A Special Featured Artist | Val Fitzpatrick

UNTITLED - Mixed Media - © Val Fitzpatrick

UNTITLED – Mixed Media – © Val Fitzpatrick


A celebration of the late Val Fitzpatrick.

On 28 November 2017 one of our long standing and dedicated members, Val Fitzpatrick passed away.

Val had applied for an exhibition at Strathnairn Arts in 2018 and her proposal had been accepted. In preparation for her exhibition, Val had prepared an Artist Statement about her art practice to be featured on the Strathnairn Arts Blog.

Strathnairn Arts Director Peter Haynes contacted Val’s husband, Ted and offered to curate an exhibition of Val’s work as a celebration of her life. Ted and his family accepted the offer.

The exhibition ‘Vibrancy’ is to be held from Thursday 3 May to Sunday 27 May, 2018 in Gallery 1 & 2.
The official opening by Lorna Crane will be on Saturday May 5 at 2 pm.

A Journey of Discory”

My artistic journey started in the 1960’s when I attended the Wollongong National art School learning drawing and painting with well known artists, Dr. Ivan Englund, Les Bircher, and Clem Millward, teachings from the old masters was part of the course and this early study has been good grounding. Since then, I have studied with other excellent tutors at various art institutions connecting with various mediums, oil, pastel, water colour, and more recently, encaustic.

UNTITLED - Mixed Media - © Val Fitzatrick

UNTITLED – Mixed Media – © Val Fitzatrick

A move to the country town of Gunnedah was to be a very busy time with dozens of North West towns holding competitions which were to be very successful, leading me then into the weekend workshop situation, and in 1980 I was offered a position at the Gunnedah TAFE teaching the art certificate. I held this position for fourteen years.

In 1978 a month long tour of France with Frederick Bates was to see me “paint” that country successfully for four years.
Three more teaching positions at the Mitchell school (Charles Sturt University) furthered my experience.

In 1995 we moved to Canberra where I was able to quietly pursue my art studies , but over the years I could see a shift away from my formal studies of the 60’s.

Handmade Brushes used in the creation of Val's Mixed Media artworks.

Handmade Brushes used in the creation of Val’s Mixed Media artworks.

I discovered ways to investigate and experiment, being surprised at some of the outcomes while learning all the time and being coaxed into more study never afraid to try something new. So my insatiable thirst to see what I could do with these mediums finally led me into mixed media, this meant collecting other material that would lead me into texture, something I still favour to this day.

I joined the Artists Society of Canberra, and became involved with their activities, making new friends and taking part in their workshops.

Artist Val Fitzpatrick - Work in Progress

Artist Val Fitzpatrick – Work in Progress

Conducting some of these workshops as well as their “Summer art Experience” has been another highlight for me.

Opalescence - Ink - 23 x 26cm - © Val Fitzpatrick

OPALESCENCE – Ink – 23×26 cm © Val Fitzpatrick

I am a contributing member of Strathnairn enjoying an active role in the success of the SHOP retail area.

In 2007 and again in 2010, I was fortunate to accompany friends to Greece on an art study tour with Michael Winters.

There will always be a desire to learn from others and also help to further the artistic journey of people who cross my path. ~ Val Fitzpatrick


Val was a very valued member of Strathnairn Arts, her friendly smile and cuddles will be greatly missed.

Please join us to Celebrate Val Fitzpatrick and the Opening of Vibrancy.

The Gallery + Shop at Strathnairn Arts Gallery is open Thurs to Sun 10am to 4pm.

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Feature Artist | Ian “SPIKE” Farrawell




Ian "SPIKE" FarrawellArtist Feature | Ian “SPIKE” Farrawell

I am an artist from Canberra, Australia who specialises in printmaking and bookbinding.

I was introduced to linocut printing and bookbinding around 2009; I loved it straight away.



Although I favour working with linocut prints, I also enjoy experimenting with other mediums such as Dry point etchings, Collographs and Eco prints. My print making process mainly involves the use Silkcut lino and old book presses in my studio.





I have a love of old books and book illustrations which influence my works. I also take inspiration from ordinary life and people going about their day to day jobs. Architecture, urban scenery and the countryside are another part of life that inspires my work.





I am a mostly self taught artist and I have completed both print making and book binding workshops.




