Stairway to Heaven: Exotic Textiles & Other Beautiful Things


Stairway to Heaven StairwayBack

Stairway to Heaven: Exotic Textiles & Other Beautiful Things is an eclectic collection of beautiful hand woven and embroidered textiles from around the world along with local ceramic works by Geoff Davidson, paintings and works on paper by various Mongolian artists, Jenni Mitchell, Grace Mitchell and  Mervyn Hannan. There are colourful Turkish Ceramic pieces, garden porcelain and African carved wood pieces.

We are also introducing to the gallery White Cliffs jeweller Linda George. We met Linda recently while on our painting trip to Tibooburra and White Cliffs. She is an extraordinary artist working with gold and silver using both local and other Australian Opal in her settings along with pearls and fine gemstones. Linda works from her underground opal mine home.

We have a selection of jewellery in our showcase by Linda.

Linda George


The exhibition will continue through until end of December and is open Thursday to Sunday. Hours Thur – Sat 10.00 – 5.30 and Sunday 11.00 – 5.00. (Note: Please check first re: Sunday as on occasion the gallery will be closed on a Sunday).


Hal Barton (1927 – 2015)

Hal Barton, a former Eltham artist identity recently passed away. Hal had been living in Noosa on the Queensland Sunshine Coats for many years where he has continued to paint and exhibit his work. Hal was fine Australian Landscape painter and Portrait painter; becoming a finalist in the Doug Moran Portrait Prize in 1992. He was very much part of the  artistic community during the heady days of Eltham in the 60s and 70s. Hal Barton

The Artists Garden: Two Orchard Garden Painting Workshops





The Orchard Garden was first established in 1948 by Arthur & Grace Mitchell to grow produce for the family and their pastry shop business. Today still in the family the garden is maintained by Jenni & Mervyn for food, beauty and a pleasant way of life.

The workshop will commence with a demonstration by Jenni Mitchell followed by one to one tuition around the garden. The large garden has plenty of corners to set up an easel or drawing board in comfort.

The focus is to capture on paper or canvas the essence of the garden quickly using your chosen materials. You will be shown how to view the subject using your Artists’ Eye.

These workshops are suitable for all student levels including beginners & experienced artists who like to work with nature in a colourful garden setting.

* Bring your favourite painting materials: oil, acrylic, gouache, watercolour, pencil or pastels. Lunch and refreshments provided.

*basic art materials available for purchase at gallery.

Cost $155.00 each or $285 for two workshops. includes home cooked lunch and refreshments.

All enquiries:
Jenni Mitchell 9439 3458 or M. 0417 585 102 6 Mt. Pleasant Road, Eltham 3095 Mel. ref: 21

Artists Garden Workshops Flyer

Workshop Bookings

PIERS BATEMAN (Piers maxwell Dudley-Bateman)


The Gallery will be closed 12 SEPTEMBER and reopen 10 OCTOBER. 

Jenni & Mervyn are heading off to Tibooburra to paint.


We are saddened to acknowledge the passing of our gallery artist, friend and colleague PIERS BATEMEN. Piers has been in both Mervyn and my life forever. The Bateman family lived nearby when I was growing up in Eltham and came regularly to our Pastry shop. Piers was always the artist and when I began painting he made my first picture frames. He attended our local Eltham High School and contributed significantly to the artistic ethos of our community. Piers had the opportunity to work with and be mentored by  some of our country’s greatest artists’ such as Arthur Boyd.  We were excited for him when he had his first successful exhibitions and how proud he stood with those first achievements.  He went on to have a highly successful career as an artist in Australia and overseas. He had a passion for the sea and travelling extensively making a home where ever he was and in particular Spain and more recently China. He began teaching painting as a Professor for the Shanghai Institute of Visual Art.

Piers was an adventurer and great inspiration for just heading out there and doing it!  We saw the Australian Desert through Piers’s paintings, our local Bush and later the works from China more recently. He made his mark as a strong and unique Australian Landscape artist and did not ever ‘sell out’ to the fashion of the day with his art.

Piers has been showing at Eltham South Fine Art: Studios and Gallery since we commence and will be greatly missed for those regular chats and coffee around the table.

