Oak Hill Gallery


Cynthia Ellis

Arriving in Australia in 1983 I began pursuing my arts education
graduating from CMC Perth Tafe in 1991 and then onto The University
of Western Australia completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2002. I have
exhibited in various and numerous group shows since 1992 with 13 solo
shows, and artist residencies. For a period between 1991 and 2008 I
travelled extensively throughout Australia mostly driving in the outback
and eastern states. I am currently part of a group, The Wild Swans
exhibiting throughout Japan.
My paintings have won art awards and numerous Highly Commended
awards, and are known for their textural surfaces. This unique
approach has come to identify my paintings. The paintings
context is primarily abstraction to semi abstract supported by
gestural brush marks lending towards a figurative and physical
space. It is in the works physical presence that contributes to the
viewing experience.
Colour and light, shape and form are a focus of my work that is
inspired through the environment. Travel, which I do mostly by
car, provides the input to numerous locations within the landscape,
with a focus on water and vegetation. In the studio I begin the
process of painting by half random half deliberate choices of paint
colour allowing the painting to develop by spontaneously
responding to these choices.
My paintings have been collected by the Art Gallery of WA,
Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, The Cruthers Collection of
Woman’s Art and numerous private collections throughout
Australia and overseas.

Cynthia Ellis CV short


Sharntel Ford – Artist-in-Residence 2020

Artist Bio: Sharntel Ford

Sharntel Ford is a young printmaker and oil painter and is currently the artist in residence at the Oak Hill Gallery in Mornington. Sharntel was born in 1994 in regional New South Wales and grew up in the suburbs of Sydney.  As a child, Sharntel explored many of the area’s National parks, wetlands, and beaches, which began her appreciation for Australian landscapes and plants. Sharntel has always loved drawing and painting but only made a late change to pursuing art professionally. In 2015 Sharntel earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Microbiology from the University of Sydney. In 2017 Sharntel began practicing art in her spare time and in 2018 she quit her job in scientific sales and moved to Melbourne to study a ‘Certificate IV of Visual Arts’ at Melbourne Polytechnic in Prahran. It was during this time where she discovered her love for printmaking and oil painting. In 2019 she completed a ‘Diploma of Visual Arts – Fine Art’ at Chisholm in Frankston in 2019.

Sharntel has a love for both natural and man-made beauty and uses her art to highlight the wonders she sees in her everyday surrounds. She tends to focus on natural landscapes, architecture and simple everyday scenes. Sharntel encourages us to appreciate quality craftsmanship and attention to the aesthetic in ways that often seem lost in our materialistic and disposable society. Sharntel’s love of learning means that she continues to experiment with new genres and techniques and thus it is yet to be seen where her future works will take her.

Sharntel’s influences have been many. From M.C. Escher’s genius use of geometry and illusion to Van Gough’s use of expressive brush strokes and colour in his ‘Starry Night’ painting. Additionally she draws on inspiration from the mastery of oil painting and etching seen through Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age with its complex symbolism and historical context of the works. Other inspirational artists which Sharntel studies are Cesar Santos, James Gurney and Margaret Preston, just to name a few.

Sharntel’s greatest artistic achievement to date is winning the ‘Best Overall Folio of 2019’ from Chisholm’s Diploma of Visual Art- Fine Art. The prize for this award was a year-long printmaking residency at the Oak Hill Gallery in Mornington, Victoria in 2020.

Other awards she has won are the Certificate IV ‘Illustrators Australia Student Membership Award for Best Illustration’, and the ‘Fulton Hogan/Ron Rado Encouragement award’.


website: artbysharntel.com

instagram: @sharntelfordart


Veena Merchant

Veena is a visual artist working with a range of mediums and techniques. Her works combine abstract, geometric and natural forms to create richly coloured compositions. Veena’s paintings reflect her vivid imagination, as she likes to capture the mood of an everyday scene and reinterpret it in her own unique style.


Joan Morgan

Elisabeth Joan Morgan (nee Woolley) was born in Kobe, Japan, in 1926 and from age three, spent her early childhood and education in Yokohama, where her father worked as Accountant for the Rising Sun Petroleum Co. Ltd (now known as Shell).

A year or two prior to the war breaking out in 1939, she and her brother were sent to Australia where Joan boarded at “Morongo” in Geelong.

Having completed their secondary education it was necessary for the family to move to Melbourne, (Doncaster) where, between 1941 and 1944, Joan attended Swinburne Technical College to train as a Commercial Artist. She, along with other successful students, at the time, were later awarded a Diploma of Art and Design in 1997.

On achieving top honours at Swinburne, Joan’s talents were quickly discovered and she began working on various artistic commissions, prior to joining Ball and Welch, a prominent department store in Melbourne’s Flinders Street. Here, she was responsible for their entire art and graphical work associated with advertising campaigns, poster and brochure design and store window backdrops.

Her love of art and painting resulted in Joan and husband Tod being past members of the Victorian Artists Society where they actively attended classes and participated in exhibitions. Her paintings are hung in houses locally and internationally and she has been recognized and awarded by many for her diverse talents in a variety of mediums but mainly for her detailed water – colour paintings. Joan’s talents are not purely limited to painting, but also other fine arts, textiles, pottery and ceramics.


