We are pleased to offer 40 paintings by renowned Deloraine artist Val Whatley

This exhibition and book offer is now over.

This gallery is of paintings from Val’s own collection from her lifetime with brush and easel in Tasmania’s wilderness and in her flower garden.

It is an on-line as well as on-site sale: the collection is on show at Red Dove Café/Gallery Paterson St, Launceston (Saturday 19th to Sunday 27th September 2020) but you may also purchase on-line as shown below.

The sales are on the basis of collection from the gallery on the last day of exhibition and the prices include GST. However, we can also arrange delivery at cost.

Please note: this catalogue may not be free of error!

Some framing is showing its age, while other framing is brand new. Where possible, the year and size of the painting, including frame, is provided.

For further information contact Paul at email thomopaul@hotmail.com or phone 0419 839 157. We can send a higher resolution photo of paintings you may wish to purchase.

Our special thanks to Val for making the paintings available for this important exhibition to accompany the release of the book Val Whatley’s TASMANIA.

At Val’s request we have minimised the price on all the paintings.

Bob Brown and Paul Thomas.

About Val Whatley

Valerie Dawn Whatley was born in Launceston on 18 October, 1941.

Her maternal grandparents had a farm on Flinders Island and this gave rise to Val’s earliest memories. Her mother took Val to help with the farm when Val’s grandfather fell ill. At two or three years of age Val remembers the “wonders of this world” unfolding on Flinders.

After her grandfather recovered, Val returned to  Launceston, but the natural world had captured her mind. Those happy early memories were bolstered by school holiday trips back to the island farm. She wandered alone to “spend hours in the paddocks watching the paths of the wind across the grass and the clouds in the sky – and listening to the birds. The farm dog was my best and only friend.”

Val’s grandfather gave her ten shillings for her first commissioned painting when she was 10.

Val is a largely self-taught artist but, at Launceston’s Brooks High, she had art lessons with Alex Szolomiak. She entered oil paintings in Launceston exhibitions. In 1971 Val was asked to exhibit with trout fisher and watercolourist David Scholes, and she walked to Lake Pedder, doomed for inundation beneath a hydro-electric scheme.

With her children, Triana and Shane, Val moved to the village of Westbury. In the late 1970s and early 1980s she became a potent artist-advocate in the Tasmanian Wilderness Society’s campaign to save the wild Franklin River from being dammed for yet another hydro-electric scheme.

Val Whatley
Val and Bob at Oura Oura, 2011

Over her mother’s strident opposition, Val rafted the Franklin twice, as well as the Denison and Lower Gordon rivers. Her riverine exhibitions sold out. These paintings lifted the spirits of the campaigners across Tasmania and beyond, not least when it appeared that nothing would stop the dams. But in 1983 the dams were stopped and the rivers saved.

In 1989 Val organised a rally in Hobart of 10,000 people against the planned forest-consuming Wesley Vale pulp mill. The rally was headlined “Our Beautiful Tasmania”. The mill was stopped three months later: five Independent Greens won the balance of power at state elections and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area was doubled in size.

In 1989, her children now adults, Val also built a cottage, with studio and piano, in an idyllic forest clearing in the remote Liffey Valley, looking east to the buttresses of taytitikitheeker/Drys Bluff: “my own wilderness with only the mountains, trees and river as my everyday companions. It was a delightful existence.” This brought her artistry, oils and watercolours, to new heights.

Val is devoted to her children and their families. She is a remarkable, quiet achiever. Her artistry has kept her in funds while bringing delight to a wider public seeking depictions of those moments or places in our wild and scenic heritage which sing to the human soul.

This is a book of that song – a special Val Whatley tribute to Tasmania’s sublime natural beauty.

Bob Brown.
Oura Oura,