from an artistic family—his father is renowned impressionist painter Kent R. Wallis. It wasn’t until Sean was 21 years old, in the midst of studying history in college, that he approached his father to learn to really paint.  Every Saturday for 5 years, the father-son duo would spend the day painting outdoors. Of his working relationship with his father, Sean reflects, “The art of being an apprentice and learning from a master is disappearing. Artists become more academic—you follow the fundamental rules. It’s a scholarly thing now. Having such a master as a mentor helped shape me into a traditional painter in a contemporary world.”

As an Impressionist, Wallis pays close attention to the relationship of light and color, capturing its fleeting moments with the texture of oil paint and a broad, colorful palette. His work with light, hue, and atmosphere manifest through a skillful combination of colors that vibrates and excites the eye, resulting in an uncanny illusion of depth.  His subjects speak of an era that is fading away: from the blooming flowers of botanical gardens, to the California missions, to dilapidated barns.

With his palette already loaded in a box he built himself, Sean can go from his car to painting in about 5 minutes. “The goal is to get brush to canvas as soon as possible to capture what it is that inspired me in the first place. When the light changes, everything changes. As an impressionist painter, it is all about the relationship of light and color. I want to show how the light interacts with the subject matter, and I have to do it on the clock—on a timer. I will get a painting 60% finished and have to pack it up. The last thing you want to do is chase the light,” reflects Wallis. “I do paint large (up to 24 x 30-inch canvases) while I’m out there which enables my plein air paintings to be gallery ready, rather than blowing them up back in the studio. I paint because I enjoy it; I paint how I enjoy it. Big brush and a big canvas, and I’m happy.”

Wallis recently won various plein air competitions and has been included in exhibitions at the Springville (Utah) Museum of Art and the Tucson Desert Art Museum.