A River of Milky Coffee Outback West

Updated: Jun 21

As I hadn't attended a painting workshop quite like this before, I was so looking forward to what the next three days would offer. The workshop entitled "Energise Your Painting", was to be held by my good friend and accomplished painter, Trevor Purvis. We were to stay in the tiny hamlet of Eulo, QLD. I was fortunate to be traveling with another good friend, Bron and over the two days, (overnight in St George) we arrived to find this small community revolved around the Eulo Queen Hotel where we were staying.


Col, Owner and Barman, Eulo Queen Hotel


The Paroo River was full after all the rains. It was also a running river of milky coffee, a very marvellous sight. The trees cast multiple shadows in various tones. The objective was for us, a group that included seven artists to paint the river scene and bush that surrounded us. I was determined to meet the challenge. I usually paint 'internal' landscapes. A vista from the imagination. I painted the river, the trees, the bush and the shadows. I was able to suspend any thinking about what I thought the outside word should 'look' like and painted the shapes, with gestures and colour. I really enjoyed myself and the works are quite energised. In the evening we sat around the fire, eating a delicious soup made by Beryl, having been fortified during the day by her delicious cakes and much needed coffee. I welcomed her words of insight. Over the next three days, my perceptions were challenged and there was a release from some of the expectations that were beginning to take its toll.

Here are some of the studies I made of the river and bushland.


These are acrylic on board, 40 x 40cm.

At the end of the third day we had all created a major work using the imagery and techniques that we had played with the previous two days. I was thinking about a beautiful tree trunk and based my work on that.



 

After arriving back home, I reconsidered how I could apply this approach to my current works. I had been working on a piece called The Stowaway. It had undergone a number of revisions, and I saw the opportunity to take a leap. There is a push pull dynamic I encounter. Do what I know and try and keep developing ideas that push that direction, or allow myself to actually leap and be in that exquisite and dynamic place of creativity and the unknown.


The Stowaway (In progress).



Bird in a Fish Bowl, 91 x 91cm, oil on canvas, $3500

 

Noosa held a music festival called Come Together on the banks of the Noosa River. At the end of the evening there was a laser light show. This was one of my favourite photos.



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