I’ve always fancied the job of naming paint colours.

Although after the 23rd shade of off-white, possibly not. So, I did look forward to the naming process, even before I’d received the first undyed skeins from Adagio Mills. Initially, I had thought of theming the colours and ranges based on Australia Fauna and Flora as an obvious extension to the idea of an Australian Yarn. But I quickly decided that this was already a well-trodden path. Once that decision was made, the idea of naming the colours after Australian Female artists was not so much a lightbulb moment, but a conscious desire to acknowledge the extraordinary work produced by Australian women artists.

The visual arts are a very broad category, so I have decided to limit my choice to painters. I could have chosen photographers, ceramicist, sculptors, film-makers and textile artists, but my own love of many of the artists and their work was the deciding factor.

The hardest choices involved those I couldn’t include, but there will be other colours and more artists.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this process and my appreciation of the work produced by this group of women has been greatly enhanced. Matching the artists to the gorgeous colour range did take some time, as I wanted the colour to be a true representation of the colour palette of the artist. Of course, many artists spread their brushes broadly across their palette and a number of shades could have been chosen for some, even within individual artworks.

There are no Indigenous Women included as I did not want to offend the cultural practice of not naming those who have died, but I would encourage you to explore their work.

Margaret Olley – 1923 – 2011
Still Life with Leaves, circa 1960


Margaret Preston- 1875 – 1963
Waratahs 1925, Woodcut, hand coloured


Thea Proctor 1879 – 1966
The Rose 1927, Woodcut, hand coloured


Joy Hester 1920 – 1960
Lovers 1957, Gouache, brush and ink

Cherry Hood 1959-
White Horses 2005/6 Oil on Canvas

Hilda Rix Nicholas 1884 – 1961
The Bathers 1921, Oil on Canvas

Rosalie Gascoigne 1917 – 1999
Cat Tracks, 1989, sawn / split soft drink crates on plywood


Davida Allen 1961
Islands On A Clear Day 2000, oil on board

Wendy Sharpe – 1960-
Sydney Studio with Venice, 2011

Jean Bellette – 1908-1991
Betrothal of Achilles, 1948. Oil on Canvas

Stella Bowen 1893 – 1947
Self Portrait, 1931,  Oil on Board

Mirka Mora 1928
St. Kilda Angel 1988, Digital Giclee on archival paper    


Clarice Beckett 1887- 1935
Taxi Rank 1931   Oil on canvas on board

Elisabeth Cummings 1934 –
Arkoola Landscapes 2004. Oil on Canvas

Nora Heysen 1911 – 2003
Mme Elink Schuurman 1938. Oil on Canvas
Winner of the Archibald Prize, 1938