PAINTING WALGETT IN SUNRISE SONGS, STORY BY CHRISTINE ONWARD 1
Welcome to a new series of outback stories promised to you a long time ago but repeatedly delayed due to my obstinate perfectionism (or procrastination,equally true). After a year of struggles and too high expectations from my side, I decided to let thoughts flow by freely and memories write by themselves in the way they want. I hope they eventually make sense to a point where I will be excited to tell the next episode and you will be eager to return and read it.
The journey I wanted to write (and paint) about took place a year ago in the outback Australia, more precisely in the northern part of NSW. It lasted 7 weeks and it was a blast!
For a person coming from the green pristine Carpathian Mountains of Eastern Europe, working in the bare fields of the far-far-away Australia was undoubtedly a challenge I was prepared to face. The huge emptiness of space, the scorching temperatures, the summer's dead bushes, and the desperation to survive of all living things had such a huge impact on who I was to become!
To honour the occasion, I decided to lay each meaningful experience of the outback in a painting. I wanted to add together the old me and my world as it was before back in Romania, the astonishing colours of Australia, its depth of landscapes, the victory of living- all in a series of paintings, celebrating me – the me I had become.
"Walgett-Sunrise Songs", painting by Christine Onward . More details Here
FIRST TIME IN WALGETT
Walgett on the map, 650 km away from Sydney, right at the gate of the Australian outback
We arrived in Walgett late in the night. The drive to the town had been slow and challenging. 100 km on dirt road, the dark night around us, kangaroos jumping back and forth ahead of us, and a GPS with personality only made the trip seem to last forever.
We made it to Walgett after midnight. Streets were dark and quiet, not a single man passing by. Shops had iron grills at windows and lights were off. Even the motel entrance had iron gates, secured with a big lock for which we had to recall a long code and still debate the numbers an hour later in the dark.
Dinner was quite frugal: cold chips from an early breakfast at the petrol station, wrapped in an oily paper and tasting like old jelly, some cheese, too sour from the heat, and the usual beer, to help us fall asleep.
Baby Caesar spending the night with us in a NO DOGS room (who can swear he is a dog though, most of the times he behaves like a human)
I slept that night in Walgett with the windows open to let the scents of the eucalyptus trees come inside. A bird kept shouting sad songs in the empty night, kept talking to me, and I let the sadness sink inside, because there was no escape, only the red road, over and over again until the end of my days...
THE SUNRISE SONGS
Photo taken close to Walgett - dirt road on the way to the property of Mungunya
Morning; 5 o’clock rise. I can still feel the taste of eucalyptus essences on the lips and bird's sad song in the ears.
Shirt on, boots on, cap on, insect repellent and a lot of sunscreen spread to whatever spot left uncovered. Bags back in the trunk, work instruments in the ute; time for one more long drive in the unknown.
I panic and I want to cry, as I always do when I think of unknown.
“It's just an adventure, I say, and who doesn’t like adventures”…
And off we are, this yet ANOTHER day...
The flowing artesian waters of Mungunya
Right outside the town of Walgett I opened eyes on a big sun rising from the bushes. Few cows grazing quietly under a tree, doves’ songs coming to life from all around the bushes… and suddenly I feel I am part of it. I do belong. And there is nothing in the world that can take this moment away from me: the place where I first belonged.
Living the life of the outback: unspoiled beauty and endless reds
On the radio a song starts. I want to imagine it as a sign for me, and for everyone else who was welcoming the day in song of birds and golden rays of sunrise: Only a fool breaks his own heart…
The start of a new day with Walgett left behind
I ripped through the bare red of the desert to let the magic of the moment come to life: the day when I BELONGED.
I added flowers in the empty trees of Walgett, and I added leaves with golden dots to shine happily in the sun.
The red dust, I turned it into lands of merry colours and joyful patterns, the way I knew them to be like back home in the Carpathian Mountains.
And all the sunrise songs and happiness of living, I gathered them together in this fantastic bird with golden feathers.
There is always a victory in us, we only need to find it.
After all… only a fool…
Story of my painted rock - visiting the land of Turquoise 0
Stones are like treasure chests. They capture inside the purity of the universe, the power of waves, whirling winds, and roughness of sand. We only add our story, with colours, brushes and no words – just love.
This is a story of how and where I painted this rock. Hope you enjoy.
WHY NOT USE A LITTLE RED? 3
Christine Onward talking about the symbolism of red and its use in creating art on rocks
Red appears to be the colour that artists have been using the most in their art works. It is suggested that the value of a piece of art will increase dramatically just by using red in its composition. Recent studies also suggest that at least 77% of the art works in history have used predominantly the red colour.
