Patricia Giles has had a career as an artist spanning six decades, and her life and work deserve wider exposure. Painting en plein air through the challenging weather of Tasmania – sometimes even tied down to avoid being blown away by the Roaring Forties – Patricia captures the light, the landscape and the ever-changing beauty of her island home.

If you have marvelled at the turquoise waters of Tasmania’s east coast, romped in the snow on kunanyi/ Mount Wellington, or travelled the wild interior with its rugged mountain ranges and still waters, you can see these captured in Patricia’s evocative paintings. A chapter is devoted to Patricia’s poignant watercolours of Lake Pedder, now drowned.

This long-overdue book, by award-winning biographer Alison Alexander, tells the story of Patricia’s drive to make her way as an artist in an era when young women were expected to take on the role of wife and mother, and put their paintbrushes aside.

Nearly 300 beautiful works are included. Many are from Patricia’s own collection of favourites, including one she bought back because she couldn’t bear to part with it. Patricia remembers painting each one, and has regaled Alison with stories that make this a warm and engaging portrait of a leading Tasmanian artist – and a living treasure.

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