Jenni Mitchell


Painting – Summer Bush Piers Batemen

Piers Bateman wall plate from our Retro Eltham Show

Piers Bateman (1947 – 2015)

Born in Perth Piers moved to Eltham with his family in 1957 where he spent his formative years and attended the local Eltham high school. In 1966 Piers travelled to London where he studied art with Arthur Boyd and shared studios with Canadian and English painters. He held his first exhibition in Melbourne at the Munster Arms Gallery in 1968 age 20. From thereon he has travelled and exhibited regularly in Australia and overseas as well as setting up a studio in Alicante Spain in 1985. He has work held in many Private and Public collections nationally and internationally including Shanghai; where he currently holds a position at the Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts.

From the Sydney Morning Herald

Former Liberal Andrew Peacock, has paid tribute to his “dear friend” landscape artist Piers Bateman, who died in a boating accident on Friday.

Mr Bateman, 67, was accompanied by a friend from New South Wales, who also perished in the incident.

In an email to Fairfax Media from his home in Texas, US, Mr Peacock said he was “very sad” to learn of the death.

Artist Piers Bateman.Artist Piers Bateman.

“Piers was a dear friend and I greatly admire his work,” he said.

“Six of his works hung in the Australian Ambassador’s Residence in Washington,DC while I was there and I have five of them hanging in my Texas home today.”

Mr Peacock said so much of the Melbourne artist’s work evoked a distinctive Australian spirit.

“Piers was a fine artist and I will miss both him and his work,” he said.

Mr Bateman’s   work has been exhibited in art galleries in Australia and abroard, including the Red Hill Gallery in Brisbane, Eltham South Fine Art and the Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair.
His art also hangs on the walls of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Melbourne University and the conference room in the Australian Embassy in Washington.

In 2008, Mr Bateman told Brisbane Times art was a “seduction” to be enjoyed. Continue reading

Late Sunday Afternoon Poetry Reading


Special Event –

Late Sunday Afternoon Poetry Reading – 28 June 4.30pm

Mark O’Connor & Luke Whitington will be travelling from Interstate to read at the gallery Sunday Afternoon 28 June.

If you would like an invitation to this event please book now through gallery:

(03) 94393458 Mob. o417 585 102 or email

Click here for details & bookings:

Artist Jenni Mitchell

Artist Jenni Mitchell


Mixed Media Workshop with Jenni Mitchell – Sunday 26 July 10.00 – 3.30

Materials for mixed media

Limited Places – please book with Jenni (03) 94393458 M. 0417 585 102


click on images

Gallery closed Sunday 19 April until Thursday 30 April 2015.


Eltham South Fine Art: Studios & Gallery will be closed Sunday19 April and re-open Thursday 30 April. 


Autumn Colour

Autumn Colour

An Artists’ Field Trip Flyer

Royal Melbourne Botanical Gardens Field Sketching Workshop

Come and join Jenni Mitchell and Mervyn Hannan on an all day field sketching workshoop in Melbourne’s beautiful Botanical Gardens.

Date:Monday 6th April (last Monday of School Holidays) Map inside Gardens

Time: 10.00am – 3.00pm

Meet: The Melbourne Botanical Gardens Terrace café.

Cost: $110

Lunch: BYO or have lunch at the Café.

Link to Bookings: Jenni Mitchell ph: (03) 9439 3458

Map Royal Botanical Gardens

Map Royal Botanical Gardens

This workshop is designed to help prepare the artist for a ‘day out’ sketching. You will take just enough materials for easy management and carrying in the field. No need to bring easels.

Bring what you can easily carry – think visiting a foreign country, a train trip, a visit to the beach, city or landscape and plan to come home with some field sketches to work up in the studio, or not.

Suggested materials include – pencils, pen and ink, watercolour and pastels. You will need a sketchbook or drawing board with paper cut to size and fixative if using pastel.

Watercolour, gouache and ink artists will need a bag that will carry a palette, brushes, water container, rag or paper towel and water. This may include a bottle of drinking water that can be refilled from a tap in the park.

You may like to simply come with a pad and pencil. Suggested black led pencils include a variety of sizes from H to 6B, ie: hard and soft black lead pencils. Coloured pencils are also useful including watercolour pencils. You may like to use charcoal.

Wet ones are useful for cleaning hands in the field. You may like to bring a cushion, light blanket or something to sit on if planning to work on the ground. There will be seats throughout the gardens – but you may need to be quick to secure a spot.

