Ellsworth Overton

Richmond Library Space, 415 Church St, Richmond

Winter of E. O.

Paintings in oils and water-colours

14 August - 13 October 2012

There are 3 large works exhibited on the library walls and 5 in the glass case.

Born in Canada, Ellsworth expresses a love of Australian bush, its creatures and landscape as well as a love of the '50s English Austin A30 cars.

Beany's. This painting done in oils takes me right inside a coffee house / café. I can smell the Kenya, Brazilia and Columbian coffees stacked to overflowing in the hessian bags. Delicious aroma. Two close friends seated at a café table are deep in conversation, catching up on news and gossip. At the deli / bakery counter a customer is buying something yummy, maybe to take away. Serving him is a red headed proprietress and a waiter is busy carrying hot coffee. A gelati counter topped with lolly jars brings a happy multicoloured display. This is a delightful painting of an Australian Saturday morning pastime of breakfast or brunch, imbued by Ellsworth with a lovely detailed story.


Blue Wren. Executed in water colour, this painting takes us right inside a fern tree forest, could be the Dandenongs or north rainforest country. It is a quiet scene, gently painted in a limited palette of greens with touches of burnt sienna. Only the Blue Wren stands out brightly, it’s tail held proudly and it’s beak searching for something good. Once again Ellsworth has painted a very detailed picture with the fern fronds having a gentle lace like quality.

Refreshing Ferns. Painted in oil, this image takes us deep into a cool, mysterious forest. Once again the fern trees are painted delicately and are highly detailed. The palette here is also limited to greens, touches of burnt sienna and a gentle creamy colour. Two parrots bright and shiny in their red coats, blue winged and tailed are perched on a branch, deep in conversation. It’s an enchanting picture, a place where one can sit and rest and contemplate. Lovely.

In the display case there are five small works, four executed in water colour and one in oils. These images are of cars which Ellsworth has an obvious love for. The English 1950s vintage Austin A30, representative of the Australian A30 Car Club. And surprisingly a VW Campervan. The campervan has been Ellsworth’s mobile studio since the late '70s and I think he has had a lot of fun travelling in it and painting his surroundings.


Dot & Tom Bacon's A30. A creamy coloured A30 in a bush setting, perhaps after arriving at journey’s end. An advertisement proudly displays the Australian Austin A30 Car Club, with the Australian flag waving and a Kookaburra quizzically watching. A delightful picture in delicate, lovely colours.

Harvey & June Overton's Austin A30. A light green version stands proudly under a palm tree. The sort of car packed with kids you would love to drive to a picnic.

Lorraine & Ron Maddock's A30. A red A30, cute car, reminds me of the first car we ever owned, a '50s Anglia. All these cars are full of character and evoke happy memories of picnics and drives to the country on Sunday afternoons.

Namurkah Bakery A30 Van. A lovely image of the Bakery Van with a baker carrying out a load of freshly baked buns and bread, ready for the daily delivery. On the awning there is a picture of a baker in a high white hat and apron, proudly pointing to his ‘Hot Bread’ advertising sign.


Bay Camper. This image is in oil on canvas and I could not believe my eyes, a VW amongst all the Austins! This is a very happy camping scene with an orange and blue camping tent and a white van with a yellow canvas ‘extension’, on which a kookaburra sits perched, looking down. There are Ellsworth’s paintings drying in the sun and a camping table and stool laden with paintbrushes and paints. This painting was awarded First Prize at a recent exhibition and the Volks Wagen Club has used one of Ellsworth's images as a cover for their magazine.

Congratulations Ellsworth, and many happy painting adventures in your van in the Australian bush. I have really enjoyed your works, thank you.


Review by Sophie Skarbek

Go To Top