The 12 finalists of the inaugural Starts at 60 art competition

Vote now for your favourite creation! The winner will be announced on Thursday, 27 July 2023.

Voting has now closed. The winner will be announced on Thursday, 27 July.

Art is such a wonderful way to express emotions, capture a memory and ignite the imagination.

From beautiful oil paintings and pencil sketches to crafts, crochet animals and knitted masterpieces, there is no denying that we have such a talented community! It was not easy, but we have picked our top 12 finalists and now it’s your turn to vote for your favourite creation.

The good news is, all 12 of our finalists will be featured in the 2024 Starts at 60 calendar, but who walks home with the top prize is up to you.

Have a look at the finalists below and then cast your vote at the bottom of this article!


1. “No 69…Quintessential Milton” – Glenys H (NSW)

This is a watercolour, Gouche and ink painting on 300gsm Arches watercolour paper. 26cm x 36 cm .I have just completed a 6 week road/painting trip down the South Coast of NSW. Painting wherever I stopped.

Milton is a beautiful, quaint historical town just north of Ulladulla. Everywhere you walk in this beautiful town is inspiring but it was no 69 that really appealed to the artist in me.


2. “Chester” – Marion T (SA)

My “Chester” was inspired from a picture found online. Have only been in pencil art for 2 years. I used Canson paper and Faber Castell polychrome pencils.


3. “Fun on the Farm” – Diane M (QLD)

My crochet blanket is the size of a queen bed and took me over 100 hours to complete. All animals and other items were handmade from separate pieces and sewn together, then sewed on the crocheted blanket.


4. “A Crowd of Kings” – Ruth F (SA)

The painting is an acrylic on canvas board, depicting King penguins on Macquarie Island, which is situated between Hobart and Antarctica. I was struck by the fabulous colours and patterns that nature provided in the group of penguins. The contrasts of grey, black, white and orange are striking and eye catching. These penguins gather in great numbers and group together for protection. My artwork depicts the intricacies of the subject, capturing the light, textures and colours created by the individual penguins when crowding together.

Painting it was a bit like putting a jigsaw together! There are so many penguins that are all so similar, the picture took quite a long time to paint.


5. “Reflections” – Kim C (NSW)

This is a painting of the different types of flowers at the Melbourne growers’ markets. The colours, long stems and the reflections in the vases made this an interesting and fun challenge to paint.


6. “Bunny kisses and Easter wishes!” – Debbie B (SA)

It was Easter time and Plush velvet bunnies were popular. My granddaughter, Ivy, who was 3 years old at the time, was happy to pose with them to show they stood 50cm tall. They are crocheted with a plush velvet yarn and lots of stuffing. Very cuddly.


7. “The River” – Robyn O (NSW)

This was a project I started as a gift for my husband’s 67th birthday but it took a lot longer than I thought. Life got in the way so it took 2 years to complete. It’s based on a photo I took a few years back. This was a favourite holiday spot for our family on the Bellinger River NSW.

It was a piece of calico that I painted with acrylics, drew the bridge, appliqued trees etc. The boat was made separately. Then stitched…..lots of stitching..


8. “Emu”- Elizabeth N (NSW)

I decided to paint him since I just loved his typical “emu” expression. It is done in soft pastels, pan pastels and pastel pencils with the reference photograph provided by my art teacher.

I am a beginner artist, having only started my art journey last year when I retired from work at age 70 and I am enjoying it immensely. I have done works with graphite, charcoal, pen, colour pencil, watercolour, pastels and acrylics and have yet to decide on a favourite medium. I am quite proud of “Emu” and I believe it is my best work so far.


9. “Temptation” – Penny M (QLD)

My artwork is fused glass. It was inspired by the lorikeets that flock to tall gum trees in my yard each day. The Piece is called “Temptation” as the Gum tree is tempting the Lorikeet to eat its white blossoms.

I have a home workshop and my own kiln. I have been working with warm fused for a few years now. I cut the coloured glass into shapes then layer them on top of each other until I get it right then it goes into the kiln for 18 – 20 hours to fuse together the piece is 50cm x 37cm. I find this is a very challenging medium to work with … but the end results can be stunning.


10. Mosaic town – Pip H (SA)

It is a ceramic tile mosaic inspired by imagination.


11. “Lady Toilet Roll” – Diane H (VIC)

When Covid hit in 2020 and lockdowns became the norm I created a character called Lady Toilet Roll. She was made from a toilet roll at the height of the toilet paper shortages. And I could only use items that I had in my own home.

This work was created for the Melbourne Cup in 2020 where she was making her outfit for the big event. I used wrapping paper, pipe cleaners, blue tac, little pearls, cardboard, pom poms, glistening leaves, assorted sewing bits and pieces and dolls furniture. I used my Samsung phone to take the photos. She even has her own Facebook and Instagram pages!


12. “A promise of things to come” – Kerry Z (NSW)

This oil painting on canvas represents a long often heart breaking journey through IVF and all that entailed. Then while walking along the beach, this scene presented itself on the morning of ‘the last chance procedure’.

The sunrise in all its beauty, here was the promise that everything was going to be okay. And now my daughter is 24 weeks pregnant with twins and everything is going along beautifully.


Voting ends Wednesday, 26 July. The winner will be announced Thursday, 27 July 2023.

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