Wednesday, October 28, 2009
This often happens with my exhibitions. I tell people that I will contact them when I have an upcoming show, and then just before it comes I freeze up and pretend it's not going to happen. I think it must be one of those personal artist quirks. I do feel horrible though, and hope that none of the people that I stayed with on my trip take it the wrong way. I somehow feel like if I invited them and they actually came in to Sydney, that I would be inconveniencing them for going out of their way to see my paintings. I know it sounds crazy, but when all of the attention starts to focus on me I start to feel unworthy. That's most certainly not the case during the rest of the year, I just think it has something to do with all of the pressure surrounding a yearly solo exhibition. I miss being out bush. I hope you all are well.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Day 101 Thursday
I worked on this big painting for about a week before I had my rest, and used my downtime to contemplate where to take it. With nothing in the immediate foreground, and a relief-like horizontal composition, I decided to extend the branches of the persimmon trees to the top of the canvas to hold everything together. Also because of the relief-like composition, the scale of the branches, fruit and interstices of background coming through the branches are all of a similar modularity which helps the brushstrokes form a random pattern in light and shade. I’m titling this one ‘the nightingale brothers’ after the name of the company that owns the orchard, and that name, plus ‘Wandiligong’ the locality can be seen stencilled on the tub to the right.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
With the ball rolling from the last canvas, and a palette loaded with buttery colours I plunged into this next canvas. The video I was referencing for this composition was shot in a different persimmon orchard south of Araluen, NSW. I pumped up the saturation in the gum trees in the background, as I dread reaching for the greys that would accurately describe their real colour. Again the picker entered from the left, activating the orchard and providing a visual balance to the repoussoir on the right. It’s exciting painting all day long, getting out of bed and opening the bay doors to the morning sun and painting all day until I look outside to see the indigo evening settling down, promptly closing those same doors to paint into the night. I’ve got a bunch of audio tapes to keep me going and am currently really enjoying painting to Annie Hawes’ “Extra Virgin”.
After a little over two weeks in the heart of the dark Victorian winter I am back at the easel working furiously on the big paintings. The reasons for my respite from painting are many and should have been more foreseeable, but somehow, weren’t. As the large amount of money I had saved for this trip petered out, I found myself engaged as the local chalk busker in the town centre, doing drawings for some gold coins in my hat. The second major factor was the increasing cold weather and short daylight hours to warm the jam factory. Factor 1 had limited my kerosene ration, and I began timing my trip to the aquatic centre to an hour before they closed to warm myself in the spa and sauna before returning to the studio for a couple of final hours of painting. The third reason was that Moz came out to visit me for a week. I did absolutely no painting during this week and we spent our time on the banks of the Murray in the warm sun, drinking sparkling wine and me playing guitar while Moz wove a reed dillybag out of the long grass growing from the riverbank. After she left and a couple of painting sales later, I have kerosene and renewed vigour towards completing this body of work. I decided to begin on a completely fresh big canvas, and after two days of non-stop painting I’m putting it up for view. I realized a few things about my painting process that I seemed to have forgotten these past few weeks: I work best attacking the painting all in one go, and the on and off again process I had been employing here was keeping the painting from taking on any strong direction. When I began this one, I mixed up copious amounts of half a dozen colours I had chosen for the colour scheme and worked it up both in tone and texture until I thought I had it balanced. The bird and picker entered towards the end and took their places quite naturally. I’m enjoying thoughts about the struggle between the birds and humans in their race to denude the trees of their ripe fruit. Sometimes it carries strong masculine overtones…
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
Again, the weather was not the best but I headed out and ended up finding this driveway lined with orange trees. I like the moody paintings, but prefer fully saturated sunny ones a bit better. At any rate, it will diversify the whole body of work and the greys in these will accentuate the colour of the others.