It is a public holiday and if the sun is shining the gardens will have more visitors. This can add to the subject material – and the need to sketch quickly.

Bring enough paper and materials to last the day. There will be panoramic subjects to paint and exquisite close up work to do. The choice will be up to you.

Bring a hat.

I will give a demonstration of a variety of subjects in different mediums and then help each student as a one on one with your chosen subject.

Botanical Gardens Flyer

Map inside Gardens

January 2015



The Etching Press will be available this Saturday Afternoon 21 February 2pm – 5pm  for students and artists who attended the recent LinoPrint workshop. It will be available once a month for printing.


Painting the Yarra River with Jenni Mitchell




Two upcoming events for Eltham South Fine Art include A LATE SUNDAY AFTERNOON  LITERARY  with SIGMUND JOSigBookRGENSEN. Sunday 15 February 3.00 – 5.00.Sigmund For further details and bookings click here… Late Sunday Afternoon with Sigmund Jorgensen.


Two Orchard Painting Workshop for February will be held on Sunday 8th and Tuesday 17th. More information here… GardenWshopFeb


The Eltham South Fine Art: Gallery & Studios will officially re-open for 2015 Thursday 29th January. (The gallery will be open on other days before the 29th if we are working in the studios.) The gallery will be open regularly Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Sundays – please check first. Eltham South Fine Art is an artist-run-space and to enable us to pursue our own artistic life will not be opening every Sunday in 2015. Eltham South Fine Art is a working studio, gallery and the family home of artists Jenni Mitchell and Mervyn Hannan. The gallery space permanently exhibits the family works of painting, print, sculpture, textile, jewellery and books by the Mitchell, Hannan and Skipper family; Jenni Mitchell, Grace Mitchell, Mervyn Hannan, Joe Hannan, Sonia Skipper. and Sigmund Jorgensen. The gallery also exhibits our contemporaries and has work from the early Eltham artists for a sense of Eltham history;   Alan Martin, Leslie Sinclair, Peter Glass, George Chalmers, Piers Bateman and more. As well as the studio and gallery visitors are welcome to wander through the orchard garden which was originally established by Arthur and Grace Mitchell in 1948. Textile and jewellery from Afghanistan, Mongolia, Nepal, Timor and Turkey. We also offer custom Picture Framing and have been framing as Studio Framing since 1988.


Painting classes are held with Jenni Mitchell and Mervyn Hannan and will be commencing for 2015 from Thursday 29th January.

Thursday 10.00am – 12.30

Thursday 4.30am – 6.30

Friday 10.00am – 12.30

Saturday 10.00 –  12.00

Saturday 2.30 –  4.30

Private sessions by arrangement.


Painting and Drawing Workshops are organised throughout the year and held at the Studio, The Orchard Garden, The Yarra River and other Landscape locations. These will be posted at they are organised. There are currently places available in the Orchard Garden Workshops for February.

The Lino Print workshop for January is full at this time.

News for November


November is looking good at the Eltham South Fine Art: Studios & Gallery.

The Orchard Garden is in full bloom and producing an array of Spring Flowers and vegetables.

Several Garden Workshop dates have been organised for painting in the Orchard through to February 2015 and during the Summer break in January a two day linocut printmaking workshop will be held in the gallery. Bookings are now being taken for these workshops.

The Orchard Garden in Spring Bloom.

The Orchard Garden in Spring Bloom.

Jenni Mitchell and Mervyn Hannan’s private studios will be open for the next two weekends as part of the Nillumbik Shire Open Studio program. Come into the gallery studio and through the orchard to the visit their private working studios.

The current exhibition in the gallery is a selection of works by Jenni Mitchell and Mervyn Hannan.

New into the gallery are some beautiful silver and gemstone jewellery made by artists and craftsmen from ethnic Hill-tribe communities and work by several Nepalese women’s communities. We also have new work from Mongolia, Timor, Nepal and India.

Jenni Mitchell Linocut Print.

‘Woman with Stone’  Jenni Mitchell  Linocut Print.

2015 Orchard front 2015 Orchard back

Lino front Linocut_back



New Painting Workshops

A series of four new workshops have been planned to work with Jenni Mitchell and Mervyn Hannan both in the Artists Orchard Garden at the gallery and in both Wingrove Park Eltham and along the Yarra River in Warrandyte.