But why is red so highly appraised in the world of art? And how is this preference for red reflected in the art rock painting?
Here are a few of the most significant explanations I found when it comes to using red in rock painting. To exemplify I used a number of rocks by the artists of RockStreet Collective, recently posted in the group.
Photo collage by artist | Lysa Mignot | of RockStreet Collective (artists tagged in group cover photo)
Probably the most common suggestion for the use of red in art is love. Being such an intense, “hot” color, artists have used red to convey emotions such as passion, happiness, or intense love.
But how do you represent love on a painted rock?
You may use the symbol of love heart
Red painted rocks with love hears by | Karin Getaz | Kathy McLoughlin | Christine Onward
Flowers painted on rocks in red may also elicit feelings of love:
Rocks by | Angel Martinez Garcia | Lysa Mignot | Pamela Campbell |
Red is believed to make you happy
Happy painted rocks by | Gaby Avila | Dawn Harper | Kim Koch |
Red is such a powerful eye-catching colour that can make us quickly attracted to what we see. This is probably why, for outstanding designs, artists are prone to using red more than any other colours of the spectrum.
Rocks interior decorations by | Angel Martinez Garcia | Lysa Mignot | Christine Onward |
Red is used to reflect beauty in nature , as seen in the feathers of these fascinating birds:
Red and birds, painted rocks by | Tanya Nikolaevskaya | Christine Onward | 陳 泳澖 |
Red is also suggested to enhance strength, confidence and optimism. Here are some outstanding decorations using different hues of red:
Painted rocks by | Henriett Jäckl | Pauline Parker | Karin Getaz |
And some more red? How about romantic landscapes with a red sky at dawn?
Painted rock by | Christine Onward |
I will conclude here, although the story could continue with no end. Red painted rocks can make for a wonderful piece of decoration. Being a powerful colour which triggers intense emotions such as love, passion, happiness, the colour that attracts attention and makes every piece of art more desirable. There is no reason why you shouldn't try it for yourself.
***If you think your red work of art stands out from the crowd, feel free to post your rock in RockStreet Collective. We celebrate RED week on our Instagram account starting from 4th to 10th of June. There will be two artist winners every day!! Winning rocks will be featured on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and website. Looking forward to meeting you too.
More RED rocks for sale Here.
Painted rock by | Sara Stich |
Discover the Fascinating Story of artist Karin Getaz - the Magic of Her Painted Rocks and Passion for Colours 6The extraordinary story of artist and rock painter Karin Getaz of Queensland, Australia. Astonishing collection of painted rocks, dot mandalas and modern art.
HISTORIA DE UNA PIEDRA - THE HISTORY OF A STONE - by rock artist Loli Gambin 9"The history of a painted rock" by formidable Spanish artist Loli Gambin of "Piedras para sonreir". A beautiful story about family love, birthday surprises and art on rocks both in Spanish and English.
THIRD ROCK FROM THE SUN by Tony Flurscheim 3
Tony Flurscheim talking this week about his first encounter with painted rocks and therapeutic benefits of rock painting
When I first saw Christine Onward’s work on the net I could sense something creative and unique there. And the universe conspires at times to arrange things…
She happened to live almost next door to where I holiday each year. At Diamond Beach, a 5 hour drive north of Sydney. We meet up for a series of rocks for my sister’s Reiki Practice Waves of Energy and order some other general pieces.
I can still remember our first meeting with Christine at the little café in Blackhead, nearby Diamond Beach. They have great pies there all the time. My brother-in-law is normally a placid man of few words. He was in awe when shown the rocks! He literally stood up, looked alive for a change, picked up one piece and just said: I want this one!
It came to me just then: Rock Art must bring out extraordinary drawing talents and create Healing Powers as well.
I bought some rocks and the following week I went to Canberra, our nation’s capital, to visit my friend in a nursing home. He has Alzheimer’s. I wanted to give him a rock as a gift. I handed it to him. You should have seen the look on his face!
It lit up. Full of life. He connected with the rock. He touched it, felt it, and quickly put it in his pocket.
Photo and rocks painted by Christine Onward | The Stunner Boutique
And one more twist of fate: Months later my friend in Canberra lost the rock I gave to him. It happened that Christine was also in Canberra for a brief stay. I contacted her and had her do up another piece, with my friend’s name on the back of the rock.
I have since been told he’s very happy, and the rock is his constant companion.
The third rock from the sun. It does have mysterious ways of Healing. And a big thank you, Christine for making that happen.
- Tony Flurscheim – Sydney, Australia