Day 74 Friday
Despite the grey skies, I headed out first thing and ended up at the bottom of a dirt road painting this side view of an orange grove and ladders. Every now and again the magpies would fly straight across my view and I decided to put them in at the last minute. After finishing up I hit the aquatic centre and library and got a few books for inspiration. I spent most of the night painting a reproduction from one of the books for an upcoming birthday present for a special little guy.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Day 65 Tuesday
Monday, June 22, 2009
Day 64 Monday
I went out to Orange World again today and they were quite happy for me to explore and paint to my heart’s content, which is what I did. I was going to shoot some videos as well, but was itching to get back to my studio, as Joe and China were planning to stop in on their way back from the Alice and I wanted to make sure the BBQ is in perfect working order.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
I went to Wentworth again to take part in the sesquicentennial celebration, and even though arriving after the parade had finished, I sketched some of the tractors parked in the middle of the main street. I walked down to the riverfront and saw the old paddle steamer called ‘Ruby’ doing its best to cart a load of paddleboat aficionados up the river. Getting hungry, I grabbed the second to last steak sandwich that was available and then wished I hadn’t. I’ve never had such a bloody tough steak in all of my life! I drove back to the studio and finished the gouache I had started of a vineyard and then worked on the large painting of ‘the robber barons’ the rest of the night.
I was supposed to be painting an orchard up near Wentworth today, so I headed out early and stopped in at Artback in Wentworth for some brekkie. After getting filled up and chatting a bit with Steve and Mary about the 150th celebrations happening tomorrow, I headed out to get some painting done. The guy whose orchard I was to paint never called, so I pulled off the road at Curlwaa on the way back to Mildura and painted a nice little orange grove there. After finishing up I drove back to my studio only stopping for some mandarins and chook eggs at a roadside stand.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Another beautiful day of sunshine brought me out to the orchards, and I drove north to Orange World to chase up the friendly folk and paint their fifty acres. I didn’t know where to begin, so I paid my ten dollars and with my complementary cup of fresh squeezed orange juice jumped on the tractor-drawn wagon to take part in Brian’s tour of the orchard. Before we set off he played us his original song about Mildura on his six-string, and then off we went to the accompaniment of a rhyming dialogue on the history of his family interspersed with titbits on the orchard itself. After the tour I stumbled into the orchard with my painting gear and found a quiet spot to paint the prolific navels hanging from one of the 10,000 trees, but not before scaring a roo that was lounging between the lanes. I finished up and headed back into town for some laps at the aquatic centre and a shower, and then headed out for a night of culture at the Art Vault. There was an opening for a Slovenian artist Marco and a local girl based in Melbourne, Nikita, and the work was brilliant. Both of the artists’ work contained plenty to talk about, bold narrative in the case of Marco, and subtle push and pull of charcoal and watercolour in the works by Nikita. I had a chance to meet lots of the movers and shakers within the local art scene, and afterwards we came back to my studio and had a bit of an after-party with Rowan giving the fiddle a go and some Johnny Cash sing-along on the guitar.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
This morning I headed towards Wentworth again, but on the NSW side of the Murray and stopped outside of ‘Orange World’, which is a cross between an orchard and a theme park. The owner was really friendly and I think it broke his heart when I asked if the orange trees across the road were his. ‘No, but the owner lives just over there…’ so I headed off to ask permission while promising the owner of Orange World that I would be back to paint his oranges sometime soon. The owner wasn’t home, and after scratching his red heeler for a while I decided to just paint the orchard from the side of the highway, as the view of the poplars in the background was what had inspired me in the first place. It was a magnificently warm day and I peeled off my layers of clothing as I laid the layers of paint on the panel. When I finished up, I headed back into town for a swim and a shower at the aquatic centre and then dropped in to the Red Cross to buy a shirt, jeans and pair of shoes – all for $14 for tonight’s dinner gala at the local Tafe. It was a celebration of the graduates and a night of awards for the chefs and tasty bites for us guests. The theme was Spanish and after chorizo and potato nibbles and a few glasses of sangria, we all sat down to feast on the three kinds of paella they had made with the assistance of a chef from Spain. I was wondering how many of the ingredients were local, and pondered the thought that one hundred years ago, if you wanted to impress your guests at a dinner party, you would have all manner of exotic foods shipped in. In today’s global economy, it’s quite normal to have food from all over the world represented on an average dinner plate and to impress guests at a contemporary dinner party you might try to source all local ingredients. Ah, how times change. The night was further embellished with two Spanish guitar players and a flamenco dancer, followed by a local rock group, and a great time was had by all, not bad for $35!
