Informal and formal  patterns.  I’ve been seeing them everywhere since I visited Ev Hales at her Hurstbridge studio. She’s fascinated by them…See the pattern in the floor in her painting above. That’s the the formal pattern.  Then the people moving around on that floor provide the informal pattern. This interest in patterns has cemented itself in her paintings over quite a prolific career.

You will notice the cafe included in the shopping centre painting above. Ev painted 16 works with this cafe as the subject. She wanted to create a work that depicted the movement happening all of the time in a cafe.   In each painting people moved in and out of the cafe…tables empty, tables full. The cards below are small laminated copies of these 16 paintings.  Ev discovered that if she grouped them together in patterns of six or eight…she created a whole new pattern…it’s a brilliant idea.  The resulting work is dynamic.    The possibilities are endless.


I played with the cards and came up with this random grouping of eight of them (below).  The pattern on the floor links each painting and the lines make a bigger pattern with them all grouped together.  It was great fun trying different combinations.


These paintings can be reproduced in the grouping and make a work of art in their own right.


Within her watercolour paintings, Ev uses only eight colours in all.  I find it astounding that she is able to create the richness of colour evident in these paintings below. Incidentally, the colours in these reproductions of her work are not true to the vibrance of the real thing.  I apologize for the colour quality. We tried quite a few different ways to get accurate colours true to the original. But were unhappy with the results. You’ll have to go to her studio to see the real thing.

Ev calls herself a realist but it interests me that alongside the realistic subject matter of her work there is a quality of abstraction in the detail.














Local artists love the Dunmoochin Life Drawing sessions.The following drawings by Ev are from an extensive collection of life drawings all of which have been done at Dunmoochin. They are all in the most beautiful bound books…they’re real treasures in their own right.









Ev is in the midst of publishing a book detailing her life’s work, called “Ev Hales- A Work in Progress”. What’s most evident after a quick glance at the book, is that her work is varied and unpredictable. Underlying everything is her interest in patterns. The book will be a wonderful tribute to her work in progress. It will be published this year.

Ev’s studio at 62 Taylor Road Hurstbridge, will be open to the public this weekend as a part of the Nillumbik Artists Open Studios Program. For more information about the program go to their website.