Click here for Workshop details…

Two Artist Garden Workshops

Wingrove Park Details & Bookings


All Workshop Dates Spring/Summer


Students from the Studios

DV News Oct 1 2014

DV News Oct 1 2014

September News  

Students from the Studios Poster

Jenni Mitchell’s Painting Students Exhibition.

The first exhibition by 27 of Jenni Mitchell’s Eltham Studios painting students will open Sunday 28 September at Eltham South Fine Art: Gallery & Studios.

This is the first student show at the gallery since moving the teaching studio from Montsalvat to the studio and home of the late pastry cook and sculptor GRACE MITCELL. The last exhibition of Jenni’s students was held in the Long Gallery at Montsalvat several years ago.

I am excited at the breadth of the work in this show. Most of the students are from the Eltham and Nillumbik area and range in ages from 11 – 76. Some of my students have been working in my studios for eight years and others just a few months. The diversity of the work also ranges in styles and materials from works on canvas, paper, oil paint, pastel, pencil and water based paints.

The Exhibition subjects include simple black and white studio studies to complex and intricate still life paintings, the orchard garden at the studio and paintings from recent plein air workshops in Wingrove Park and the Yarra River.

The quality of the work in show is excellent due partly to the disciplined basis of the tonal painting technique encouraged in the studio.

My philosophy is to encourage them to spend the time in developing good painting skills through a formal understanding of tone using first black and white to understanding how to ‘see’ the subject objectively. By using these classical early techniques the artist students are able to develop their own methods in which they may ‘express themselves’ through any medium and will have knowledge of how make their art with conviction rather than by using the hit and miss approach.

Many students will be hanging their work in a gallery for the first time while others have been exhibiting regularly. The idea of the show came from the students who wanted to experience the complete process learning and making art through to the exhibition.

Also on exhibition are works by Mervyn Hannan’s pastel students. Mervyn has been taking classes also this year. Students are able to take classes with both Jenni and Mervyn.

This is an opportunity to show support for the thriving artistic community in our area as well an opportunity to make a purchase from new and emerging artists who may become our Finest Artists of the Future. Some works are for sale and are reasonably priced.

The Exhibition will be opened by Councillor Helen Coleman 2.oopm Sunday 28 September and run until 12 October – Wednesday’s to Sunday 10.00am – 5.30pm.


Further Background –

Eltham South Fine Art: Studios & Gallery grew out of the Mitchell family property in Mt. Pleasant Road. My parents, Grace and Arthur Mitchell purchased the property in 1948 – an old rambling weatherboard cottage stood at the top of the block. When my father became ill Grace built a small tearoom and pastry shop, as a way of earning an income to support Arthur and her young child (Jenni) then. Together they built the large orchard garden that survives today. (Mervyn and I maintain the garden as well as run the gallery and teaching studio to help preserve this little piece of Eltham history).

After Grace retired from the shop, age 67 she got a driving license and completed a fine art degree at RMIT. The ‘tearooms’ then became her home and sculpture studios. The old cottage is now a mudbrick house and Jenni’s painting studio. When Grace passed in 2011 at nearly 95yrs Mervyn and I decided to turn her home and studio into what is now ELTHAM SOUTH FINE ART: Gallery & Studios.

 Prior to this I rented the Studio at Montsalvat by the pool as my teaching studio. Seemed wasteful to continue to pay rent to Montsalvat when I was also paying rates for Grace’s house; and we didn’t want to sell to a developer; which was suggested. 

Grace would be delighted to see her home being used as a gallery and studio today. She loved to teach too and used to teach pottery and bee keeping at the Eltham Living and Learning Centre.

We have had several shows at the gallery in the last couple of years including an important RETRO ELTHAM SHOW in which we exhibition 61 artists who were working in the Shire during our youth (1960s – 1980s). Mervyn and I both want to continue to show the art and history of local region. Both Eltham born and with strong ties to Montsalvat from an early age we have a sound knowledge of the arts history in region, and how quickly it can disappear.

Jenni Mitchell

Modern Love: The Lives of John and Sunday Reed.

Our next special event at the gallery is a book launch in conjunction with Eltham Bookshop and Melbourne University Press –

Modern Love: The Lives of John & Sunday Reed.

Read the flyer below for details and all bookings to be made through the bookshop. Book soon as seating will be limited.

modern love copy jpg