Day 58 Tuesday
Another beautiful sunny day was greeting Mildura as I packed up jumpin’ joan and headed west of Merbein to seek out some plums that were still on the trees last Friday. I found them, and after a bit of hunting around got permission and did this little panel and shot some videos as well. I haven’t used violet in the fruit paintings yet, so I was quite excited to pair it up with the acid green of the grass for a powerful complementary contrast. After finishing up I headed back into my studio to start on a gouache of the red grapes I had shot a few weeks ago, but I’m still not close to finishing it so I’ll post it another day.
Monday, June 15, 2009
I sent off images and an application for the Waverley Art Prize on Friday and with any luck might get one of the three paintings in. I’ve started a new large oil painting based on a persimmon orchard in Wandiligong, Victoria. While I was shooting the video, scores of magpies were dropping out of the sky to feast on the orange fruit. The painting will be called ‘the robber barons’ and will include a picker and a tractor pulling wooden cases of persimmons. I hope to have an pic of it up later this week. The large ones are going quite slowly and as I’m hesitant to put up work in progress, I will put up a gouache I did today from a video of a hazelnut orchard. I am really enjoying painting with gouache, as it is a perfect mix between the loose handling of oil paint and the tight transparency of watercolour.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Well, it’s high time that I put this image up. It has been plaguing me for the past week and I can’t even really see it anymore. It all began with a trip to Eden, NSW to paint the communal garden there and put it in the Blake prize for religious art – first prize a whopping $20,000, second a worthy $5,000. I stayed in Eden for a few days making several sketches and a large oil painting (see day 27), but after arriving in my studio in Mildura and trying to finish the large oil, I realized its composition wasn’t doing it for me. Perhaps on a tangent, I got an idea for the ‘death of Eve’ and made a large charcoal sketch using the same figures, church, principal tree and tomato planter. I wasn’t convinced about the theme, but the composition was definitely stronger so I began the painting. I’ve been slashing away at it for the past week in an attempt to get it done in time, and what I’m posting today is the nearly completed painting, minus some small touch-ups. I guess I’m curious about the reaction it will receive. I know it’s quite a bit different from the rest of my current work, but a quick look at my website will hopefully link it to my greater oeuvre. I would be very interested in comments concerning the supposed narrative going on as well as other subjective viewpoints concerning the theme. I have a few more days to work on it, but as I said before the additions will be minimal as I have other paintings to pursue. I have learned more about my painting process by creating this work than from any other work on my trip, perhaps because of the long, drawn-out preparatory work. At any rate, I’m ready to push it out of the nest and into the world.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
After having a coffee and some toast, I headed west from the airport to look for a spot to paint. I pulled into the drive of a mandarin grove and went up to knock on the door, but the sulphur-crested cockatoo in a cage beat me to it, and was saying all manner of things to alert the owner to my presence. A lovely lady came to the door and said it would be fine if I painted, so I set up and did a little panel of the imperial mandarins. Her husband John came out as I was finishing up and we talked a little about the land, water, and bureaucracy. After I finished, I walked back to jumpin’ joan which I had parked on the side of the road and two people drove up to ask if I had broken down. I chatted to them and then packed up and headed into Mildura. I went down to the river where the Art Society had their regular Saturday showing and met two very nice painters, Judy and Mary. We chatted for a while and they invited me down to paint with them on Tuesdays. I then went up to the Art Vault and met the director Julie, and had a tour of the wonderful building. At the Art Vault, they have ten studios, two apartments for residencies, and a wonderful exhibition space downstairs. Everyone was really lovely and even went as far as to point me in the right direction with my search for studio space. After leaving the Art Vault, I called the owner of the local Cottie’s jam factory and went to see the space. It was magnificent and we shook hands on a three-month lease, I move in on Tuesday. Seeing that everything was sorted, I went to the IGA and got ingredients for Gumbo and some local beer and went back to the caravan park for an evening of food, fun and music with the great people staying here.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
A thick fog blanketed everything in sight this morning. We drove towards Mildura in limited visibility through some very bleak bushland. When we stopped in Robinvale for lunch at a fish and chips shop, the sun started to burn off all of the fog. There were two burgers on offer ‘plain’ and ‘the lot’, both of which had beetroot on them. Robinvale was skirted in orchards and vineyards, but we kept pressing towards Mildura. Just before we hit the town proper, there was a mandarin orchard on top of a hill and I whipped jumpin’ joan in. The guys were really friendly and I sat and painted a corner of the grove with a pomegranate tree in the back right. I bought a butternut pumpkin from their road-side stand for tonight’s dinner and we drove down to the Murray River and found a campsite next to a black swan’s nest.