I have exhibited my works in Canberra and surrounds since I started printmaking and have works in private collections in Australia and overseas.



Photo Credit: Michelle Kroll | AHCPHOTO


Ian is also known as PrintBookSpike and you can find more of his fantastic Lino Prints alongside his wonderful hand bound books in the Cafe Gallery and SHOP section of the Strathnairn Arts Homestead Gallery, in Holt, Belconnen.

To follow Ian -PrintBookSpike, you can find him on Instagram , Twitter and Facebook.

The Shop at Strathnairn Arts Gallery is open Thursday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm, the Juice Cafe situated within Strathnairn Arts Gallery is open Thurs 10 – 4; Fri 10 – 4; Sat 8.30 – 4; and Sun 8.30 – 4






April Feature on Silk

Focus on Silk

Shop Silk Feature

Image Credit: Top L: Hellen O’Sullivan Top R: Carole Osmotherly Bottom L: Joan James August Cole Bottom R: Robyn Diener Joan James

SILKS abound in SHOP this month. 

5 artists in the SHOP group of artists are expert in working with silk in various ways.

Mixed Media Artist, Joan James is an expert in the art of shibori, teaches and exhibits internationally. She works often in partnership with Hellen O’Sullivan who focuses on the art of Itajime and Shibori to make brilliantly coloured scarfs and wall hangings.

Carole Osmotherly creates paintings on silk with wax resist which defy description. Colours blend and merge to create miraculous atmospheric images.

Robyn  Diener dyes and embellises silk to make fabulous evening bags and table runners. All this available now with woven silk scarfs by August Cole who was featured  last month.

This and much, much more just in time for Mothers Day.

The SHOP at Strathnairn Arts Gallery is open Thursday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm, the Juice Cafe situated within Strathnairn Arts Gallery is open Thurs 10 – 4; Fri 10 – 8; Sat 8.30 – 8; and Sun 8.30 – 4.

To reserve your table please phone the Cafe direct on 0410 270 663, on special weekends such as this one, Walkins are always welcome, but bookings are highly recommended to ensure you don’t miss out!

Strathnairn featuring Weavers

This month in SHOP we are focusing on the art of weaving by two of our SHOP members, August Cole and Lisa Molvig.
Long time member August has been keeping customers in Canberra and beyond warm with her popular blankets, throws, shawls and scarves for many years. Her goods are lovingly woven by hand using natural fibres such as fine wool, alpaca, silk and linens in beautiful combinations and colours. August weaves for all seasons and is never happier than when she is at the loom!
Tapestry weaver Lisa Molvig is expert at this time consuming art having studied a diploma of Arts (tapestry) at Warnambool TAFE.
Lisa believes in re-purposing materials and incorporates non-traditional “yarns” in her work. The hanging ribbons inside clothes have no purpose after they have left their shop displays so these are  collected to be woven into brooches as well as her small tapestry works.
They add colour and shine into the woven wool. Lisa’s tapestry brooches are a unique hand made accessory, perfect for any outfit.
SHOP has so much to see, why not visit and enjoy the Cafe as well, its a perfect place to catch up with friends and family!
Wood Work by Micheal Sainsbury and Ian Latter

February Focus on Wood

Woodwork by Michael Sainsbury and Ian Latter


2016 in SHOP commences with a focus on our woodworkers Ian Latter and Michael Sainsbury
Michael Sainsbury who is our hardworking caretaker/ manager is also a creative woodworker who sources rare timbers and repurposes woods to create turned bowls, bread boards, sushi platters and more. Michaels work has a rustic appearance in which occasional knots and wood grains are integral to each piece. Currently in SHOP Michael is exhibiting sushi platters, turned bowls, a ‘lazy-susan’ and stunning Jarrah shelf unit.
 Ian Latter has been working exclusively in wood over the last 10 years, developing his skills as a woodworker. Right from the start he had a fascination with designing and making boxes. Initially, these were made from glass and subsequently he has concentrated his efforts on making high quality unique one off handcrafted wooden boxes and pinhole cameras.
He works with a variety of timbers, both Australian and locally grown and imported exotic timbers along with reclaimed timbers from the Canberra and local region when available.  Ian is exhibiting his beautifully finished handmade boxes in SHOP and will take private commissions for boxes and other woodworking projects.