What others say about Josonia's work

John Howard and Janette Howard

John Howard and Janette Howard (National Portrait Gallery)
"Jo, the portrait has been so well received. Thank you for such a good job."

John Howard,
Prime Minister of Australia


"When it came to finding an artist to paint a joint portrait of the Prime Minister and Mrs Howard in 2000 for the National Portrait Gallery, Jo Palaitis was the ideal choice. She was able to work with the most time-pressed pair of sitters in the country to produce a work that is relaxed, detailed and intimate. The striking originality of the portrait is clear to any of the visitors who see it hanging in the grand setting of Kings Hall of Old Parliament House."

Andrew Sayers,
Director, National Portrait Gallery, Australia 

The Hon Justice Michael Kirby AC CMG

Justice Michael Kirby (Presidents' Court, Sydney)
"The decision of the Trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales to hang Josonia Palaitis' portrait of me in the 2006 Archibald Prize finalists is a new experience. For the first time I have become a hanging judge. My friends will not believe it."                                               
Click here to read Kirby speeches:
Handging Judge
Presentation speech






Taking a Break in the Field

Taking a Break in the Field (Childers Regional Gallery)
hilders Memorial Portrait

"Your magnificent portrait of the 15 young people who lost their lives in the tragic Childers Backpacker Fire in June 2000 now serves as a very moving and fitting memorial to them all.

"The families and I are very grateful that you agreed to accept this most difficult brief and thank you sincerely for your dedication, understanding and compassion throughout the entire process."

Cr Bill Trevor,
Mayor, Isis Shire Council, Queensland, Australia 

Kim and Robert Kiyosaki

Kim and Robert Kiyosaki (Private Collection)
"Jo, the painting is BREATHTAKING. Thankyou very much. It sits in the centre of our home and people gasp each time they see it."

Robert Kiyosaki,
Author of Richdad, Poordad





Dr Cindy Pan

Dr Cindy Pan
"Being painted by Jo Palaitis was a wonderful and unexpected thrill. Her bright, delightful personality and warm, receptive manner made each meeting extremely enjoyable and I was completely enthralled by the fascinating process by which she created the portrait. Jo is awesomely meticulous, logical and systematic as well as being endlessly creative and an unsurpassed artistic genius. My family and friends were all full of praise for the way she captured me and the way the portrait seemed to glow with warmth and life. My mother kept saying she expected me to step out of the canvas any minute and she felt very tempted to try to talk to the portrait, so real and alive did she find it."

Dr Cindy Pan,
Author of Pandora's Box 




Dr David Tiller AO

Dr David Tiller (Collection RACP)

"Dear Jo,

It gives me great pleasure of course to thank you again for what I regard as a terrific portrait. As you are aware it hangs in the College building at 145 Macquarie Street and I must say I get lots of compliments, not about what a handsome fellow I am but what an excellent portrait it is.

Many appreciate that it contains many personal items and also portrays the appearance of "the Physician" of the late 20th Century. As Colleges have a life much longer than we have, it would be most interesting to hear comments a 100 years hence.

We have a photograph of the portrait at home and the children and now the grandchildren think it is great to have not only a picture of their "Pop" but also small pictures of their Mums and Dads.

Thank you once again. Hope all goes well."

Dr David Tiller AO
Past President,
Royal Australasian College of Physicians 

Professor Peter Drake AM

Professor Peter Drake (Aust. Catholic Uni)
"In 1995 Australian Catholic University confidently commissioned Jo Palaitis to paint the portraits of its foundation Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor, His Eminence Cardinal Edward Clancy AC and Professor Peter Drake AM. The work which Jo undertook with great care, diligence and professional ability resulted in two wonderful portraits which the University now hangs proudly in its Vice-Chancellery. The portraits convey in fine detail, a wonderfully accurate depiction of the two principal officers of the University in its foundation years."

Comments from Australian Catholic University

"It is a wonderful experience to be portrayed by Jo Palaitis. She is patient and unintrusive but takes infinite care to discover and understand her subject before picking up a brush. Consequently, she knows one’s personality, looks and presence very well by the time she is ready to compose the picture. Not until after several conversations, hundreds of photographs and numerous sketches, did I progress to sittings in the studio. There, with continuing conversation against a background of fine music, my likeness was finally developed in paint on canvas. I was thrilled with the finished work, believing that it captured both character and appearance – it is a portrait true to life."

Professor Peter Drake AM
Australian Catholic University

His Eminence Cardinal Edward Clancy AC

Cardinal Edward Clancy (Sydney Archdiocese)
"Jo Palaitis is a fine artist who brings a rare sensitivity and insight to her work. Working within the bounds of traditional portraiture, she always manages, with great skill, to capture the personality of her subject."

His Eminence Cardinal Edward Clancy AC
Archbishop of Sydney (1983 - 2001)







John Mills

John Mills (Tweed River Art Gallery)
Winner of the 1994 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

"The painting shows expressive intensity, vitality, communication, spatial organization, sense of movement and chromatic balance. Natural rendering of facial details and feelings, brilliant use of colour, true rendering of light and shadow, effective placing of a figure in space, instant visual impact and lack of rhetoric."

Professor Nicola Spinosa,
Prime Administrator and Superintendent for the welfare of History and Art in Naples
International Judge





The Artist’s Mother

The Artist's Mother (Tweed River Art Gallery)
Finalist, 2002 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

"In the photo realistic portrait of her mother, Josonia Palaitis displays her virtuosity with the brush. She has taken great pleasure in painting the various textures of the textiles and hard surfaces in the painting: the cushions, afghan, towel, sweater, velour pants, floor and leather shoes. All these textures of the inanimate subjects are used to focus attention on the animated lines of age, pain and experience shown on her face in excruciating detail. The only element that is an abstraction is the unidentifiable object behind the seat with its sharp points, which seem to reflect her pain."

Irene Martin,
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
International Judge




"Jo, it has been a pleasure and privilege to visit your studio. An unforgettable experience, your name is a legend. I compliment you for well deserved acclaim, to continue a tradition from your father to you and your children… I wish you continued success and prosperity." 

Franco Belgiorno-Nettis AC CBE,
Life Govenor of the Sydney Biennale.
Australian Art Patron