They came large and small, in colour and mono, in watercolour and ink.
But to the trained - and untrained - eye, they were all special pieces of art.
The exhibition opened on Sunday at the Queanbeyan Art Society's Trinculo Place gallery.
Seasoned portraitist Julie Ballis described the 150 paintings on display at the QAS Ballis/Greinke exhibition as among the best she had seen.
Ballis co-sponsors the annual exhibition with Phil and Jill Greinke. The trio have supported the Society for many years.
She said she was amazed at the quality of works and was honoured to be involved.
"This display is right up there with national competitions I've been involved with," she said.
"I could quite easily have awarded prizes to every painting here."
Ballis handed out prizes to Eric Brookbanks, who won the Drawing category with Nero; Val Johnson took home the Portrait prize with The Poet (see page 1); and Trish Dillon won first prize in Small Paintings for A Monet Moment.
Other winners were Diane Alder for her Miniature Old stained glass; and Margaret Carr, who won the Animal portrait prize for Chickens.
Ballis described Carr's painting as "the most exquisite rendering of an animal portrait".
Society president Barry Cranston believes the Queanbeyan Art Society is the only society in NSW, and possibly Australia, that puts on a monthly exhibition that routinely attracts more than 120 exhibits.
"I don't think I've seen a better exhibition here," he said.
"One hundred and fifty paintings is a lot of works.
"To amass that amount with this level of quality is very rewarding to the committee.
"I believe it is important for artists to be able to display their work; not just to see it hanging, but to be able to compare their work to other artists.
"Competition is healthy, and we provide the channel for that."
The society holds its annual art show in Canberra each year the week after Floriade.
"We've been running that for 12 years," he said.
"This year we raised $25,000 from the sale of artworks in just a week.
"I think that highlights not just the quality of the artists in Queanbeyan, but the need for amateur artists to be able to show their work."
The last exhibition for the gallery is its Christmas showing.
It opens on December 8 and will hang for two months.
The Ballis/Greinke exhibition runs until November 30.
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