Joseph Zbukvic

“My interest in painting began at an early age. On the farm where we lived in Europe most of the work was done manually and in harmony with nature – so I still find the landscape produced by this fine balance, the favourite subject for my paintings. I try to achieve the feeling of harmony not only in design and colour, but also in the relationship between the viewer and the painting – I find watercolour, with its gentle and subtle effects, a perfect medium to achieve this,” Joseph Zbukvic.


His early education was completed in Croatia. Despite his obvious talent for art, in 1967 he enrolled into Ivo Lole Ribara University, Zagreb, to study languages and literature in order to pursue a teaching career. This was interrupted in 1970, when due to political unrest, his parents decided to emigrate to Australia, where he saw an opportunity to return to his love of art. He continued his formal education at Deakin University, Melbourne, graduating in 1974, gaining a Diploma of Art, majoring in Industrial Design. During that course, he was introduced to the medium of watercolour.


He received his first major art award in 1974 during his university course, the Corio Council Art Award, soon to be followed by numerous further awards and recognition. He took up full time painting in 1978. His other achievements include over 50 solo exhibitions in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, London UK, San Antonio, Texas USA and more recently in Zhujiajiao and Shanghai China. He is also highly respected and sought after as a teacher. He has produced five top selling instructional DVDS and published a book “Atmosphere and Mood in Watercolour”.


  • 1991 – Watercolour Society of Victoria
  • 1991 – 1994 – Vice President, Watercolour Society of Victoria
  • 1998 – Australian Guild of Realist Artists
  • 1998 – Victorian Artists Society
  • 1998 – Australian Watercolour Institute
  • 1998 – Twenty Melbourne Painters Society
  • 1998 – Victorian Racing Club
  • 2008 – American Watercolour Institute, Signatory Member


He has won over 200 major awards in his 40 years career, including the coveted Gold Medal and $20,000 for the best painting of the show at the Camberwell Rotary Art Exhibition in 2001, 2003 and 2004. The most recent award was in 2012 for the Best Painting in Show at the Shanghai Zhujiajiao International Watercolour Biennial Exhibition.

In 2019 he received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” presented by the Plein Air Magazine.


Artarmon Galleries, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Red Hill Gallery, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia Tyron and Swann Gallery, London, UK Quan Hua Watercolour Art Gallery, Shanghai, China Hong Museum, Shanghai, China Barbara Frigerio Gallery, Milan, Italy Principle Gallery, Alexandria, USA Hanyuchen Art Museum, Handan, China


Castlemaine Regional Gallery and Historical Museum, Victoria, Australia Grafton Regional Gallery, New South Wales, Australia Mimara Museum of Fine Arts, Croatia Commonwealth Art Bank, Australia Sheraton Towers Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Hong Museum, Shanghai, China Quan Hua Watercolour Art Gallery, Shanghai, China, Victorian Racing Council, Australia Tokar Estate, Melbourne, Australia Numerous Municipal and private collections worldwide


Alan McCulloch, The Encyclopaedia of the Australian Arts, Hutchinson, 1978 and subsequent editions.

Jean Campbell, Australian Watercolour Painting 1780 to the Present Day, Craftsman House 1990.

Tom Roberts, the Australian Impressionist and Realist Artists, Graphic Management Services 1991.

Australian Watercolour Institute, 75th Anniversary Publication, the Beagle Press 1998.

The Best of Watercolour, Vol 3, Selected by Serge Hollerbach and Bettie Lou Schlemm, Rockport Publishers Inc 1999. “The Art of Watercolour” Magazine, No. 27 issue, 2017

“Arabian Horse Spirit” Magazine, No.6 Spring / Summer 2018 B.

Eric Rhoads “Plein Air Magazine” April-May 2019 Volume 9, Issue 2

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