FROM the rolling hills of spud country comes the intergenerational farmer and painter, Graeme Myrteza.

Originating from the region’s most fertile farming land, Graeme came from a farming family in Thorpdale.

A country boy at heart, Graeme loved to do all the things a young country boy enjoyed – hunting, fishing, and camping. He did it all, but deep down, he always had an artistic flair that would not be fully appreciated until very later in life.

As a child, he enjoyed drawing and painting, but after leaving school, there was no time to continue his passion.

“I was born in Thorpdale – I’ve been here all my life in the same place. I was drawing and doing all that stuff when I was a kid and at school,” he said.

Leaving Warragul Tech at the age of 15, Graeme said from there, “All we did was farm then – farm work on the spuds, dairy farm, carrots and sheep and cattle and all that sorts of stuff.”

If you walk into one of three galleries that hang some of Graeme’s works, you can see the heart that is put into every brush stroke of his landscape pieces.

In 2005, the family’s life was changed forever after losing their son, Brett, following his 30-year battle with muscular dystrophy. After encouragement from friends and family, Graeme took to the paintbrush to help ease his pain.

“With the loss of Brett, I started painting again, therapy, I suppose, and from then on, I have had a brush in my hand pretty much every day,” he said.

“He passed away, and I started painting about a week later.

“It was losing Brett that started all that.

“He had muscular dystrophy, he was 30-years-old, and he sort of had enough.”

Starting his artistic journey at almost 60-years-old, Graeme is not pouring his heart out onto canvas for notoriety, fame or fortune, he paints what he likes for himself and his son.

“Brett never saw me paint, but I know he’s with me when I am painting, he has a part in each work I do and that’s why I put his initials in every painting,” he said.

A countryman in a world of eccentric personalities, Graeme is often described as that ‘painting farmer bloke’.

“I’d never been to an exhibition or any of that stuff until Brett passed away,” he said.

With around 30 exhibitions in his portfolio and countless awards, Graeme has become a recognised artist with people coining the blue in his paintings the Myrteza Blue.

Despite winning several art show awards, Graeme said while some artists would prioritise this aspect of the lifestyle, he was among the ones who couldn’t care less.

Graeme’s heartfelt works are receiving the recognition they deserve, especially with the short film Myrteza Blue, directed by Eren Besiroglu, which centres on Graeme’s journey from farmer to painter.

Having travelled throughout Australia, Graeme captures the views and light – from the vast Kimberley to waves crashing on Phillip Island.

“I like all the outback … I’ve spent a lot of time out there out west or up in the high country,” he said.

“I like the blues and reds and yellows in the outback.”

Despite learning from Churchill artist Bill Roberts, Graeme never really had any art education. His work has been self-taught coming from the heart.

Admiring the works of Australian landscape painters Hans Heysen, Frederick McCubbin and Arthur Streeton, he developed his own way of capturing the beauty in the Australian outback.

Light: The farmer-turned-painter draws inspiration from the great Australian outback.

“There’s a lot of things I like, but I just like painting, you know … but gum trees are pretty high up on the (inspiration) list,” he said.

I had an exhibition at the County Court in Melbourne there … which was pretty special.”

For Graham, art was truly a self-expression, a way of processing his own emotions, and a form of therapeutic release.

“I have found that over the years, I have grown to love the smell of oil paint, turps and raw canvas almost as much as the constant challenge of trying to capture the majestic gums, creeks and brilliant landscapes of our beautiful country,” he said.

As Graeme slows things down in his senior years, he focuses on art for himself.

You can see Graeme’s extraordinary work year-round in The Covent Galley in Daylesford, Town and Country Gallery in Yarragon and the Mingara Gallery in Cowes.

If you would like to commission a Graeme Myrteza artwork or would like to find out more, head to the website at