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Fay Palmer

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Born in Daylesford, Victoria. My passion for Art and Textiles developed throughout my schooling. I studied both Art and Textiles into tertiary education, graduating with a Higher Diploma in Secondary Art/Craft Teaching. 

Teaching has allowed me to travel widely throughout Australia and overseas. Early in my career (1977) I applied for 12 months leave. Using London as a base I travelled throughout the British Isles, Europe and Egypt absorbing the architectural sites and artworks in the great galleries I had read about so often.

As a student l had always admired the works of many early watercolourists such as RW Sturgess, Harold Herbert, Blamire Young, JM Turner, Edward Wesson, and John Singer Sargent. During the early 80’s after viewing a Greg Allen Watercolour Exhibition at Gallery 21 in Templestowe, (a gallery devoted to Watercolour and sadly no long existing), l decided on my passion to paint in watercolour. The energy and fluidity, the transparency, the granulation of colours on wet or damp paper had sparked my interest.

Classes with Derek Pearse, Barbara Better, David Taylor and Alvaro Castagnet followed then workshops and demonstrations with Amanda Hyatt, Robert Wade, Greg Allen, Joseph Zbukvic and Malcolm Beattie. 

Throughout the 80’s I absorbed and worked on improving my watercolour skills and techniques when time allowed. My teaching colleagues often purchased my early works which gave me the incentive and confidence to exhibit. 

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Gum Study

Watercolour on Paper

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Inland Escarpment

Watercolour on Paper

I first exhibited in 1988 at the Royal Overseas League in Melbourne, this work was awarded an Honourable Mention by the late Sir William Dargie which l found encouraging. I then joined both the Watercolour Society of Victoria then the very active Waverley Art Society (WAS). 

Over time I have exhibited work in Rotary Art Shows, many group exhibitions at the Mulgrave Gallery, the Highway Gallery with the Waverley Art Society (WAS), the Flower and Garden Show, the Watercolour Society of Victoria plus three successful joint exhibitions in the Mulgrave Gallery, one in the Cato Gallery (VAS) and one at the Lakes Vic Gallery, Lakes Entrance. I was also the guest artist at an annual art exhibition in Albury, NSW in 1996.

I successfully exhibited in the annual VAS ‘Bargain Sales’ after l was nominated to join the VAS by David Taylor in 1994.   

In 1998 I participated in an Art Study Tour with tour leader David Taylor to Albi and the Dordogne in France. An exhibition of French paintings in the Cato Gallery followed in 1999.

After retiring from full time teaching in 2005, l taught night classes in watercolour for the Waverley Art Society. l was also Vice/President of the Waverley Art Society from 2011 till 2013. 

In 2015 l became a regular exhibitor at VAS in seasonal exhibitions. I am now an active member of both the Victorian Artists Society and the Watercolour Society of Victoria.

I describe most of my work as representational rather than realistic. My style is continually changing and developing. I paint quickly trying to retain the energy and fluidity of the medium. Painting to me is a very intuitive process. 'I go with the flow'. The first few atmospheric strokes of colour merging on damp paper can lead my imagination to depict a subject that is very different from my initial idea.

I am mostly a studio painter as I like to experiment with the medium. This style of working probably evolved as a result of my teaching training and practice. I don’t adhere to the rules of traditional watercolourists as l sometimes work my watercolours with palette knives, coloured pencil, cardboard, marker pens, sticks and inks. A fine spray bottle is also used to move the pigments around. 

This exhibition titled 'GOING WITH THE FLOW' reveals a collection of my works experimenting and playing with the medium over the past few years.

Watercolour remains my challenge 'I paint from the head and the heart always aiming for feeling and mood in my subjects.'


1993 Best Watercolour (ROSL)

1995 Robert Wade Award for Watercolour (WAS)

2001/2008 Camberwell Art Show Watercolour

2009 Best Watercolour (WAS)

2010 Best Watercolour (WAS)

2011 Commendation in Watercolour Kenneth Jack Award

2013 Highly Commended Drawing (WAS)

2016 Highly Commended Watercolour Autumn (VAS)

2022 Highly Commended Watercolours at both the Summer and Contemporary Exhibitions (VAS)


1991/93/95 Mulgrave Gallery

1999 Cato Gallery (VAS) after painting in France 1998<

2011/12 The Lakes Vic Gallery, Lakes Entrance

Exhibitions & Events by Fay Palmer

P1010751 (2)
Fay Palmer—Going with the Flow
11 May 2023 – 22 May 2023

Works by Fay Palmer

Spring Thaw
Fay Palmer
55cm (W) x 57cm (H) x 3cm (D)
$ 650.00
Fay Palmer
64cm (W) x 60cm (H) x 3cm (D)
$ 900.00
P1010730 (2)
Cloud Burst
Fay Palmer
68cm (W) x 70cm (H) x 3cm (D)
$ 1,000.00
P1010751 (2)
Fay Palmer
57cm (W) x 60cm (H) x 3cm (D)
$ 650.00
P1010672 (2)
Quiet Backwater
Fay Palmer
57cm (W) x 58cm (H) x 2cm (D)
$ 500.00
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Acknowledgment of traditional owners.

We would like to pay our respects to the traditional owners of the land on which our building stands, their leaders, past, present and emerging.