Lynne McQuillian

In memory of the gentle matriarch of the Leeton art scene.

Lynne McQuillan was a long-time member and leader in the Leeton and Riverina arts communities, and a foundation member of the original creative grouping, Fivebough Friends – which came together in 2004 by Lynne and other key members of the local artist community.

“This group was five friends painting together in my old house which we turned into a studio.

The group members were Penny Paniz, Jacqui Herrmann, Kylie McGuire & Denise Cameron. Our 'Fivebough Friends' Exhibition in 2005 was accepted so well in the community, held at the Historic Hydro.

This was most exciting because we were just five friends doing what we loved and it was a sellout.”

Lynne’s style and skill was seen as influential to newer members of the Leeton Art Society as she who share her skills and knowledge to help others find their own individual artistic ‘voice’.

Inspired by the Impressionist school, and the unique landscape and aesthetic of this region, Lynne would capture the essence of place and Nature in her distinctive impressionistic/realist mission to ‘paint light onto the canvas’. Lynne worked mostly in mixed media, with oils and acrylics her favourite mediums.

In her own words:

My art career has been a long time in the making. My love of art started about 60 years ago in kindergarten. I remember thinking how a container of coloured pencils was the best thing ever.

In the earlier part of my life, I balanced my art as a part-time practice, sharing it with bringing up children and working in our own business. I was always curious and always gathering any information I could about art. It was my hobby and my passion.

Having lived in Leeton all my life, I am a country girl at heart and this has of course influenced my style of art, with its focus on landscape and country themes.  

I love to spend time in the river country watching the effect of light on the trees and water. The morning light is so fresh and clear compared to the afternoon light which makes the trees glow with warmth. And I love the wide, open spaces of the rolling hillsides of golden crops and the hazy blue of the distant hills.”

Lynne’s contribution to the Leeton and Riverina art scene was considerable, and the more she painted the more her style developed. She was a guide and mentor to many. 

Her first exhibition was at the Yanco Agriculture High School in 2005. She went on from there to win the Inaugural Penny Paniz competition. This was a heartfelt win as the two artists were great painting friends and to win the first exhibition in her name meant a lot to Lynne.

Lynne went on to win two more Penny Paniz competitions, a testament to the dedication to her art practice. Lynne was also part of many country exhibitions in Narrandera, Coolamon, and Mt Beauty, for example, with country-style art.

Final words in memory of Lynne:

paint more, spend time with like-minded people, and try to capture the beauty of our wonderful country in art.”