Strokes of genius bring bush to life

The West Australian

There was an exceptional standard of entries in the recent Perth Royal Art Show .

Felicia Lowe of Kelmscott took first prize for her acrylic painting Bindaree Mob, portraying working dogs on the back of a ute.

She was awarded $12,000 in prize money.

The judges commented that it was an iconic Australian subject with "effective composition and muted, understated use of colour".

Ms Lowe said she had always had an interest in animals and had been entering animal-themed work in the show for the past 15 years.

"This image is from a sheep property in the Mid West and I came to it via some friends," she said.

Ms Lowe's past success at the show included winning the Agricultural Art Award in 2004.

In 2007 and 2012, she won the Public Choice award, with paintings of a rooster and a blue heeler, which she says are among the awards that mean the most to her.

Meanwhile, in the Agricultural Art section of the Royal Show, York artist Lynette Howieson won first prize of $2000 for best artwork overall with her work High Beam II, created with oil bitumen paint.

Judges said her work highlighted the beauty of night travel and gave a sense of anticipation with clarity and directness.

Mrs Howieson, who has been painting for about 10 years, said the award was a wonderful surprise.

"I had no expectations of winning," she said.

Mrs Howieson said she was inspired by a night-time drive from York to Narrogin to visit her daughter, who was ill.

In the Public Choice section of the Perth Royal Art Show, Christine Blowfield of Donnybrook won with her colourfully textured acrylic painting Bush Glow.

She received $500. Mrs Blowfield said she had been entering her paintings in the show for many years and this was her first win.

"The painting also sold, so I have had a double whammy and am on a bit of a high at the moment," she said.

In the Agricultural Art section, Kathleen Gedling's touching oil painting of a mother sheep with a lamb, entitled Loving Ewe, was voted number one by the public.

Her prize money was $100.

She has been painting for about 20 years and regularly wins the top art prize at her local agricultural show.

"The sheep in the painting belongs to a local lady who has a farm. I just liked the expression on the mother's face," she said.

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