Creative pact

• George Haynes and Jane Martin: long-term partners in love and art. Photo by City of Cockburn

IT’S one of Spearwood’s great love affairs that spans 40 years and countless great artworks.

George Haynes and Jane Martin are profesional painters and have been together for four decades, delighting fans with their stunning art.

They work out of a quirky Spearwood studio, which was once a Babich market garden potato and onion sorting shed.

The couple put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into converting the shed into a gorgeous, sun-bathed studio that overlooks a lush, peaceful garden.

They are highly respected in the art scene and over the years George has taught many high-profile WA painters including Giles Hohnen, Jeremy Kirwan-Ward and Eveline Kotai.

Born in Kenya, the son of a doctor, as a kid George would sketch to pass the time in remote regions of Africa, before going on to study at Chelsea School of Art and then moving to WA in 1962. Jane has received numerous awards, graced all the major galleries and now exhibits mostly through Perth’s Art Collective.

She grew up in England, before moving to WA and studying painting and drawing at Perth Tech in the 1960s. 

Jane is known for her landscapes and still life, while George used to specialise in landscapes, but these days he’ll often find inspiration in his back garden and suburbia.

“Painting is a fascinating discipline, in all its variations, and the pursuit and explorations of it still enthrall me,” George says.

“Also as a vehicle for expressing feelings, through colour which is another bag of worms.”

Jane says she is still inspired by day-to-day life: “My muse is my fascination in the world around me – every day things I see and take delight in.”

Having been together for four decades, there’s no doubt been some disagreements over the years, but George says the bedrock of their relationship is their “huge respect for each other’s painting.”

The arty pair like to give back to the community and currently have works in the Show Off exhibition in Hamilton Hill. 

Held annually since 2003, the exhibition showcases artists living in Cockburn and over the years has displayed about $2.4m worth of art by more than 800 artists.

“My painting at Show Off is figurative on my poem – ‘…love is a duet, in which, in a sense, we play each other’s instrument’” George says.

Jane is exhibiting paintings of the beautiful lilies in their back garden.

The couple have appeared in every Show Off since it began 20 years ago.

There’s still time to catch Show Off with the exhibition on until tomorrow (Sunday March 26) at Memorial Hall, 435 Carrington Street in Hamilton Hill.

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