Karen Nield – Printmaker

“I am inspired by colour and design to create art that brings joy…”

I love experimenting with  printmaking techniques and find constant inspiration from Australian native plants and the European embroidery designs of my cultural heritage.The “Blue vase” woodcut print is a homage to Margaret Preston who has been a great influence of my work while the collagraph “Ruby Bells” allowed a more painterly effect to best express the explosion of colour this native climber can produce.

Ruby Bells

Blue Vase


Belinda (Billy) Nye – Queen of Suburbia

There truly is nothing like Australia. Although in my life, it took me almost two decades to finally see it, we are so lucky to experience the beauty that surrounds us in this great country. After living abroad for almost twenty years, I returned home to Melbourne in 2001. It wasn’t until later that I learned how inspiring the Australian suburbs can be. Now, this suburban landscape is what motivates me; pushes me to create new works to represent the place I live.

There is a uniqueness in the Australian suburbs that I believe is only captured through art. Some people may find them quotidian, but I know I am not alone in my passion for the domestic scenery. Artists such as Jeffrey Smart, Reg Mombassa/Chris O’Doherty, David Hockney, and Edward Hopper are known for revitalising the suburban world through colour and vivacity, which is what I wish to express in my representations of the Australian backyard.

It’s the manicured lawns, geometric fences, brick facades, diverse letter boxes, telegraph poles and unique Australia flora that make our beautiful Mornington Peninsula so distinctive. There is no other place in the world I would rather be. Not only this, but this stunning scenery is home to a thriving arts community. In particular, Oak Hill Gallery stands out for me as a hub for local artists, giving creators like myself the opportunity to share their craft and follow their passion.

I first recall visiting Oak Hill Gallery when I finished my studies at Chisholm TAFE in Frankston in 2009. I was concerned that after completing my Visual Arts Diploma I would lose the strong network of friends and artists I had met at Chisholm, but finding Oak Hill calmed all of my concerns immediately. Not only was I welcomed into a community of creators and volunteers, but I found a place to showcase my work and learn new approaches to creating art. We are so fortunate to have, hidden amongst the oak trees and roses, this little community gallery to inspire us. Now, eleven years on, I am still involved with all the life-drawing, printmaking, painting, pottery and children’s classes. Additionally, there are exhibitions year-round which invite artists young and old to collaborate and exhibit their works, just like myself when I first encountered this great space.

It is this stable support base that encouraged me to complete my double Bachelor of Arts, and Fine Arts and Visual Culture in 2017. This time of research and study allowed me to hone in my fascination with the ephemeral nature of the suburban landscape. Through my work, I documented the degradation of the domestic scene through modernisation, gentrification and commercial developments. In this study, I realised that the only permanence that we experience is constant transience: Nothing stays the same and there is always sometime new developing. I am obsessed with the impermanence of the Melbourne suburbs, and often find myself driving around with my camera, on the hunt for the perfect lighting, perfect shapes, shadows, colours, and most importantly, beauty in the mundane.

Billy Nye

Web site – www.belindanye.com

Instagram – @billynye_art

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/billyleenye/


  1. Billy in her studio painting “Mills Beach”
  2. Mt Martha IPAD ART # 6
  3. Olivers Hill – Linocut
  4. Mills Beach – Linocut.



Robyn Pettigrew

Robyn is a former Primary School Art & Craft Teacher who has also been involved with creating and selling her own items as well as a profession in Floristry.   These days Robyn prefers to spend time perfecting her inimitable painting style with Watercolour as her main medium.


Graham Thurley

On retirement in 2010 and returning to Mornington, I began water colour classes at Mornington U3A in 2011, with Jan Oliver as tutor, concluding at the end of 2014.  I have been exploring different styles and subjects since.  I am particularly inspired by the colours of Australia’s country side, and am attempting to find ways to be more expressive (!) with water colour.


Yvonne Watson Printmaker/Photographer

After working for many years as a Graphic Designer, I came to Fine Art a Monash University majoring in Printmaking and Photography.  Transferring to RMIT University in my second year, completing an Honours Degree in Printmaking.

Founding Member of the Firestation, Print Studio in Victoria, Chapel off Chapel Gallery and now after 10 years as Manager of Oak Hill Community Arts Cooperative.  I don’t get enough time to focus of my own art, but enjoy encouraging and promoting many of our emerging and established artists on the Mornington Peninsula.

Graphic Artist/Designer 1982 – 1989

As graphic designer and finished artist, I was responsible for numerous advertising campaigns. My major work was the Epicurean Magazine, environmental Graphics for Knox City and Altona Gate Shopping Centres

Qualifications Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Major Fine Art, Printmaking, Photography – Monash University, RMIT University Diploma Graphic Design – Preston Institute of Technology


Commissioned by Print Council of Australia

Acquired by Silk Cut Foundation

Collections include National Gallery Victoria, Print Council of Australia, public and private collections.

My work has been in many national and international exhibitions over the years.


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