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Friday, July 15, 2011

Paintings from a trip to Lightning Ridge

In 2008 I was lucky enough to be able to go on a trip to Lightning Ridge in the north west of  New South Wales. I produced sketches in acrylic paint on canvas board and took photographs. Some of these works are illustrated below with more finished works done in the studio.

A frequent sight in Lightning Ridge are the corrugated iron water tanks. Lightning Ridge is dry for much of the year and tanks are a necessity. They are usually the only thing left when a particular mining claim has been abandoned.
Lightning Ridge is famous as an opal mining town and evidence of mining is visible in most parts of the area. Below is a scene of an area that has been mined for opal. The white hillocks are the spoil from diggings  called "mullock heaps" locally.

Below is a more finished work in oil on canvas of one of the sketches in acrylic on canvas board above. With very clear skies, bright sunlight and with a predominance of whites from the claystone that underlies Lightning Ridge a reflected light is produced that affects the shadows making for some very intense blues even in the darker areas of the landscape. 

One of the well known landmarks in Lightning Ridge is a local church made of corrugated iron the building material of choice in times past. Painted in oils on canvas.

Two of the abandoned vechicles that are another feature of the Lightning Ridge landscape
One of the new concrete bridges on the road into Lightning Ridge. While "the Ridge" is very dry most of the year they sometimes experience severe floods that washed away the old wooden bridges isolating the town.

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