The day started out grey, and stayed that way all day. We drove into Shepparton for a coffee and a little bit of shopping. Moz was feeling a bit ill, so I bought some collard greens and chorizo at a market for tonight’s dinner. We drove towards Echuca and pulled into Christie’s Beach campground on the Murray River just as the rain started coming down. We weren’t put off by the rain, as it’s the first rain I’ve seen since leaving Sydney and the farms out here need it so badly. The lady at the bottle-o in town said that when the drought hit it’s roughest point about two years ago, heaps of farmers were killing themselves as they felt they had failed their families. We put up a tarp and I managed to get a fire going, and the chorizo and greens were delish. No painting for today so I’ll put up a cloud study I did a while back since I’ve done a few.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
We got up and had a proper bush brekkie of coffee, fruit, yoghurt and cake and then hit the road towards Shepparton. Just before we got to the actual town we started seeing orchards, most of them with bare branches. After a while though, we saw some trees with huge red fruit hanging off of them, which I thought were perhaps pomegranates. I whipped into the drive and ran into an older gentleman who said the land was his but leased out to the guy next door. After going to ask permission from the proper guy, I set to shooting videos of the well-manicured apple trees. I decided to paint a big painting and set to work on it around midday. I painted fast and furiously, but as 3:30 rolled around I realised I was going to have to pack up soon. We pulled out of the orchard and drove for nearly an hour before finding a decent camp next to a canal south of town. After a Japanese curry noodle dinner and some Go-Shu sake to wash it down with, we settled in for a pleasant evening in the country.
Moz and I checked out of our motel in Albury and headed west to Rutherglen. As we were pulling into town we noticed that in the paddocks of the out-lying farms there were bricks evenly scattered around. We stopped at the information kiosk and asked what was up with the bricks and the lady didn’t know, she just reckoned that it was the remains of old buildings. She said that although the town has only three pubs now, back in the gold-rush days there were 50, and thought that the bricks were from those pubs. She tipped us off to an olive grove in the area and we drove the five km out to Wicked Virgin Olive Grove. I sat at the top of an almost empty dam and did an aerial view of the grove, while Moz drew in her sketchbook up at the main building. After finishing up we drove back into Rutherglen and had a hot pie lunch at Parker’s which is famous for their game pies. I had emu and Moz had a conservative chicken and mustard. We then drove on through Chiltern and then Glenrowan, were I said that we would have to stop at the pub and have a beer, since Ned Kelly had made the town so famous. I asked the bartender if there was any decent camping at Lake Mokoan, which I had seen on the map. He said not since they drained it. We went out there anyway, and sure enough the sucker was dry and filled with dead gum trees standing upright which was pretty creepy. We continued on to just outside of Benalla where we found a picnic spot just off the road. After injuring myself thoroughly trying to break up fire wood, we sat down to some dinner and wine. I played guitar and Moz sang Hungarian gypsy songs while a very curious possum came up and sniffed around for leftovers.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
It wasn’t quite as frosty this morning, but I still packed up fairly quickly and headed in to the café. After a really nice latte and a quick session at the skate park, I headed back to Wandiligong to do a last painting of the persimmons. When I got there the dew was covering everything and the pickers were hard at it. I asked if I could shoot some video of them and they said that would be fine. After getting a lot of really great footage, I got my painting gear out and did a little portrait of a persimmon tree in which all of the top fruits had been eaten off by magpies. I finished up around midday and hit the road north, driving through some really beautiful country. The gum trees between Bright and Wangaratta were some of the most dynamic forms I have seen on this trip. Their twisted trunks and splayed branches reminded me of peeking into the window of a gym or ballet class. Once I had arrived at Wangaratta, I stumbled upon the biggest skate park yet! I had to have a quick go and ended up working up a bit of a sweat. Back in jumpin’ joan, I hit the road out north to the Warby Ranges State Park. 14kms down a crappy unsealed road landed me in my own little piece of bush paradise. As the roos came out to the paddock to have their tea, I started preparing my own, leftover spag bol from last night extended with an extra can of tomatoes and a bit more basil. After dinner I relaxed with some wine, guitar and some chestnuts I had found in the persimmon orchard, which I then roasted on the fire. A ute came driving up the road and stopped near my site. It was the park rangers and they were out scouting rabbits and roos and said that I was alright and to have a good night. The fingernail moon slowly came up out of the north as I slipped into my swag and watched its course.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
