Born in Graz, Austria, Joe migrated to Sydney in 1960. His workmates found the name Gunter unusual and, in typical Australian fashion, they took to calling him Joe. It’s a name that stuck with him to this day. 

The lure of opals led Joe north-west to Lighting Ridge where he spent 17 years mining for the multi-coloured gems and picking up gigs playing music wherever he could. Eventually ‘Gold Fever’ tempted Joe to try his luck in the Victorian Central Goldfields. He settled in Tarnagulla with his family and it was during this time he discovered his passion for art.

In a room above a picture framing shop on View Street in Bendigo, Joe began receiving weekly private tutoring in oil painting and later studied for a number of years under the accomplished watercolour artist, Jan McNeill. He is a long-time member of the Bendigo Arts Society and the Main Images life drawing group in Castlemaine. 

Joe’s 30-year engagement with life drawing has allowed him to hone his observational skills and develop the sensitivity and expressiveness evident in his linework. The ironbark and grey box forests native to Tarnagulla have provided consistent inspiration to Joe as he renders their distinctive trunks in oils, acrylic and gouache. His sensitive use of colour masterfully captures the dusky glow of twilight, inviting the viewer to contemplate the fleeting magic emanating from the ambient fading light. 

Be sure to adventure beyond the main street of Tarnagulla to visit Joe in the historic red-brick church that houses his studio gallery.  You will be visually well-rewarded if you do. 

While you’re in Tarnagulla check out Melanie Young Studio to see the wonderful abstract fabric works by Mel Young and drop into the Tarnagulla Community Centre to see the skillful leatherwork of Maryann Scull.