Artistic exploration pays off for Jo Ernst

MOORAL Creek artist Jo Ernst says she is having a lucky year, and has her fingers crossed that the luck continues.

She believes she is ‘lucky’ because at the Taree Open Art Exhibition in July this year, she submitted three works, and all three won prizes.

Her work ‘Drawing Within’ scooped the major prize for Best Work in Exhibition, a prize she first won in 2011. Additionally, her study ‘The Luthier’ won first prize in section one - works on board or canvas, and a drawing titled ‘Mieke’ took home first prize in section five - drawing .

“It doesn’t always happen like that ... it was a lucky year. I was really surprised with the results, because I walked in and just went ‘wow, there’s some terrific work’. The judges must simply have connected with what I did,” Jo said.

“It’s very satisfying because I worked very hard at it and it doesn’t happen every day,” she said of her wins at the exhibition. “I’m still buzzing!”

Art, for Jo, is a matter of exploration of herself and her mediums. She says she likes “splashing around” in ink, acrylic, pastel and charcoal. And she loves oils.

“I love exploring oil because oil is multifaceted and I’m heavily into the exploration of oil paint and seeing what it can do and where it can go,” she said, adding that these days she likes drawing with oils.

“I like to explore my mediums and exploring the inner part of myself through that, so every time you paint or draw or something, you’re painting something about a person or a landscape but it’s also about you, it’s never just about that one thing, and it’s the same for every artist,” she said.

Jo was also listed as a finalist for the prestigious Manning Art Prize 2015: Naked and Nude, amongst entries from all over Australia. The exhibition opened at the Manning Regional Art Gallery on September 12 with a Gala Opening and announcement of the winners.

This is the fourth time Jo has been selected as a finalist in the biennial prize, and although she was not awarded a prize On Saturday night, there is no doubt it won’t be the last time she enters the competition.

Jo is represented by the Lost Bear Gallery in Katoomba (formerly known as Katoomba Fine Arts), where she sells most of her work.

She has a show coming up at the Katoomba Gallery which opens September 29. A selection of her nude’s are online at as a preview of her exhibition.

This story Artistic exploration pays off for Jo Ernst first appeared on Wingham Chronicle.


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