After rising, once again I went to the sandwich shop for some vegemite toast and a proper latte. I sketched a few studies of the owner when she wasn’t looking, figuring that I would put her into my painting later on. Once at the garden, I sat on a bench and did a gauche compositional study of the large oil work. Satisfied that it would work, I got the large canvas out of jumpin’ joan, grabbed some charcoal out of the church’s mud brick oven and started sketching. The sketch of the garden came up quickly, but I couldn’t nail the pose for the main woman, and just then Jim showed up and I had him hold the pose for a tick while I made a few notations in my sketchbook. Finished the sketch by about 2pm and got my oils out and started blocking in the four main tones. As the sun was going down, Steve showed up and we went over to the Great Southern Inn for a beer and then prepared to head out to his friends’ Graham and Janice’s place for a movie. I followed him out, trying to keep up with his zippy little Peugeot. Once we had arrived and everyone showed up bringing various dishes, I started to cracking the hazelnuts we had gotten off of Steve’s neighbour. After we had all eaten, we retired to the living room and watched the French film ‘Himalaya’ projected on the big screen. After the movie we headed back to Steve’s and crashed.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
I got up and headed straight across the street to the ‘Garden of Eden’ to check the light. It’s on top of a hill, but the sun was low and the church and trees were keeping everything in shadow, so I hit the only open sandwich shop to have some coffee. The lady who runs it was about as friendly as a junkyard dog, but she made a pretty good brew. I asked what was on for brekkie and she said I’d have to go next door to the café for a cooked breakfast, she only did sandwiches. I ordered some vegemite toast and finished waking up and then grabbed my gear and headed over to the garden. I wanted to study all of the contents of the garden, so I pulled jumpin’ joan up the top and climbed on top of her to get a better view. I completed a large gauche of the entire place and then did some ink sketches and pencil renderings of some of the details. As the day was winding down, some people rolled in and took a look at my sketchbook over my shoulder. We made small talk and I found out that they were a group of amateur violinists meeting in the community hall to practice. When they found out I had my violin with me, they invited me in, but I said I would only sit and sketch as I can’t read music and therefore wouldn’t be able to properly participate. I got some good sketches done of the three of them and as I was getting ready to go, their mate Steve showed up and invited us all back to his for a showing of a Bruce Springsteen DVD. I ran back to the inn and showered up and met them back at the community hall, and then we all drove out to Steve’s place down near Kiah. We had a delicious vegetarian dinner, watched the DVD, and then had a little jam with Steve and I on guitar, Paul on fiddle and Ruth on tambourine. After the jam, everyone split and Steve let me crash in the spare room.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Woke up and had a magnificent, warm shower. Rowan invited me down to his yoga class, and the both of us and his dog Brogo piled in his car and drove down to Cobargo community hall. The class was two hours long and just what I needed. Some of the other yogis had brought chokos and tomatillos to share with the class and after we finished we all went down to a café for coffee. I thought I was going to buzz out of town towards Eden, but after talking with some of the lovely locals, I was soon convinced that I should go to one of their homes to paint their citrus trees. I said goodbye to Rowan and thanked him for the amazing time and piled into jumpin’ joan and headed east towards Bermagui. Down a dirt track and into a clearing, I arrived at Rosemary and Tony’s place overlooking a tidal river just next to the ocean. They had lots of fruit on and it was tough deciding between the lemons, tangerines, finger limes, etc. After a beautiful lunch of Rosemary’s homemade pasta, I grabbed my gear and started in on painting a heavily laden grapefruit tree, using the compositional idea from yesterday. The painting worked out well and I finished with just enough time to say farewell and head off to look for a campsite. Down the coast about 20km I found Mimosa Rocks National Park just north of Tathra. I whipped into the unsealed road and drove down three kilometres of some of the worst road I have seen yet, all the while expecting jumpin’ joan to fall to pieces. At the coast I was the only one at the site, and I gathered firewood and started cooking some lentils. I watched the sun go down and the moon come up, and as my lentils were nearly finished cooking, a very interested possum came within a couple of metres to beg for some tucker. I’m normally not afraid of possums, but with being the only one at the campground, and very little light from the fire, I let him know he wasn’t welcome at my dinner table. He kept running around, and the noises and shadows started getting to me so I got out the guitar and belted out some songs at top volume. This settled me a bit and then I got out the violin and played a bit more. The minor key scales started giving me the willies, so I switched back to guitar and eventually felt comfortable enough to settle into my sleeping bag. It’s amazing how much warmer the coast is right now and I slept warmer than I have for a while.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
The mornings are getting cooler and cooler and rather than hopping out of bed at 6am, I’m now creeping out of bed closer to 7am. We sat around and had a cuppa before helping Rowan’s brother load up his ute with items he had picked out from Rowan’s stockpile. I was itching to paint and Rowan wanted to service his truck, but we ended up deciding to get out the guitar and violin and play around a bit. Being mother’s day, his family was coming over so I headed up the hill to paint his neighbour’s lemon tree. Despite the beautiful view from the top of the hill, I found it more effective to zoom in on one branch of the tree and was really happy with the resulting painting. It’s not a still-life, but also not a landscape. I’m eager to try to paint a few more in this style. After I came down the hill, his family pulled in with some alcoholic ginger beers and we sat down and had a chat. They left at dusk as it was getting really cold, and we started a fire in the cabin and then headed in to the pub to warm our insides. I got to meet a lot of friendly locals at the pub and we discussed all manner of topics while sucking down suds. Back at Rowan’s, he heated up last nights curry and we listened to the Waifs and settled in. He crashed around 10 and I stayed up and listened to ‘bridal train’ one more time, singing “all the girls around Australia, married to a yankee painter”.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
I grabbed a bit of breakfast in Moruya and headed down the road nice and early. On the way I rang a mate of Mick’s named Rowan who lives in Cobargo. He said he wouldn’t be around until midday, but I could pull into his place and make myself comfy. I stopped in Cobargo to grab a coffee at a little café made out of an old train carriage and then headed out to Rowan’s. When I got there I went to the back of his place and found an orchard, so I set in to painting the denuded cherry trees. After that I did a gauche of his peach tree, trying to get the shifting of colour from the burgundy of the tip-top leaves through to a rich brown in the middle and fully saturated yellow-orange at the bottom. Rowan and his brother soon showed up and I watched them repair a gas heater and then we expended some energy flipping a giant slab of red gum, which was about five metres long and 1.5 thick. Rowan’s brother had a young pup and I thought it was interesting that when it would jump up on Rowan’s leg he would try to slyly step on the pup’s back foot. He said if you do it consistently the pup will associate the pain on his back foot with raising his front paws in the air, and stops jumping up on people. I can think of a few dogs back in Sydney that could use a bit of this kind of schooling. As dusk settled in we made a fire and washed up for dinner. I watered down the last of my gumbo and shared it and Rowan made a chicken curry with an organic chook from a mate. We drank some really nice Cooper’s vintage beer and ended up with Rowan playing guitar and me trying to accompany on violin. What a night, must have been the full moon.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Day 19 Friday 3595km
Got up with the sun and packed up my things. Gail gave me some pumpkin soup and I took a bit of the gumbo and put them both in my portable freezer. It was still a bit early to head down to the persimmon farm (a real wallaby nightmare), so I loaded a huge palette full of colours and otherwise prepared myself to do my first big painting of the trip. The drive down to Peter and Paul’s went fine and I pulled into their paddock and climbed on top of joan and began working straight away. I knew that by midday my shadows would be going in the wrong direction, so I wanted to get as much information down as possible. The sun was belting down on me and soon I had stripped off most of my underclothing and just painted in my coveralls. It was amazing painting a big one outside in the full sun, the glare doesn’t seem to distract me as much as with the small panels. I finished up around 2:30 and packed up. I had intended to ask to stay in their paddock tonight, but I need to get to Eden to paint my Blake prize entry, so I said goodbye and hit the road toward Moruya. I saw in my ‘traveller’s bible’ that Moruya had a showgrounds where I could camp for free. I stopped in at the Air Raid Tavern for a schooner of Old Brown and asked directions to the showgrounds. As sometimes happens, there was a big sign at the entrance that said ‘no camping’, so I drove the 10km out to the headlands and parked joan in a parking lot next to the beach. The water is still really nice and the almost full moon rose over the sea as I cooked up the pumpkin soup and settled in for the evening.